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Merry Christmas, now wait…

December 27, 2006

If you’re one of the lucky iPod gift getters or got an iTunes gift card for the holidays, sounds like you’ve got a long wait ahead of you to claim your songs.

The AP is reporting that the iTunes Music Store is getting HAMMERED today by requests for downloads. Some are waiting 20 minutes or more per song download. That’s only four hours per album…

More from the AP report by Jordan Robertson:

Frazzled users began posting urgent help messages Monday and Tuesday on Apple’s technical forum for iTunes, complaining they were either not allowed into the store or were told the system couldn’t process their request to download songs and videos.

It was not immediately clear how many people were affected by the slowdowns, and Apple Computer Inc. would not immediately comment Wednesday on what caused the slowdown and whether it had been fixed.

Analysts said the problems likely were the result of too many people with holiday iPods and iTunes gift cards trying to access the site at once.  

Traffic indeed was heavy over the holiday, with more than four times as many people visiting the iTunes Web site on Christmas than at the same time last year, online market researcher Hitwise said Wednesday.

Some financial analysts said the interruption could be viewed as a sign that sales dramatically exceeded the Cupertino-based company’s own forecasts.

“It’s actually created more positive buzz among analysts — traffic was so great it blew up the site,” said Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. “If anything it could be a positive — demand was better than they were expecting.”

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