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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

Apple's iTunes music store allows users to buy legal music

As college students began classes during past years, Morpheus, Kazaa, Napster, WinMX and other file-sharing software programs became a part of most students' computers. These programs provided a way for students to download numerous music, television and movie files onto their personal computers free of charge. Initially, it was a way to preview music; however, with the development of high speed connections and better computers, these programs became a common convenience, encouraging users to download songs instead of buying music.

Major record labels representing several genres of music began to protest the actions of these copyright violators. The Recording Industry Association of America has begun to target computer users who download or share copyrighted files.

In light of these actions, computer companies are now developing programs that provide the ability to legally download music files to a computer for a small fee. One such program that has boomed since it was introduced is iTunes Music Store, a creation of the Apple Corporation. This program allows a user to surf for high quality music files online, sample them and then download songs of their choice onto their computer. The cost of each song is $.99. Music lovers can also download entire CDs, allowing them to view the CD lining online and giving them the rights to the song. This way, users can play the music on several personal computers without violating any copyright laws.

Apple's marketing and design team enhanced the digital downloading music experience with the introduction of the iPod, an MP3 player and storage device. This device is lighter than two CD's and less than two inches thick. The iPod is available in 10 GB, 15 GB and 30 GB models. The highest model holds up to 7,500 songs, which would allow a user to play one new song a day for the next 20 years. In addition to providing organized play lists, the iPod can be synchronized with either an Apple or IBM personal computer and serve as a calendar, alarm clock and mini hard-drive to transport files to and from other computers.

Prices for iPods began $299. Additionally, Apple offers student discounts of $30 off any iPod and up to $200 dollars off an iPod purchased with an Apple computer.

Contact Tosha Smith at