As rumored, the iTunes Music Store for Windows arrived today. Two significant parts of that announcement: the store is available to Windows users, and iTunes itself is available to Windows users.
I downloaded the software today, which includes QuickTime 6.4, and installed it. After a restart (probably necessary because I already had QuickTime installed), I started iTunes. It asked me whether I wanted to find MP3 and AAC files in my My Music folder, and whether I wanted to see the store right away. I said yes and no, respectively, and let it start finding music. About a minute later, it had populated 1473 MP3s into my library.
Note: It didn’t ask about WMA files. Not a problem unles you were already using Windows Media Player and ripping to WMA format. But support for the format is absent, unsurprisingly.
The music store looks slightly different from the Mac version, but the functionality is the same, including the two new features added today, Gift Certificates and Allowance (smart features for family and friends). One major problem: I couldn’t get purchased music that I had bought on my Mac to download to my Windows account. I’ll have to see if I can figure out how to do that… (Update: Looks like I’ll have to copy the files manually; see these Support Articles about moving music between authorized computers.)
Update 2: Holy crap, music sharing works too! Someone else in my building has downloaded the software, and his shared list just showed up in my library… I’ll have to wait until tonight to see how it works on our home network.