[Geek]-Apple adds music, podcast, and app categories to iTunes on the web – Computer Chips & Hardware Technology | Geek.com

iTunes Preview (header)

Looks like cloud iTunes, a web-based iTunes software that’s allegedly in the works, is coming along pretty well. In the past three months Apple has enabled browser-based previews for iTunes music, TV shows, movies, and iPhone applications via a dedicated iTunes Preview section of its homepage. Earlier this week, the company has activated the itunes.apple.com sub-domain. In addition, Apple has created rudimentary landing sections for music, podcast, and iPhone applications accessible via itunes.apple.com/genre.

The page is pretty basic at the moment, but it does indicate the company’s plans to move the entire iTunes Store to the web. As a result, folks who don’t have desktop iTunes installed should be able to browse the store contents inside their browser and eventually purchase items without having to go through the iTunes software.

Each of the three new sections presents a collection of category links. For example, clicking the Music section brings all the links to the music genres and sub-genres. Likewise, the App Store section presents clickable links to application categories. Clicking any category link lists the items for that category, sorted alphabetically. A horizontal clickable alphabet across the top helps you locate a needle in the haystack. Unfortunately, category pages lack the search feature but we can safely assume that Apple will add more desktop iTunes features to iTunes Preview on the web at a later stage.

iTunes Preview (app, music, and podcast categories)

Apple debuted web-based iTunes music browsing in November 2009. The iTunes Preview web interface initially lacked free song previews, as seen in desktop iTunes, but Apple fixed that in January 2010 so you can now sample iTunes tracks in your browser, provided you have the QuickTime browser plug-in installed. The purchasing functionality is still nowhere to be found, meaning a free iTunes jukebox app is still needed to buy songs and iPhone applications.

Apple recently enhanced iTunes Preview with the ability to preview iPhone and iPod touch application descriptions in your browser as well. As a result, clicking an App Store link embedded on web pages now brings an associated web description rather than launch the resource hogging iTunes application.

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