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Apple offers iTunes goody bag

Mac maker will give away 50 iPods, other prizes as its music service nears the 100 million download mark.

Apple Computer on Thursday announced plans to celebrate its iTunes Music Store by giving away songs and other prizes, as the service nears the 100 million download mark.

Apple will give away fifty 20GB iPods, one to the purchaser of each 100,000th song downloaded between 95 million and 100 million songs. The number of songs downloaded from the online music shop is expected to cross the 95 million mark this week.

The person who downloads the 100 millionth song will get a 17-inch PowerBook notebook, a 40GB iPod and a gift certificate for 10,000 iTunes songs.

The service, which launched about 14 months ago, clocked 70 million song downloads in one year. Though it did not bring in a lot of money for Apple, iTunes marked out a place for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company in the highly competitive music-download industry.

However, the road to success has not been without setbacks. For instance, Apple's music giveaway deal with Pepsi fell flat, dashing its hopes of covering 100 million music downloads within one year of the launch.

Meanwhile, Sony late Wednesday announced it will begin selling this fall two hard-drive music players that, combined with its new music-download service, are aimed at unseating Apple.