Sales through iTunes are accelerating, with over three billion songs sold through the store, Apple confirmed today. The company now sells approximately one billion songs every six months through iTunes, which has come a long way since its launch on 28 April, 2003.

It took almost a year for Apple to sell its first 50 million tracks. The company confirmed 50 million sales by 15 March, 2004, and hit the 70 million songs sold target on 28 April, 2004, the first birthday of the service.

Month-by-month the company continued to sell iPods, which have now become the defacto music player of choice.

Time marched along until 18 July, 2005, when Apple revealed it had sold 500 million songs - it took two years and two months for the company to achieve that figure.

Then sales began to accelerate.

Just seven months later, on 23 February, 2006 Apple announced that iTunes had sold one billion songs (the billionth song was Speed of Sound by Coldplay, fact fans).

It took the Apple two years and ten months to accomplish its first billion song sales.

Driven by consistenty strong iPod sales, Apple's music sales accelerated. It took just under a year to sell the next billion tracks.

On 10 January, 2007 Apple confirmed the iTunes Store had sold more than two billion songs. Three months later (9 April, 2007) it confirmed that two and a half billion songs had been sold.

Many of us may remember April 2007 as a pleasant month, with none of those traditional UK summertime floods.

In the three months since April, Apple has sold another half billion songs, Apple confirmed today.

The company has now sold three billion tracks.

It is interesting to note that should Apple continue to sell music at this rate, it will have sold over five billion tracks through iTunes by around this time next year.

Apple is now the third largest music retailer in the US, bigger than Amazon and local chain, Target.