Apple's iTunes Music Store has sold over 95 million songs. As they approach 100 million, they're giving away fifty 20GB iPods, "one to the purchaser of each 100,000th song downloaded between 95 million and 100 million songs." Also, "the person who downloads the 100 millionth song will receive a 17-inch PowerBook, a 40GB iPod, a gift certificate for 10,000 iTunes songs to create the ultimate music library for the iPod and the opportunity to create a Celebrity Playlist to be published on the iTunes Music Store." See details on Apple's site, or just go to their main page and watch the counter.
This evening, they're selling about 500 songs a minute; they've sold about 500,000 songs since this afternoon. The main Apple page updates the current count every five minutes; at this point it tends to jump by about 2500 at each five-minute update, except when it crosses a 100,000 mark, when it jumps by about 5000 in five minutes. At the current rate, they should hit 100K marks roughly every 3 to 4 hours. I imagine that may slow down a little during US nighttime, and possibly stay a little slow over the US holiday weekend, but I still suspect they'll hit the 100 million mark sometime around Tuesday or Wednesday.
Of course, even if you time things as carefully as you can, your chances are still pretty slim of actually hitting a 100K mark. I certainly wouldn't recommend going and buying a bunch of songs you don't want. But if there's music you were going to buy from the iMS this weekend anyway, it probably couldn't hurt to take a look at the Apple front page before you buy, and holding off a couple hours if it's nowhere near a 100K mark.
Speaking of the iMS, Apple finally refunded my money on that order I made two weeks ago that didn't go through. They also told me they're still working on the problem (after two weeks!), and that I shouldn't try again to purchase any of the music I was trying to purchase (two albums, about four individual songs) for at least another two weeks. (I find the whole notion of two-week turnaround on customer service for online stores baffling—I could mail-order things twice over during that time. And the fact that the only way to contact customer service for the iMS is via a web-form is infuriating—they have no phone number, and Apple general customer service claims that even they can't communicate with that department except via that mail form, which is just insane.) All the music appears to still be available from the store, so apparently they believe there's something specifically wrong with my account attempting to download that music, rather than something wrong with the music; also, I successfully bought a couple of other individual songs since they gave me the okay (buying one at a time just in case something went wrong), and it seems to be working fine, so my account in general seems to be okay. So I guess it was just bad luck, one particular order gone awry. I would've been a lot happier if they'd been more responsive, but the current situation is a big improvement over how things were a couple days ago.
I suppose they've been busy, what with the recent big developer event, the announcements of various cool new pieces of software, preparation for this promotion, etc. (Sadly, Apple's other big announcement today was the news that they're discontinuing the current version of the iMac, and that the new version won't be announced 'til September; their stock took a significant hit for that. Speculation has it that they'd intended the new version to be ready by now so they stopped making the old version, but then the new version hit unexpected delays. Ouch. But rumor also has it that sales of this generation of iMacs haven't been so good, despite a great start, so the new generation, presumably with a new design, should be good for the company when it arrives.)