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Discover New Music

  • Physical Graffiti

    • 10 out of 10
    • Led Zeppelin
    • This album bears every flavor of genius from the five records that came before. It is, I believe, the band's finest. With Physical Graffiti, Zep came raging back to their musical home territory -- har
  • Cocked & Loaded

    • 8 out of 10
    • Revolting Cocks
    • It's hard to believe it's been more than a decade since Ministry founder and front man Al Jourgensen's side project Revolting Cocks released any new material. 2006 brings us Cocked and Loaded

  • Jagged Little Pill (Acoustic)

    • 6 out of 10
    • Alanis Morissette
    • Ten years after the original release, comes the traditional celebratory acoustic re-recording. The album has held up remarkably well. While it is not as meaningful to me as it was when I was sixteen,
  • Go Away White

    • 10 out of 10
    • Bauhaus
    • Go Away White is an album I've been waiting more than 20 years to hear, and the good news is that it was worth the wait.  The latest -- and last, no...for real this time -- album from

  • The Printz

    • 8 out of 10
    • Bumblebeez 81
    • Part white rap, part alternative, part pop, and part rock, the Bumblebeez grabbed a hold of me with "Pony Ride," and didn't let go.

      This group does a marvelous job of moving seamlessly be

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Piper Jaffray Says iTunes is ‘Clear Winner’ in Online Store Traffic

Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Michael Olson on Friday issued a research report that gave both Apple and Napster an "A" rating in terms of Web site traffic. Apple, however, was the "clear winner" because it has "the highest Web traffic rank (64) of the four [companies examined] and has also seen the most increase in Web traffic rank and reach over the past three months. Napster's marketing appears to be having a positive impact on traffic."

The rank Mr. Munster and Mr. Olson refer to was taken from, a Web site that monitors traffic on the Web. While the analysts acknowledged that "not all visitors to use iTunes, we do believe Apple traffic is indicative of interest in Apple's iPod and iTunes." According to them, traffic to was up 11% and reach increased 11% during the past three months, while saw a 7% increase in traffic and a 21% jump in reach., which saw traffic drop 9% and reach increase 2%, earned a "B" from the analysts while picked up a "C" because its Web traffic dropped 4% and reach improved by 4%. "Both rank and reach for have been range bound over the last 6 months. traffic was immaterial as the majority of Rhapsody users enter through," Mr. Munster and Mr. Olson wrote.

Yahoo! Music, which launched just recently, received no grade. Mr. Munster and Mr. Olson said: "Though we do not have historical data to state a trend, 1% of all's users go to Yahoo! Music, which we will monitor going forward."

Earlier this week, Piper Jaffray also issued a pair of reports dealing with Creative's revenue forecast cut and Apple's move to put color screens on all its full-size iPods. Of the former, Mr. Munster recalled his survey of retailers from the previous week, which showed that 58% of salespeople were recommending the iPod while only 16% were pointing customers toward Creative's products. Thus, he wrote this week: "We believe these checks provide another indication that Apple is holding its ground, if not gaining momentum, as the leader in portable audio."

The latter event, which also included a price cut on the 1GB iPod shuffle, consisted of "proactive steps by Apple to continue to gain market share," Mr. Munster wrote. "We believe the addition of color/photo features to the 20GB iPod brings Apple up to speed with some of its competitors that had already incorporated color/photo into MP3players at, or around, this capacity. The lower pricing on the iPod shuffle will allow Apple to continue to dominate the flash-based device market and we do not expect margins will be significantly impacted, due to declining flash memory pricing."

Mr. Munster and Mr. Olson continue to reiterate their "Outperform" rating on Apple's stock, with a US$52 12-month price target. Apple's stock closed Friday at $36.50, down .84% in light pre-holiday trading.

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