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Apple iTunes sells 250 million songs



SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – With its music downloads selling at a rate of more than a million per day, Apple Computer Inc. said Monday customers have purchased more than 250 million songs from its online iTunes Music Store. The store, now available in 15 countries, is selling 1.25 million songs at 99 cents US apiece per day, the computer and multimedia company said. Apple helped invigorate the market for legal music downloads when it launched the iTunes store in April 2003. Its robust sales far outpace rival services. The success is due in part to Apple’s wildly popular IPod portable music players, which do not play songs purchased from competing online music stores. The Cupertino-based company sold 4.5 million IPods in the fourth quarter and more than 10 million since its debut in October 2001. Shares of Apple rose 65 cents to $71.14 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $21.70 to $74.42.