Whenever somebody sends me a link to an album in the iTunes Store or an app from the App Store, Safari launches and shows me all the information in a webpage with reviews and song previews and everything. But then iTunes automatically launches and shows me the exact same information! How do I stop Safari from auto-launching iTunes?
The behavior you’re seeing is a throwback to the days when there was no such thing as an iTunes Preview webpage. Back then, the only way you could view album or app information was to view them in iTunes, so those links launched iTunes. However, when Apple launched iTunes Preview pages with this same information, they forgot to remove the functionality that forces iTunes to auto-launch.
The NoMoreiTunes extension prevents iTunes from automatically launching when you click on an iTunes URL.
The easiest way to prevent iTunes from auto-launching is to use Software Update to upgrade to Safari 5, which now supports extensions. To enable extensions, go into Safari > Preferences, click the Advanced tab, and check “Show Develop menu in menu bar.” Then, from the Develop menu at the top of the screen, select Enable Extensions.
Finally, download the ingenious NoMoreiTunes extension (free, einserver.de), and you’re all set! You can still launch iTunes from any Preview webpage by clicking the View in iTunes button in the left margin. And if you ever want to uninstall this, or any Safari 5 extension, you’ll find controls in Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
For instructions on how to prevent Firefox and Chrome from auto-launching iTunes, check out The Apple Blog’s informative entry on this topic.