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Apple Updates iTunes to Curb Net Swapping

May 29, 2003|From Associated Press

Apple Computer Inc. has tightened the music-sharing feature in its jukebox software after some Macintosh owners used it to swap songs over the Internet.

The company issued an update to iTunes on Tuesday, curtailing the ability to share play lists over the Internet.

Under the iTunes 4.0 version released last month, Apple allows users to stream songs over a local network. The company touted it as a way family and friends could listen to each other's music between computers at home or in a small group setting, but some users found a way to extend it beyond local networks to the Internet, making it similar to the music-swapping function at the center of piracy debates.

"Rendezvous music sharing, another new feature in iTunes 4, has been used by some in ways that have surprised and disappointed us," Apple said Wednesday. "Some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the Internet to people they do not even know. This was never the intent."

The updated software now limits the so-called Rendezvous feature to work only between computers on a local network, the company said.

Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., also announced Wednesday that more than 3 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since its April 28 launch.

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