It's been a long time coming: Apple has begun offering 90-second previews of songs in the iTunes Store. Previously capped at 30 seconds, all songs longer than 2 minutes 30 seconds will now have a 90-second preview available. According to MacRumors not all songs offer the extended previews yet, but eventually, all songs over 2:30 in length should.
Apple played hardball with the music labels last month, stating its intent to extend song previews to 90 seconds and remove from the iTunes Store any labels who didn't agree to support the new licensing terms -- so if some music mysteriously goes missing from the iTunes Store over the coming weeks, we'll know why. Music licensing entities who resisted the extended previews (for whatever reason) must now weigh that reticence against the potential costs associated with not having their wares available on the number one music vendor in the US.
For us consumers, this is nothing but good news; the old 30-second previews often weren't nearly long enough to get a sense of whether or not a song was worth a download, but 90-seconds is just right.
Thanks to everyone who sent this tip to us.