Apple’s final countdown to one billion

That time has come. No, not the apocalyse, the takeover of humans by superintelligent aliens who look like Norman Tebitt nor a national shortage of ma

That time has come. No, not the apocalyse, the takeover of humans by superintelligent aliens who look like Norman Tebitt nor a national shortage of mango chutney. We’re talking about the one billionth tune to be sucked through broadband and onto an iTunes customer’s hard disk since 28 April 2003.

The lucky blighter who makes the one billionth download from the iTunes Music Store not only gets their track of choice but also the grand prize of a 20in iMac, 10 60GB iPods (as if they need more than one) and a US$10,000 iTunes Music Card to buy more music than they’ll ever have time to hear. Until that landmark, every 100,000th downloader will get a black 4GB iPod Nano and a US$100 iTunes Music Card.

This is a triumphant fists-in-the-air moment for the digital commandos but the cynics among you will surely be disgusted that Apple has yet again demonstrated its complete dominance of the MP3 scene.

The iPod has become almost as synonymous with mobile music as the Walkman and a veritable army of protesters – mostly owners of Creative and Sony players – is now praying for a James Blunt-style backlash against anyone who dares to wear white headphones in public.

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