iTunes Music Store debuts

Apple Computer today launched its long-awaited iTunes Music Store in Australia, finally giving iPod owners a legal way of downloading music online.

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Apple Computer has launched its long-awaited iTunes Music Store in Australia, finally giving iPod owners a legal way of downloading music online.

The announcement, as reported last week by ZDNet Australia, was made at a media briefing this morning in Sydney.

Individual songs are priced at AU$1.69, whereas new release albums are mostly AU$16.99. 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 video-capable iPod.

Australian artists feature heavily on the home page of the store, with Apple claiming exclusive music from Aria award winner Missy Higgins, as well as Evermore, Paul Mac and The Dissociatives. Tracks from classic Aussie artists such as INXS, Hunters & Collectors and Slim Dusty are also available. Madonna's entire catalogue and digital box sets from U2 line up the international artist selection.

Australian users can also purchase gift cards in AU$20, AU$50 and AU$100 denominations through Myer, Coles Supermarkets, BI-LO, Kmart, and other outlets as well as through the Apple Store.

Music purchased from the iTunes Music Store can be listed to on multiple computers and iPod music players. After purchasing a song, up to five computers can be authorised to listen to a purchased track.

Apple's music store is now available in 21 countries.

Other legal online music stores


Creative Music Store | DestraMusic.com | MP3.com.au | MTV Music | Mulemusic | nineMSN Music | Soundbuzz | Telstra BigPond Music


Creative Music Store
Creative Music Store


Details

DestraMusic.com
destramusic.com


Details

MP3.com.au
MP3.com.au


Details

MTV Music
MTV Music (powered by Optus Zoo)


Details
No. of songs 300,000 500,000 70,000 150,000
Average price AU$1.49/song, AU$15/album AU$1.89/song, AU$18.95/album Free AU$2/song, AU$18.50/album
File format WMA WMA MP3 WMA
Requirements Windows 98 and above, Windows Media Player 7.1 and above Windows 2000/XP/ME, Internet Explorer 6 or above, Windows Media Player 9 or above. Any program that can play MP3 music files Windows 98 SE or above, Internet Explorer 4 or above, Windows Media Player 7.1 or above, Optus Mobile account (with compatible Optus Zoo mobile)
Restrictions
  • You can burn the song up to three times onto a CD.
  • You can copy the song to up to three compatible portable music players.
  • Up to two reinstalls in the first year after purchase.
  • You can burn the song up to three times onto CD.
  • You can transfer it an unlimited number of times to three portable music players that can play licensed WMA files.
  • Up to four re-installs per year allowed.
None
  • You can burn the song up to two times onto a CD.
  • You can copy the song to up to two compatible portable music players.
  • Up to two reinstalls in the first year after purchase.
Compatible players Creative portable music players. Any that can play licensed WMA files. Click here for the full list. Any that can play MP3 music files. Any that can play licensed WMA files. Click here for the full list.



Mulemusic
mulemusic


Details

nineMSN HMV
nineMSN HMV


Details

Soundbuzz
SOUNDBUZZ


Details

Telstra BigPond Music

Telstra BigPond Music


Details
No. of songs 200,000 400,000 300,000 500,000
Average price AU$1.69/song, AU$16.60/album (Prices will vary depending on when the song was released.) AU$1.49/song (Listening to a live stream of a song costs 5c) AU$1.49/song, AU$15/album AU$1.49 for BigPond Internet customers. For non-BigPond customers it's AU$1.89. Albums are average AU$18.50 for non members.
File format WMA WMA WMA WMA
Requirements Windows 98 SE and above, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and above or Netscape Navigator 7.0 and above, Windows Media Player 9.0 recommended. Windows 98 or above, Windows Media Player 7.0 or above, Internet Explorer 5.0 or above. Windows 98 and above, Windows Media Player 7.1 and above. Windows 98 or above, Windows Media Player 9.0 or above, either Internet Explorer 4 and above or Netscape 6 and above.
Restrictions
  • You can burn the song up to three times onto a CD.
  • You can copy the song an unlimited number of times to up to two portable music players.
  • Up to two reinstalls in the first year after purchase.
Varies from record label to record label. Check Rights Information link beside each song/album for details.
  • You can burn the song up to three times onto a CD.
  • You can copy the song to up to three compatible portable music players.
  • Up to two reinstalls in the first year after purchase.
  • The computer you download the song licence to is the only one that can play the track.
  • You can burn the song up to three times onto CD.
  • You can copy the song an unlimited number of times to up to two portable music players.
  • Up to two reinstalls in the first year after purchase.
Compatible players Any that can play licensed WMA files. Click here for the full list. Any that can play licensed WMA files. Click here for the full list. Any that can play licensed WMA files. Click here for the full list. Any that can play licensed WMA files. Click here for the full list.

Creative Music Store
Creative's Music Store works in the same way as iTunes', in which it's a program that has been customised to be an on-line store. You can download the MediaSource software from Creative's site, or if you're buying a new player from Creative it should be bundled in. The Media Source software, which is basically a re-tooled Windows Media Player but with the Music Store and Creative Soundblaster compatibility built-in, is only compatible with Creative players.

DestraMusic.com
Destra Music's site, one of the first in Australia to offer paid music downloads, also powers the on-line music stores of several leading Australian retailers, including Leading Edge, JB Hi Fi, Sanity and more. For a full list of retailers, visit Destra's website. Destra is also the company behind the free site MP3.com.au. destramusic.com (another fully owned subsidiary of destra) was the first company in Australia to launch a legal digital music service in December 2003

MP3.com.au
Before you rush off to MP3.com.au thinking that you'll be able to download Britney's best for free, be aware that the site is a forum for mainly unsigned artists to have their music heard. Artists from around Australia (and some internationally) upload their songs as MP3 files on the site, which means that there are no digital rights management issues to get your head around. If you're on the look-out for new music and want to sample some new sounds, MP3.com.au is the site for you.

MTV Music (powered by Optus Zoo)
MTV Music is an unusual beast in that it allows you to purchase songs either through your PC or through your mobile (providing you're an Optus customer), with the bill being charged to your monthly Optus mobile account. The service also allows you to download true tones for your mobile.

Mulemusic
Mulemusic has been up and running since February last year, and has a stronger focus on alternative and indie artists than some of the other music download sites - although you can still find your Delta's and George Michael's there.

nineMSN Music
nineMSN's music download store (which is officially co-branded the nineMSN HMV store) doesn't have a blanket DRM policy, with a spokesperson saying the rights vary from label to label. Users can check what a particular song/album's DRM is by clicking on the Rights Information link which should be present beside each song listed at nineMSN.

Soundbuzz
Soundbuzz was founded in Singapore and has an Asia-wide focus, which means as well as all the usual Western artists you'll find a great selection of Cantonese, Mandarin and Indian music. Soundbuzz is also the tech powering other local music sites such as Telstra BigPond, Creative' Music Store and Optus' MTV Music.

Telstra BigPond Music
It pays to have a BigPond Internet account if you're planning to use BigPond Music, as you get a substantial discount from what Joe Public has to pay.