Apple wants to up the amount of time Apple iTunes customers get to preview songs from 30 seconds to 90 seconds.

The changes will apply to any song two and half minutes long or longer. On Tuesday, an Apple spokesman confirmed to tech site CNET a report by Symphonic Distribution, a digital music distributor, the story was true.

Apple has written to record companies and other business partners: "We are pleased to let you know that we are preparing to increase the length of music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds on the iTunes Store in the US. We believe that giving potential customers more time to listen to your music will lead to more purchases." Its not clear if the changes will apply to iTunes Stores outside the US.

"All you have to do is continue making your content available on the iTunes Store," adds Apple. "Which will confirm your acceptance to the following terms."

Apple was rumoured to be introducing longer song samples when new iPods and iTunes 10 was unveiled at the annual music themed event on 1 September.

iTunes 10 also introduced Ping, billed as a social network for music. Users have been asked to recommend songs to friends and followers based on less than ideal 30 second clips.

The delay, according to CNET, appears to be because Apple did not negotiate with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) for the proper licenses with music publishers and didn't have the right to offer longer song samples.

Apple iTunes 10