Apple is offering pre-orders for upcoming albums such as Coldplay’s X&Y (planned release is June 7). You cannot preview any of the tracks on the album through the store even though the first single, Speed of Sound, is currently available for purchase.
Apple is trying to get people to order digital music files for future delivery. The iTunes album includes a two exclusive pre-oder tracks, a digital booklet — liner notes? — and a video file. I presume iTunes will download the album the first time the application is launched on or after the full availability of the release. I am tempted to preorder just to see how the software handles the delivery of the music and extras.
Amazon adds value to pre-orders by allowing immediate access to videos and steaming audio for Coldplay’s X&Y album — currently the #1 seller.
iTunes should allow immediate access to the single and video to better compete with the physical media retailers. It’s interesting to see pre-order competition, especially for the transfer of bits.