Quick Tip: Download iTunes Music Store 30 second previews

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Joined: 02/12/2009

In case you need offline reference to the 30 second preview clips from the iTunes Music Store, it's possible to download them. From what I can tell, the iTMS creates each 30 second clip from the part of the track which goes from 0:30 to 1:00; ie the "second" 30 seconds of the track.

In fact, if the track is less than 30 seconds, you can get the whole track this way.

The basic trick is outlined here:

But, there are a few points to improve on that method, and to get multiple clips at once:

If you have Excel, skip step (4) and do step (5) instead. Then delete every column but the URLs, artist and title.
Step (6) uses the terminal to download the clips. If this is too techie for you, use a web archiving/download app like:

After you drag the new files into your iTunes library, some of them will have the correct info in the ID3 tags, but others may show up as generic, unnamed tracks. Refer back to your first playlist for the details on each track. To make it easier to copy the info into your downloaded files, try this Applescript: