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Apple holds on to U.S. retail music lead

Between January and June of 2008, more people purchased music through Apple's iTunes Store than from any other online or big-box store, according to NPD Group.

The iTunes Store is still the top destination for U.S. music shoppers, according to new data.

Apple is still the No. 1 music retailer in the United States, but's online store is coming on strong.

More U.S. music buyers are getting their music fix through iTunes than from any other source, according to data released on Tuesday by NPD Group. Earlier this year, Apple took over the top spot from Wal-Mart Stores, and it maintained that lead during the six months from January to June, NPD said.

Wal-Mart is still in second place, followed by Best Buy. Taking fourth place from Target was Amazon, whose own music store has been growing in popularity since it launched last September, perhaps in part due to its DRM-free stance.