Apple caught cutting some iTunes song previews down to 30 seconds

By , Jul 11, 2014

iTunes 11 (Albums)

A few years ago, Apple extended song previews in iTunes from 30 seconds to 90 seconds, for tracks longer than two and a half minutes. The move pleased users, as it enabled them to listen to a large chunk of the song before purchasing it.

It appears, however, that Apple has recently changed its policy regarding music samples, reverting some track preview times back to 30 seconds. The change has been reported by several users, on both mobile and desktop versions of iTunes…

MacRumors reports:

According to one MacRumors forum user, some songs that are only available for 30 second previews were available in 90 second lengths just hours ago. User complaints on Twitter also suggest that the shift is recent.

“As early as a few hours ago these were all 90 seconds! If you remember, Apple made a big deal about switching to extended previews, now a lot of songs are reverting back. Seeing more 30-second previews now than 90-second on most albums I’ve checked.”

Again, not all songs have been returned back to 30-second previews, and there doesn’t seem to be a common denominator in the ones that have. Many Coldplay albums, for example, have been reverted, but a number of Eminem’s albums have not.

It’s unknown at this time if this is a permanent move, or just a glitch. It’s also possible that it could be a temporary situation, caused by licensing negotiations. When Apple first debuted 90 second previews in 2010, several record labels disapproved.

Another theory is that this could be a regional thing, so be sure to let us know what you’re seeing in the comments below.

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  • NaSty

    Im still waiting to hear on the higher quality music iTunes was thinking of releasing

    • Kitten Meow

      There not releasing “higher quality” music. They come in either 128KBPS or 256KBPS VBR if it’s itunes plus.

      Unless you live in a 320KBPS/lossless world, 128KBPS is high quality enough. You’re just complaining.

      • NaSty

        ALL iTunes music is 256kbps… I dont think its VBR (it doesnt say in the iTunes library)

        Secondly iTunes 256kbps m4a is better than 320kbps mp3 (in my opinion), i’d go with iTunes m4a over standard mp3s any day

      • Kitten Meow

        I can agree with most of that, but there not ALL 256kbps, but most of it is. And if you look in the file properties of the 256kbps VBR ones, you’ll find there not all 256, they might be higher (if I remember one was about 271kbps, so much for 256!!) ;)

      • Cameron Chao

        you’ll be surprised that the difference between 128kbps and 320kbps is actually very noticeable, even to non serious listeners. I would like at least 320 for my music (maybe some 256). Thats why i dont get them from iTunes.

      • Kitten Meow

        I can’t notice any difference between 128kbps and 320kbps. I only notice the quality going down when it’s below 128. 64kbps = headache.

      • NaSty

        Compare a 256kbps m4a from iTunes (directly purchased) to a 320kbps mp3 (from a legit source) and you’ll (possibly) hear the difference. Plus as they’re 256kbps they take up a little less space. Without going too much into it, I see it like this 320kbps comes from a FLAC (ripped from retail CD), which comes from the mastered studio, whereas iTunes comes straight from the mastering studio.

        Maybe its down to personal preference, but I think iTunes music is better than CD ripped 320kbps music.

  • Okhoo

    Yeah this is true. Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP is still 90secs though

  • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

    If this is the doing of the record industries how do they expect people to make an informed decision when purchasing music or do they want an uninformed decision so that music is bought on the basis that there’s 10-30 seconds of good music in a song with the rest potentially rubbish?

  • Michael Duy

    I hope that apple could make songs cost 0.49$ they would be rich and with no doubt Ill pay for that.

  • svartkuken

    First I wanna know who buys the crappy quality in iTunes. Second I wanna know who still listens to previews. WHO?

    • Dani Hayes

      I listen to previews. I buy a lot electronic music and would like to know what I am buying.

    • Kitten Meow

      Crappy quality? I’ve already explained it. 128kbps music is FINE.Be happy you actually get music and it’s not 64kbps.

  • Kitten Meow

    I’m guessing that’s pirating?

    • Luis Finke

      dude shut up. You’re trying to throw a bucket of water on a forest fire

      • Kitten Meow

        How about you shut up . I just said, i guess that’s pirating. As in, it’s a pirating service. There’s a difference between a GUESS and a DEFINITE ANSWER.

      • Kitten Meow

        And how’s that possible? Is need a million buckets to do that :P

      • Luis Finke

        Did you really just go back to this article weeks later so you could write a better comeback for yourself…?

      • Kitten Meow

        I’m sure I really did, unless my eyes deceive me.

      • Luis Finke

        okay then

      • Kitten Meow

        And also–you need a sense of humour. How about you get one? I’m sure that they don’t cost anything!

      • Luis Finke

        You weren’t making a joke… There wasn’t anything to laugh at…