iTunes Finally Comes to Oz

Apple Computers, Inc., announced Tuesday that it has extended its network of online digital music stores to an eager Australian audience, by bringing iTunes (search) e-stores Down Under for the first time.

This brings the total number of countries that offer the iTunes online music store and jukebox to 21, according to a recent press release.

"We're thrilled to bring the … iTunes Music Store to Australia," said Eddy Cue (search), Apple's vice president of iTunes, in a statement.

"iTunes features the largest catalog of local and international music in Australia with over one million songs, enabling music fans to purchase their favorites with one click and have them automatically sync to their iPod."

Across the continent, Australians can now access Apple's newest iTunes Music Store through their Mac or PC.

Users can browse the e-retail venue to find songs, music videos and more, which they can then purchase and (legally!) download to their iPod.

Apple iTunes Australia offers over 1 million songs from different record labels and approximately 1,000 music videos, as well as thousands of podcasts and audiobooks.

The e-store features single tracks and extensive musical catalogs from well-known Aussie artists like INXS (search) and Missy Higgins (search), according to the release.

Also available to consumers are international iTunes originals from the likes of Sting (search) and Black Eyed Peas (search), and exclusives from U2 (search) and Stevie Wonder (search).

iTunes users can download video exclusives from Madonna (search) and the Beastie Boys (search) and access the iTunes Podcast Directory (search), which features over 25,000 podcasts, including those from Australia's ABC and SBS Radio.

Music artists from the Sony BMG Music Entertainment record label are currently missing from the extensive iTunes Music Store roster, as the company had not yet reached an agreement with Apple at launch time, according to a representative.

The iTuners of Australia can now utilize Apple i-Features like integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, integration with iPod and personal use rights.

Among those use rights, users can play stored songs on up to five computers, burn single tracks to CDs (as many times as they'd like), burn each playlist up to seven times and transfer songs to an unlimited number of iPods, the company said.

Australian iTunes for Mac and Windows (including the iTunes online music store) is available as a free download from the Apple Web site.

Once installed, users can purchase and download iTunes files to their MP3 player. Single music tracks sell for A$1.69, while music videos are A$3.39 each. Entire albums retail for A$16.99 (including GST), according to the release.

Users can purchase iTunes from the online music store via credit card (billing address must be in country of purchase) or an iTunes Music Card.

The cards, which come in denominations of A$20, A$50 and A$100, are available through the Apple Store, or at any of several retail outlets including Target, Harris Technology and Bi-Lo Supermarket.

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