Time Magazine has declared Apple's iTunes Music Store to be the Invention of the Year.

"Apple CEO Steve Jobs' Music Store showed foot-dragging record labels and runaway music pirates that there was a third way," it declares.

A report on the magazine's Web site declares the product opens new markets for the company, and praises the product for its simplicity and ease of use.

"In a year when record labels hit a sour note by suing students, grandparents and 12-year-old file sharers, Jobs had effectively brokered a peace agreement: he had shown the music industry how to win friends and make money on the very Internet that was being used to steal their songs."

Time's award has been given in recognition for the Apple's creation of that detente, which came after failed experiments in online music distribution by the labels themselves.

It's not a money-earner, Time confirms: "Jobs has one more reason not to be concerned about the competition," it writes, quoting Jobs who says: "The dirty little secret of all this is there's no way to make money on these stores."

Jobs confirms the costs: On 99 cents per track, 65 cents goes to the labels, 25 cents goes on distribution costs, leaving under ten cents per track for any remaining costs and profits. The service does help sell iPods, however, Jobs explains.