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Apple expands iTunes Web storefront to include iPhone apps

Want to point a friend to some interesting new software for the iPhone without making him launch iTunes to see the program's listing? Until today, there hasn't been an app for that.


But this morning, Apple added a Web-preview option for iPhone and iPod touch apps. Look up a program in iTunes, right-click its name to select "Copy Link" -- and instead of getting a weird link that will ask readers to fire up iTunes, you'll have a standard Web address.

These listings -- see, for example, the page for the free ShopSavvy program -- include the same basic data that you'd see in iTunes, such as customer reviews, release notes and screen shots. To throw around the relevant buzzwords, Apple's taken an overdue step to make the App Store part of the "link economy."

(Speaking of long-awaited developments in iPhone apps, Post Managing Editor Raju Narisetti wrote that the paper "should be coming out with an iPhone app in this quarter" in a Web chat late last month. More details as I know them.)

The new Web app-preview pages fit in with the Web listings of songs, albums, TV shows, movies and videos that Apple began adding last year -- although the Cupertino, Calif., company has yet to add a public list of best-selling apps to match those it offers in those categories. (As with apps, you can also create Web links to any random item out of iTunes if you want.)

At the start of January, Apple rolled out yet another Web option for music: 30-second previews of any song. That feature, combined with the company's December purchase of the streaming-music service Lala, has some observers wondering if Apple plans to add some sort of Web-radio component to the iTunes Web site.

Would you be interested in such a service? In what other ways would you like to see the content available on the iTunes Store liberated from the iTunes program? The comments are all yours ...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  February 4, 2010; 11:19 AM ET
Categories:  Shopping , The Web  
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Next: Flash panned


Hi Rob--

Web radio would be great. But I have a question for you--do you know what happened to the "bell" for the iTunes create ringtone function. It has disappeared. Apple Support continues to refer to an older version. It's still possible to create ringtones, but you don't know if a particular artist's song is available for that purpose. It's frustrating. Thanks.

Posted by: cbaer2 | February 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

iTunes is too bloated for its own good. A stripped-down version (iTunes lite?) would be nice to use if I only wanted to access the existing music in my library, without synching my iPod, shopping at the iTunes store, etc.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | February 4, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Second the call for "iTunes Lite". Or maybe a way to say "Just show me the music, please" in the storefront?

Posted by: wiredog | February 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Clicking on that ShopSavvy web link opened the web page and _also_ opened the site in iTunes at the same time. What is the point of that? Ugh iTunes is such a slow, bloated piece of junk.

Posted by: scarper86 | February 4, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree that iTunes is terrible software. The irony of Steve Jobs chastising Adobe for Flash while subjecting his customers to iTunes would be funny if it weren't so bad.

Posted by: mentalmonkey348 | February 4, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

This is a good move, as our employer blocks the installation of iTunes software from our computers. Just like we should be able to play videos without Flash, we should should be able to look at iTunes info direct from the web without installing the iTunes software.

Posted by: OttawaForester | February 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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