Apple Cuts Some iTunes Song Previews From 90 Seconds to 30 Seconds

Back in 2010, Apple extended iTunes song previews from 30 seconds in length to 90 seconds on songs longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds, to give users a longer listening period before making a purchase.

It appears that some songs have now reverted to 30 second play lengths rather than 90 seconds, with many popular songs offering previews that are only 30 seconds in length on both the mobile and desktop versions of iTunes.

For example, previews of all songs on Sia's new album are only 30 seconds despite all of the songs being longer than the 2 minutes and 30 seconds, a length that used to result in a 90 second preview. Many other popular albums are also demonstrating the same short 30 second previews. Coldplay's entire discography, for example, has only 30 second previews instead of the 90 seconds of preview time that was previously available.

30secondpreviews
According to one MacRumors forum user, some songs that are only available for 30 second previews were available in 90 second lengths just hours ago. User complaints on Twitter also suggest that the shift is recent.

As early as a few hours ago these were all 90 seconds! If you remember, Apple made a big deal about switching to extended previews, now a lot of songs are reverting back. Seeing more 30-second previews now than 90-second on most albums I've checked.

Though most songs at the current point in time seem to be limited to 30 second previews, there are some exceptions. Certain albums continue to offer 90 second previews, as do all of the songs listed on Apple's Top Charts. For example, Leela James' album "Fall for You" continues to offer 30 second previews, suggesting the shift may be limited to certain artists or labels.

Back when Apple first made the switch to 90 second song previews, it experienced some delays due to licensing agreements, and it is unclear if licensing has once again become an issue. It is unknown at this time if the shift to 30 second previews is a simple glitch or a more permanent change.

(Thanks, MichaelSD!)

Update July 11 6:37 AM: Apple has restored 90-second previews for some, but not all, tracks that had been affected.

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Top Rated Comments

IJ Reilly Avatar
129 months ago
Horrors. I don't know about you, but this pretty much ends my life.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
markyr17 Avatar
129 months ago
First world problems
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
129 months ago
First world problems

This is a website devoted to rumors about a premium tech company. We're hardly going to get stories about plague and famine.

Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PowerBook-G5 Avatar
129 months ago
And so we found a way to reduce the energy usage of our iTunes servers by almost a third - A new way to save enegy and preview music, from the ground up.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alphabetize Avatar
129 months ago
I remember when the previews were only 30 seconds, most of the songs I wanted to preview would cut off right before the main part of the song. That's really what I want to hear to make sure I'm getting the correct cover of the song.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
teknikal90 Avatar
129 months ago
These music execs are grasping at straws
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)