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Music Stores open in more countries, too

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Apple has extended the reach of its iTunes Music Store to four more European countries and posted a new version of its iTunes jukebox software, the Mac maker said yesterday.

The new iTunes application, version 4.8, coincides not only with new online music shops for Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, but the addition of video downloads. That said, Apple describes iTunes 4.8 - which are typically bundled with album purchases - as simply being "recommended" for videos, not required.

The software taps into QuickTime 7, released a couple of weeks ago, and allows purchased videos to be viewed full screen, something otherwise possible only to QuickTime Pro owners.

iTunes has had video playback for some time, but this appears to be the first time Apple is bundling (presumably DRM-protected) video content with purchases.

Apple also announced a tie-in with Swiss bank UBS to give away a free song to every Swiss citizen, part of the financial institution's bid to win more business from students by appearing a little more hip and a little less staid.

With the extra four countries, ITMS now reaches 70 per cent of the world's music buyers, with stores in 19 nations, Apple said. It was claimed this week that only major label troubles prevented the company from opening ITMS Australia last month as planned.

iTunes 4.8 is a free download, from apple.com, and is available for Mac OS X and Windows XP/2000. ®

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