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The iTunes Store said Tuesday it had sold more than 3-billion songs since launching four years ago. The milestone came just six months after iTunes, Apple Inc.'s online music download service, surpassed the 2-billion tracks-sold mark. In the first quarter of this year, it was ranked the third-biggest overall music retailer in the country, behind No. 1 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co., according to consumer surveys by the NPD Group. The ranking was based on units sold, not revenue from sales, and counted every 12 tracks purchased online as equivalent to an album in compact disc format.

Rapper doesn't fit McDonald's taste

Rapper Twista, who was tapped by McDonald's to perform during its nationwide concert series, has been dropped from the lineup because of his "controversial lyrics," the fast food giant said. The Chicago rapper is better known for his lightning-fast rap delivery than particularly raunchy content: His hits include Slow Jamz, with Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, and Overnight Celebrity. However, he does use explicit language and reference drugs in his some of his rhymes. McDonald's, which initially signed the rapper to perform in Chicago for its 10-city concert series, said it could no longer support Twista for the Aug. 7 performance. "Although we respect free speech and artistic expression, we do not condone or perpetuate derogatory language," said spokesman William Whitman in a statement. "We want to ensure these free concerts are fun as well as appropriate for all of our customers."

It's like YouTube, only more polished

When it debuted Tuesday on the Web, My Damn Channel ( became the latest attempt by Hollywood professionals to cash in on the huge popularity of online video. Comedian Harry Shearer, filmmaker David Wain and music producer Don Was, among others, also hope to find creative freedom seldom offered by traditional media companies. The site is the brainchild of former MTV and CBS Radio executive Rob Barnett, who believes Internet audiences want to see professionally produced shows other than network TV fare. "The old media companies don't know how to program for this medium," Barnett said. "There is a focus on reruns and outtakes, and I don't think that cuts it." Shearer, who provides the voices for several characters on The Simpsons TV show, will produce a weekly political and pop-culture satire show for the site. part of U.S. history

The public will be able to purchase copies of thousands of historic films and videotapes via the Internet under an agreement the National Archives has reached with Inc. and one of its subsidiaries. The nonexclusive arrangement allows Amazon and CustomFlix Labs Inc. to make digitized copies of some footage and make it available in DVD form. The DVDs will sell for $19.99 on The National Archives will receive the digitized "preservation" copy of all the footage CustomFlix processes, Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said.


"A typical market upset, such as last week's, is not at all like 9/11."

William Poole, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president, commenting on the Dow Jones industrials' worst week in five years, which included a combined 500-plus-point drop on Thursday and Friday