Apple's iTunes Music Store has sold 3.3 million songs since the launch of iTunes 4.5 last week, far in excess of previous download rates, the company announced today.

The new iMix feature is also proving popular, with iTunes users already publishing over 20,000 iMixes, and those iMixes have been rated by fellow iTunes users over 50,000 times.

Apple chose to celebrate the first year of the music store by presenting a selection of free downloads through the service, and iTunes users have downloaded more than 500,000 free songs since.

Free tracks have so far been made available from: Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne, Courtney Love, Annie Lennox, Jane’s Addiction, Counting Crows, Renee Fleming and Nelly Furtado.

Apple CEO Steve Joibs said: "Our third generation iTunes Music Store just blows away any other online music service,

"With over 700,000 songs and innovative features like iMix, it’s the easiest and most fun to use online music store in the world.”

In its first year, music fans have purchased over 70 million songs through the service.