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Apple's iTunes Web preview pages get audio clips

Apple has quietly pushed out music previews to its iTunes preview pages, letting users listen to tracks without having the jukebox software installed.

Apple continues to take baby steps in making iTunes a less software-oriented experience. The latest change, which blog The Distorted Loop noticed early Thursday, shows that Apple now lets users listen to 30-second preview clips from its recently-introduced Web preview pages. Here, users who may not have iTunes installed can listen to the first 30 seconds of a song, just as if they were using the media software. Though, in typical Apple fashion, streaming clips requires users to have its QuickTime browser plug-in installed.

It may be a relatively small addition, but it's likely a sign of larger things to come since Apple acquired online music-streaming service Lala back in December. Short of letting users buy the track directly from the Web, this allows users see extended information about the track, including what it sounds like--all without software.

Apple's iTunes Web preview pages continue to be music-only, as there are no preview pages for video content, applications, or podcasts.

Users can now preview iTunes tracks from within their Web browser--all without having to open or have iTunes installed. CNET