Without announcement, Apple has introduced a new subtle feature to the iTunes ecosystem. It’s called “iTunes Preview” and it is a web based preview for iTunes links that users click on websites to open music or applications in iTunes. At this time, iTunes Preview only works for music, but video and applications are likely coming soon.
Before iTunes Preview, when a user would select an iTunes link in a web browser, the browser would open a blank page and then automatically launch iTunes. If you did not have iTunes installed, you were prompted to install it to access the linked content.
With the new iTunes Preview, clicking on an iTunes link on a website opens up a new web based iTunes pane within the browser. The iTunes pane provides information such as title, artist, ratings, and more. This iTunes pane eliminates the need to open the iTunes application but will not be able to play, preview, or purchase the song, as the full iTunes application is still required for that.