- Connecting iTunes through Starbucks is eminently simple: connect to the T-Mobile AP. That's it. It's all done behind the paywall, so you don't have to fork out $10 to get online to use the service. (You can also visit apple.com behind the paywall, but not .Mac services.)
- As soon as you connect to the Starbucks T-Mobile AP with your iPhone / iPod touch / desktop machine running iTunes, you'll see Starbucks music show up in your iTunes Store interface. (Hit the gallery to see how it works.)
- Downloading a track was reasonably fast, but the WiFi kept dropping with both our iPhone and MacBook Pro, leading us to believe there were some issues with the T-Mo hotspot. The download recovered fine through multiple disconnections, but it took us a little over 7 minutes to grab a single 8.5MB iTunes Plus track -- so be careful before grabbing an entire album.
Apple and Starbucks iTunes WiFi integration hands-on
- Apple is also now selling iTunes Digital Releases at Starbucks -- basically iTunes cards for select albums that let you grab the entire album on iTunes as well as a bunch of bundled extras like music videos and a digital booklet. Prices vary: KT Tunstall's Digital Release is $15; Eddie Vedder's is $12 (but with a lot fewer music videos).
- In addition to showing users what song is being played in the store via iTunes, Starbucks has also installed a TV in every location which shows current track information.
- The music piped to each Starbucks is dynamic and is not being broadcast to all other locations; the music (and data) is moved through T-Mobile's data centers to each wired Starbucks location.
- Apple and the 'Bucks is also putting on bay area-only promotion this Thursday and Friday: six radio stations will each give away 32 iPod touchs to encourage people to get off their drowsy asses and into a local iTunes-enabled coffee shop.