Apple Starts Selling Music Videos

Fueling speculation of its next moves, Apple, with the newest version of iTunes released late Monday, began to sell music videos as part of some album downloads. Interestingly enough, these videos are without digital rights management, meaning they can be shared freely.

The music videos can be downloaded following the purchase of an album, either including one video, or several short clips. The videos have a 480x272 resolution at 30-frames per second.

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Officially, downloadable music videos to play on a Mac or PC are available from Dave Matthews Band, Gorillaz, Morcheeba and The Shins. However, research by BetaNews, as well as reports by Apple news Web site The Mac Observer, found some 50 videos across the service.

Several analysts have said that a video-enabled iPod is the next logical step for Apple as it looks for ways to drive its digital music business. Thus far, however, video-enabled devices have not sold well.

Portable Media Centers, which are based on Microsoft technology, from companies such as Creative have been plagued by poor sales and a lack of videos formatted for the device.

It is unknown at this time if the video download option will become a bigger part of the iTunes service, or whether Apple has plans to extend video downloads past music videos and into other genres as well.

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