America Online and Apple Computer announced on Thursday that AOL members who visit AOL Music can now click an ITunes button next to featured songs and launch the ITunes Music Store, where they can preview, purchase, and download the tracks to listen to on their computer or IPod.
AOL members can also use their AOL Wallet or their card on file to pay for their music. This news delivers on a promise made last October at Apple's unveiling of its second-generation ITunes Music Store, when AOL and Apple first announced plans for the partnership.
In addition, AOL has taken exclusive in-studio original recordings, such as R.E.M.'s "Man on the Moon," and live performance tracks, including "Perfect Day" from Lou Reed, and made them available to ITunes Music Store customers. The music comes from AOL's Sessions@AOL and Broadband Rocks programs, respectively.
"Prep the IPods, here we come, and thanks for listening," commented R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe.
Other Sessions@AOL tracks available in the ITunes Music Store include "P.I.M.P." (50 Cent), "Landslide" (Fleetwood Mac), "Fallen" (Sarah McLachlan), "Rebel Rebel" (David Bowie), "Why Can't I" (Liz Phair), and "Trouble" (Pink). The Broadband Rocks selections also offer "Break Stuff" (Limp Bizkit) and "Come Clean" (Hilary Duff), among others.
The ITunes Music Store currently offers more than 400,000 songs from the five major music publishers and over 200 independent labels. It also sells gift certificates, and parents can automatically deposit money into their children's ITunes Music Store accounts with an "Allowance" feature.
On Monday, Apple announced that downloads from the ITunes Music Store had topped 25 million songs sold since the service's inception in April. Company CEO Steve Jobs noted at the time that the number extrapolates to 1.5 million songs per week, or 75 million per year.
This story, "AOL Users Hear ITunes" was originally published by MacCentral.