Apple: We are No. 1 in music by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine April 3, 2008, 8:19 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons After a confusing 24 hours in which Apple watchers struggled to reconcile a Feb. 26 press release from the company that proclaimed iTunes the No. 2 music retailer with NPD data that showed iTunes in the No. 1 spot six weeks earlier (see here), Apple AAPL on Thursday issued a new press release declaring itself No. 1 for both January and February. The key sentence: Apple® today announced that the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com) surpassed Wal-Mart to become the number one music retailer in the US, based on the latest data from the NPD Group*. (link) Note the footnote, which reads: *Based on data from market research firm the NPD Group’s MusicWatch survey that captures consumer reported past week unit purchases and counts one CD representing 12 tracks, excluding wireless transactions. The iTunes Store became the largest music retailer in the US based on the amount of music sold during January and February 2008. Guess that clears it up. Coincidentally, three of the four big music labels also made a big music announcement Thursday afternoon: a deal with MySpace to build what a spokesman describe as a one-stop music site that will offer downloads, ad-supported streaming and music sharing services. Downloaded music would reportedly be compatible with all MP3 players, including iPods. See here.