The first thing that loads is a plain screen that says iTMS is not available in your country and you won't be able to download, do you want to continue? You can click yes and you can browse the store and preview all the tunes just fine, but you won't be able to buy anything unless you have a CC with a US billing address.
I believe Senne is on to something. Remember the fight Apple had with Macworld and Apple's pressure about constantly putting out new hardware twice a year. Now Apple has been using other venues to release hardware, but use MWSF to release small hardware updates AND good news/software. So, the indications (IMHO) point to a worldly expansion on ITMS. I believe this would be a great windfall for Apple. ITMS helps sell iPods.
As the article says Apple are just in negotiations with record companies at the moment, that's no indication that it is going to happen. A lot of people over here (stirred up by Australian Macworld) are really pissed off that .Mac costs us more than what it does in America without iTMS, photo printing and other special deals.
I thought it was time to bring this thread back from the dead to point out that, despite it being almost 2 years later, us poor SOBs down here in Australia are yet to get an iTunes music store.
Originally it was announced by IT Magazine, and relayed by Geek.com in 2003, but nothing happened. Then it was announced again by AppleInsider, but nothing happened.
This year we learnt that the launch was delayed by some putz of a record label who refused to agree to the terms (read article), and nothign has happened some four months later.
wtf is going on?! I want a friggin music store! The only one we have is Telstra's crappy Big Pond Music, which delivers music in the useless WMA format. I can't wait for Apple to swoop in a show them how it's done!
Of course, reports claim that if/when Apple does launch Oz's store, songs are going to cost $1.70 on average. That's an awful lot for one song.
Probably going to be the same thing as in Denmark... which is why the labels fear them.
The point is that you can't launch iTunes in a country without a critical mass of local music. However, once iTunes is in, they crush the competition by vertical integration (you can get you local favorites, and the enormorous international catalog too). Thus the locals hold out for as long as possible, and even try to strike back with their own offerings.
Here they held out for a long time, and iTunes launced with just a tiny bit of Danish music. The local label conglomerate made big bold talk about launching their own solution, yadayada... Turned out the most popular artists were on independent labels, and really wanted their stuff on iTunes. There you go: Now you can get almost anything you want in Apples store.
This is far form unique to Denmark. Same thing recently happened in Japan, if memory serves me.
And this is what the labels fear! As I wrote in a previous post on the esubject, the labels do not like the idea of Apple as the magic monster store o' music, as it makes them invisible, and hastens the day when they become irelevant.
The problem is that Sony/BMG (who own the rights to pretty much every big Aussie act) don't like the idea of a blanket price (one of the iTMS features) for every song (they'd like to charge more for the popular artists, etc.). iTunes would lose a lot of customers if they couldn't offer the big names (Delta Goodrem etc)
Has anyone used the new Yahoo Music service? it promises unlimited song downloads for just $5 a month...I smell a big fat catch somewhere?
I'm in Australia and can't participate, but it certainly sounds way too good to be true. The advertisement I saw makes direct comparisons with iTunes, claiming cheaper single downloads (about 70cents or something), and other extra services i've forgotten.
I doubt Yahoo will damage itunes' faithful userbase.
I think its on its way. Do a whois on the itunes.com.au domain and you can see it was updated 2 months ago so no doubt they own it, and are planning to release it.
Its just a matter of playing the waiting game.
As for local music, most good aussie music is not with the big recording companies. SOmeone needs to start a itunes recording company that allows up start bands to publish their music on itunes and as it sells they can start to press and sell cds.
It's not just the store, it's Podcast, people want to be able to download songs with out feeling guilty of P2P.
The record companies should listen to what the people want. Just about every second house has a computer and internet access and it seems more practicle to browse music online rather then circling a shop finding what you want or something you might be interested in.
I know of a few unsigned muso's who would love to put their Cd's out to the public rather then sell out of their suitcases at each gig. I know there are web sites who do that but not everyone does and not even look at the sites to listen.
ITMS people see an artist and get curious, so they listen to the samples. If they like, they buy and want more. Those unsigned web sites don't seem to have a payment method to artist.
BigPond Music as someone mentioned in this thread, you need to be a BigPond customer for access and those who don't know BigPond, they are an interenet server here in Australia.
But I for one have been waiting for Aussie ITMS everytime there has been an iTunes update. And when it's released, will definetly be using it