Apple's new era in digital music is expected to arrive Sept. 10. ITunes Radio, first unveiled during the keynote presentation at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June, has been highly expected for more than a year. Although the service may end up overshadowed by the fanfare of new iPhone devices, iTunes Radio is an important step for the world's leading music retailer.

In the short term, iTunes Radio will help Apple's download business. But in the long term, iTunes Radio looks like the beginning of the end for the download.

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