Apple Computer said it has sold more than 50 million songs through its online iTunes Music Store, a feat that has transformed the retailing of recorded music.
Apple’s latest tally falls short of its one-year anniversary target of 100 million songs by April 28, but company officials said they weren’t discouraged.
A dozen other online music services followed Apple’s 99-cents-per-download debut with similar a la carte song services. Apple maintains a clear lead over its closest rival, Napster, which announced its five million-song milestone in February. Another competitor, Musicmatch, has not disclosed its song sales but analysts estimate it follows closely behind Napster.