Apple today launched the long-awaited iTunes
Music Store in Australia, with songs priced at AU$1.69, videos at
AU$3.39 and most albums at AU$16.99, despite failing to come to a
licensing agreement with music heavyweight Sony BMG.
Apple's iTunes vice-president Eddy Cue said in a statement the
launch meant music fans in Australia would be able "to purchase
their favourites with one click and have them automatically sync
to their iPod". The move --
foreshadowed by ZDNet Australia last week -- finally
means iPod owners can legally download music to their players,
with more than one million songs available through the store.
However, Cue acknowledged to a press conference in Sydney this
morning that the properties of Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Australia -- whose artists include Pete Murray and Franz Ferdinand -- were not available through the iTunes
Music Store. "We have all [major] labels except for Sony," he
said. "We are working with Sony and we know their artists would
like to be a part of the launch and we hope they will join
"I don't want to comment on the negotiations".
iTunes for Mac and Windows includes access to the iTunes Music
Store and is available as a free download immediately from
www.apple.com.au/itunes. The iTunes Music Store went live at 3am today.
Apple said personal use rights allowed users to play songs on
up to five PCs, burn a single song onto CDs an unlimited number
of times, burn the same playlist up to seven times and listen to
their music on an unlimited number of iPods.
Australian artists feature heavily on the home page of the
store, which includes local talent such as Missy Higgins, Ben
Lee, Powderfinger and Kylie Minogue. Over 1,000 music videos and
six short movies from Pixar Animation Studios can also be
purchased at AU$3.39 for viewing on the recently released
Buying songs from the store requires a valid credit card with
a billing address in the country of purchase, with customers also
able to make cash purchases using music cards available from
Apple and retailers such as Coles, BI-LO and Kmart.