Apple opens iTunes down under

Powderfinger, Eskimo Joe et al ready for download

Apple has finally launched the Australian version of its iTunes Music Store after almost a year of speculation that the debut was imminent, and the appearance of the Aussie flag in the recently released iTunes 6.0.1 jukebox.

By UK standards, the songs are cheap: AUD1.69 per track, equivalent to 72p a song. Videos are priced at AUD3.39 (£1.44), while "most" albums sell for AUD16.99 (£7.22). Prices include Australia's Goods and Sevices Tax (GST).

Apple is offering iTunes Music Cards for cash purchases on the iTunes Music Store. The Cards are available in AUD20, AUD50 and AUD100 denominations and are available through Myer, Megamart, BI-Lo, Coles, Pick'n'Pay Hypermarket, Kmart, Target, Coles Express, Officeworks and Harris Technology. Tracks can also be purchased by credit card, as usual.

Over a million songs are available for download, many from Aussie bands such as Eskimo Joe, Thirsty Merc, Spiderbait, Killing Heidi and Powderfinger. Extensive catalogs are available from Australian greats INXS, Hunters & Collectors, Paul Kelly - this reporter's Aussie missus' fave - and Slim Dusty - her dad's fave. ®

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