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Apple Says Online Store Sales Top 25 Million Songs

Apple Computer Inc. said on Monday that consumers had bought and downloaded more than 25 million songs from the iconic computer maker’s iTunes online music store.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, also said that more than $1 million worth of iTunes online gift certificates – sold in denominations of $20 to $200 – and allowances have been bought since those features were added in October.

“The fact that we’ve done over $1 million in allowances and gift certificates shows a lot of interest on both Mac and Windows,” said Chris Bell, director of iTunes product marketing, in a telephone interview.

iTunes customers buy songs at 99 cents each and then can download them to Windows computers, Mac computers or to Apple’s popular iPod digital music players. Apple’s music store does not work with other digital music players.

In October, when it added the gift certificates and allowances, Apple also launched the Windows version of its iTunes digital music jukebox and the online music store.

Bell declined to comment on the split between sales of songs on either the Macintosh or Windows platform.

Apple, the leading player in the nascent but already crowded digital music business, now sells an average of 1.5 million songs a week since its launch of the Windows service, up from an average 500,000 songs per week early in September.

“We’re seeing sustained interest in the iTunes music store,” Bell said.

The 25 millionth song bought on Friday afternoon was “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” by Frank Sinatra, Apple said in a statement.

A flood of recent entrants has already turned the fledgling digital music industry into a cutthroat field.

Digital media firm Loudeye Corp. and Microsoft Corp. on Monday became the latest arrivals, saying that they will jointly offer businesses a fast and relatively cheap way to jump into the digital music game.

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