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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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October 5, 2006 2:56 PM

iTunes and Starbucks: Just a snuggle, or more?

Posted by Brier Dudley

When I first heard that Starbucks was working with Apple on an iTunes deal, I wondered if they would put Apple kiosks in their stores.

But apparently it's just another music distribution deal -- Starbucks-produced music will get promoted and sold on the iTunes store. Starbucks has been in the music business since 1999, and this is another channel for their distribution. Here's the press release and some background.

It seems kind of odd to encourage people to buy Starbucks promoted music online, instead of buying CDs at a coffee shop. I wonder if Starbucks knows how frustrated more established record labels are with Apple, a situation that has opened the door for Microsoft's Urge and Zune music services.

Starbucks kiosks were ahead of their time. By comparison, selling music on iTunes is kind of ho-hum.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.