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Media (Apple) Media The Internet

ITunes Australia Goes Live 233

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the no-cure-in-sight dept.
daria42 writes "ITunes Australia has finally gone live, after more than a year of waiting. Apple is holding a press conference in Sydney this morning to officially launch the service to the media, but the store has already opened. Like the Japanese ITunes store, it looks like Sony-BMG is not participating."
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ITunes Australia Goes Live

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  • Frist P5ot (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:36PM (#13868671)
    You know what the sad thing is? This idiot editor ScuttleMonkey picked from an obviously massive number of iTunes Australia submissions the one that doesn't write iTunes correctly.

    GG SCUTTLEMONKEY! Want a free Ipod?
  • Global store? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bugbeak (711163) on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:39PM (#13868682)
    I'm sure there are numerous world branches of just about every major record label out there. What's stopping Apple from running a global iTunes Music Store?
    • Re:Global store? (Score:4, Informative)

      by akac (571059) on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:42PM (#13868704) Homepage
      Simple - each record company is a single company but they operate separate divisions in each region and each division/branch deals with the copyrights in their own country.
    • Though I haven't tried it, I'm wondering if you can buy a song from the US iTunes web site with an Australian credit card (say a visa one). Does it not work even if you pretend the browser is in the US?

      Though admittedly there is a problem with this in that you wouldn't get any or very much Australian music which is quite popular at the moment and growing in popularity, but still there's plenty of good American music I listen to.
      • Though I haven't tried it, I'm wondering if you can buy a song from the US iTunes web site with an Australian credit card (say a visa one). Does it not work even if you pretend the browser is in the US?

        I'm pretty sure it's based entirely on the billing address for your credit card. I'm not sure about the free songs they have every week though - here in the US, you can download them without a credit card (you have to sign up with a username and password, but a credit card is not required until you actually
      • as alluded to, you ened the right billing address.

        I tried a few months ago just to get my damn podcast included in the itunes directory

        but it's all happy happy joy joy now.
      • Re:Global store? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Simon Garlick (104721)
        I just tried it. The US store pops up a one-button dialog box:

        "Your account is only valid for purchases in the Australian Music Store. Clicking OK will take you to this store. [OK]"
    • Re:Global store? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Phroggy (441) * <slashdot3NO@SPAMphroggy.com> on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:47PM (#13868735) Homepage
      I'm sure there are numerous world branches of just about every major record label out there. What's stopping Apple from running a global iTunes Music Store?

      The record companies. The songs are licensed for sale in one country only. Apple would love to be able to offer their entire catalog to anybody anywhere, but the record companies won't allow that. They have to negotiate completely separate licensing agreements for each country.
      • by JWW (79176)
        The record companies. The songs are licensed for sale in one country only. Apple would love to be able to offer their entire catalog to anybody anywhere, but the record companies won't allow that. They have to negotiate completely separate licensing agreements for each country.

        What, are the record companies stupid or something? ... oh, wait, nevermind.

      • And this is *bloody annoying*. I have two iTunes accounts, one for America and one for Japan (where I live). Not only do I need two iTunes accounts, each of them has to be tied to a credit card in the respective country (which caused me no end of trouble with my bank trying to keep an American address registered on my bank account for online non-physical purchases), and both of them had to point to seperate email accounts as well. I understand the reasoning, in an abstract way, but I'd gladly put up with
      • Re:Global store? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SJ (13711) on Monday October 24, 2005 @11:30PM (#13869257)
        Which is where in Indies should really be pushing...

        "Here Apple, have our entire catalogue for world wide distribution."

        That has to make everyone happy.
      • Re:Global store? (Score:3, Informative)

        by shark72 (702619)

        "The record companies."

        Partially correct. In most cases rights must also be secured from whomever owns the publishing rights -- that is, the copyright on the words and the lyrics. Words and music are owned by the songwriter and composer, unless they transfer the rights to somebody else. Record companies typically only own the copyright on that recording of the words and music. Sometimes the local country's artists' rights management societies get involved as well.

        This is important to understand fo

        • Re:Global store? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by jaseparlo (819802)
          As far as most 'pop' music goes, the songwriters and composers are in the employ of, or at least part of the machine with, the record companies, and still little or nothing to do with the perceived 'artist'.
    • It wouldn't be able to "adjust" prices based on the user's country, then - or at least not as easily.
    • What's stopping Apple from running a global iTunes Music Store?

      In a nutshell: outdated business practices on the part of the record companies. Believe me, Apple would far rather have a single store, and just do language localization.

      -jcr
      • Re:Global store? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2005 @11:03PM (#13869123)
        If you're going to say something as stupid as "outdated business practices," you might as well go the full distance and put the blame where it really belongs: national sovereignty.

        See, different countries have different laws regarding taxation, contracts, royalties and licenses. If you buy a copy of the latest Limozeen album in Taiwan, the retailer has to handle the local taxes differently and the record company has to pay royalties differently than if you bought it in Topeka.

        Why? Because the people of Taiwan have decided that they want different laws than those the people of Kansas have.

        So really, the problem is sovereignty. If we could just conquer the world and force everybody to use the same laws, Apple would be able to have one big iTunes store.

        (Fucking idiot.)
        • If we could just conquer the world and force everybody to use the same laws, Apple would be able to have one big iTunes store.

          Sounds good to me. When can you start?

          P.S. We need an Amazon down here too.
    • by pookemon (909195) on Monday October 24, 2005 @11:14PM (#13869171) Homepage
      Because we are "downunder" you have to invert the soundwaves so that they'll play correctly on our equipment.
  • Super (Score:3, Funny)

    by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:39PM (#13868687) Homepage Journal
    That's great, but I just hope it doesn't scratch easily.
  • I tried it (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:40PM (#13868688)
    I tried it, but the songs were upside down.
  • Mysterious future. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xenex (97062) * <xenex@opinOPENBSDionstick.com minus bsd> on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:43PM (#13868711) Journal
    From: xenex@opinionstick.com
    Subject: [DP] ITunes Australia Goes Live
    Date: 25 October 2005 12:32:57 PM
    To: daddypants@slashdot .org

    The link is dead.

    http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/iTunes_M usic_Store_comes_to_Australia/0,2000061733,3921879 8,00.htm [zdnet.com.au] seems to work though.

    The article comes up here just fine [zdnet.com.au]. Also, another interesting article: Apple: Our biggest competitor is P2P [zdnet.com.au].
  • by mattnuzum (839319) on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:44PM (#13868717) Homepage
    I have a friend in India who says that he would use iTunes store if it were available, but because it isn't he simply uses peer-to-peer.

    As the iTunes store becomes available across the world it will help legitimize the online music industry. I think there are a lot of people in the world who don't have the option to go and buy the music they want to listen to. If they could, they would.

    Of course there are a lot of people who will jump at the opportunity to get something for free if they can, but no one is stopping these now, so it's not really the point. But if you give everyone the opportunity to pay for the music, many will. I think this is a good thing.

    Speaking of online music sales, I'm really looking forward to another price war. Come on guys, we need a legit iTunes competitor to drive down the prices!
  • by The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:44PM (#13868721) Homepage Journal
    Well, the ZDNet story is down (-1 Redundant), but MacRumors.com has one up [macrumors.com].

    Ahead of schedule [macrumors.com], iTunes now provides an Australia link in the iTunes Music Store.

    Songs are being offered for $1.69 and videos for $3.39 (AUS). Rumors for iTunes Australia [macrumors.com] have been long whispered. Cited reasons for the long delay have included resistance from music labels [macrumors.com].

    According to the most recent reports, Sony BMG has not [macrumors.com] signed on to the iTunes Australia launch.

    Official launch is expected on October 25th [macrumors.com] at a media conference in Sydney.

    [Image of Australia Option in iTMS] [macrumors.com]


    Looks like it's not variable pricing [slashdot.org] as I thought it might have been. Thus, I hereby retract my "Crikey!"
  • by 246o1 (914193) on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:46PM (#13868727)
    This lack of participation is a Very Bad Thing for anyone who likes to buy digital music easily online. As a consumer in Japan, I have been much-thwarted in my attempts to buy songs I hear on the radio or wherever. Though iTunes is very convenient, I haven't spent any money on iTunes Japan because it's so crippled. Obviously, I don't think this is good for either Apple or Sony-BMG, and hopefully they work something out eventually.
    • If you want it to happen, buy a share of Sony, then go to their next shareholder's meeting, and demand an explanation.

      -jcr

    • This lack of participation is a Very Bad Thing for anyone who likes to buy digital music easily online.

      Personaly I think this is a good thing. A line has been drawn in the sand. Now artists have a choice. CD's only, or CD's and online sales. When Sony BMG can't sign up new artists becaus they went elsewhere, the market will take care of itself.

      Sony-BMG will do or die.
  • by weighn (578357) <weighn@NospaM.gmail.com> on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:51PM (#13868760) Homepage
    . . . has begun buying all her tracks from iTunes in an effort to stop others from downloading them.

    A spokeswoman from Warner, Maverick's parent company, declined to comment.

  • by mdew (651926) on Monday October 24, 2005 @09:55PM (#13868780) Homepage
    how about Itunes service that includes NZ too?
  • by ross.w (87751) <{rwonderley} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday October 24, 2005 @10:01PM (#13868815) Journal
    Until now, an iPod was an expensive paperweight unless you were prepared to infringe copyright, which meant that it was a copyright infringement tool, which meant that it had the same legal status as a X-Box or PS-2 mod chip.

    Didn't stop them selling them though.

    You have to remember that in Australia there are no fair use rights. You do not have the right to make copies of content for personal use or even backups. People do, and they are unlikely to be prosecuted, but it is illegal.

    Attempts to get this law changed have met with howls of protest from the likes of ARIA, and it probably won't happen until Digital Restrictions Mandating becomes universal so you won't be able to do it anyway.
    • Until now, an iPod was an expensive paperweight unless you were prepared to infringe copyright, which meant that it was a copyright infringement tool, which meant that it had the same legal status as a X-Box or PS-2 mod chip.

      Actually mod chips are legal as they allow legal use of games/DVDs purchased overseas (and to restrict trade like that is in violation of the Trade Practices Act). Recent High Court decision here [austlii.edu.au]. But you're right on the iPod copyright infringement.

      You do not have the right to make
    • The only legal files you can put on your iPod are the ones you buy from ITMS though. Ripping a CD you bought to put on your iPod is still illegal.
    • Please remember that not all content is illegal to copy and distribute. There is plenty of content licensed for free distribution, and if you create your own content, you can always license it however you want. This is true of music too, not just software.
    • Until now, an iPod was an expensive paperweight unless you were prepared to infringe copyright ...

      Or unless you listened to MP3s of bands that published them online? Or if you bought music from AllOfMP3.com? (If that is legal in Australia)
    • There were always other places to get legal files for your iPod, why you could have even made your own with Garage Band.

      Or you could have purchased DRM-free 192K VBR MP3s from emusic.com which keeps getting better by the day. Even with the least volume plan songs are only 25 cents each (33 Aussie cents!)

      Even if you use the Aussie iTMS check emusic first, you might be surprised.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2005 @10:04PM (#13868830)
    Cause we won't be able to download the lastest Australian Idol releases...wait did I say shame?
  • by amichalo (132545) on Monday October 24, 2005 @10:05PM (#13868834)
    So Sony won't allow Apple to sell their tunes library, (about a quarter of the big five's recorded music), in Japan and now Australia/New Zeland. interesting. And ABC (Disney) is the only TV network willing to sell their TV Shows, Pixar only willing to debut a few (very cool) shorts.

    This is very important everyone. the content providers are VERY SCARED. First they were scared the medium wouldn't be popular enough to thwart file sharing, now they are scared it is SO POPULAR it will thwart their very role in distribution!

    I for one welcome the medium - The quality of "Lost" is totally acceptable for the price and download time, actual movies should only be provided in a hgher quality though.
    • "This is very important everyone. the content providers are VERY SCARED. First they were scared the medium wouldn't be popular enough to thwart file sharing, now they are scared it is SO POPULAR it will thwart their very role in distribution!"

      Just to be clear: Apple is a reseller. Their competitors are not the record companies (which sell their product to the resellers) but other resellers like Amazon.com, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, indie record stores and anybody else who sells CDs or downloads. While the r

      • "The reason why the record companies are scared of Apple is that they might become too big. Not because they will usurp the record companies "role,""

        Yes and no. You are right Apple is a reseller of music but there is a subtle difference. Increasingly Apple are building tools for creating digital music and putting them in the hands of musicians for ever decreasing prices. You don't need a studio to create your DDD master anymore. When the day comes that the artists can create content for cheap, and Apple
    • I agree, it appears Sony has decided to opt out of the store from now on.

      But as to the TV/movie providers, give it some time.
  • Suicidal pricing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caitsith01 (606117) on Monday October 24, 2005 @10:07PM (#13868843) Journal
    The pricing is just ridiculous. $1.69 per track for lossy recordings that, in Australia at least, you cannot necessarily legally burn to a CD or otherwise duplicate is simply outrageous.

    The record companies (I don't think this is Apple's fault) need to realise that they are competing with FREE on the Internet, not with each other. They also need to realise that when they have ZERO manufacturing costs they are going to need to reduce their prices accordingly.

    This is a perfect example of what a sheltered and monopoly/oligopoly dominated market Australia is. Other examples are air travel (two airlines), print media (one and a half newspaper conglomerates, most major cities have no media competition) and telecommunications (one major telco). The record company execs have obvious sat down and decided that they think Australia is sheltered enough that they can continue to screw us, iTunes or no iTunes.

    Send them a message: do not use this service. Buy a physical CD instead - it'll work out about the same price if you shop somewhere decent anyway (10-12 tracks = $17-$21 on iTunes, which is crazy). Alternatively, if you have a UK or US bank account, use the services in those countries to encourage Apple to put more pressure on the record companies in Australia.
    • Re:Suicidal pricing (Score:3, Informative)

      by njfuzzy (734116)
      You are deeply, deeply missing the point.

      The only way to legally burn a CD from your digital music in Australia is the iTunes store. Because when you buy a song from iTunes, you get a license from the label via Apple to do certain things with the music. Fair use isn't necessary if you have a license from the owner.
    • Before jumping to conclusions, check out the Australian store Terms of Sale:http://www.apple.com/au/support/itunes/legal / policies.html [apple.com]>iTMS AUS TOS.

      CONTENT USAGE RULES
      Your use of the music downloaded from iTunes Music Store (the "Products") is conditional upon your prior acceptance of the terms of this Agreement.

      You shall be authorized to use the Product only for personal, non-commercial use, and not for redistribution, transfer, assignment or sublicence, to the extent permitted by law. For details of

      • Ok, point taken about the licensing, but nevertheless it is somewhat restrictive and there are parts of the Copyright Act that cannot be waived by license (e.g. anti-circumvention technology provisions). And fair use, of course, is not a feature.

        Irrespective my main issue is with the pricing of what amounts to a small amount of data. Their costs now amount to the cost of recording and the cost of transferring 3-5MB per song, plus some costs for marketing, yet the price is arguably higher than ever.
    • by Thrudheim (910314)
      "Send them a message: do not use this service. Buy a physical CD instead - it'll work out about the same price if you shop somewhere decent anyway (10-12 tracks = $17-$21 on iTunes, which is crazy)."

      No! The record labels would absolutely love for people to buy physical CDs. They want to keep that tired, old model going as long as possible. If you want to send a message, boycott them altogether.
    • "Send them a message: do not use this service. Buy a physical CD instead"

      Actually that is EXACTLY the message they want...

      IF you want to send them a message go and buy DRM-free 192K VBR MP3s from emusic.com for 33 Aussie cents each.
    • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Monday October 24, 2005 @11:58PM (#13869392)
      The price is steep compared to the US, but the message should not be to stay with physical media. We're seeing more and more "copy-controlled" discs these days, and they just don't rip so easily.

      Also, despite parallel imports being around for ten years or so, I still see new release discs at $25-$35, much higher than the iTMS album price of $16.99. I think the music industry would absolutely *love* it if only physical media were sold and the Internet distribution model failed.

      I'm going to give iTMS a good go and buy music from there. I'm no audiophile, and I think the sound quality is very good (except for some music with higher-pitched harmonics, but that's not so common).

      I'll also investigate other options like emusic, which I'd never heard of before this topic came up. I absolutely won't buy anything in WMA format though (not so hot on the iBook), so my options are not huge.
    • Was it suicidal for me to spend the morning buying ten unrelated tracks:
      • I Want to Know What Love Is: Foreigner
      • Nights In White Satin: The Moody Blues
      • Reckless (Don't Be So...): Australian Crawl
      • Original Sin: INXS
      • Nature Boy: Nat King Cole
      • If: Bread
      • Exodus: Ferrante and Teicher
      • Day-O (The Banana Boat Song): Harry Belafonte
      • With a Little Help from My Friends: Joe Cocker
      • Memory: Debbie Byrne

      for $A16.90 the lot? To me that's a lot better value that I could otherwise get without leaving my chair, albeit with maybe a 50%

    • " The pricing is just ridiculous."

      "Send them a message: do not use this service."

      The cool thing about a free market economy is that if the pricing really is ridiculous, then you won't have to implore people not to use it -- they'll stay away on their own.

      If, in a few months, we see headlines like:

      AUSTRALIAN ITUNES COMPLETE FAILURE

      Citizens prefer barbecuing giant shrimp, survey says

      ...then you're correct that the pricing is ridiculous.

  • by Traegorn (856071) on Monday October 24, 2005 @10:15PM (#13868884) Homepage Journal
    New Zealanders who feel left out are apparently lying to Apple and getting songs anyway [computerworld.co.nz]...
  • And here I thought that US$1.00 was more like AU$1.33.
    • And here I thought that US$1.00 was more like AU$1.33.

      Yes, it is, but you've got to add tax (GST = 10%) too which brings it to about $1.45.

      I think $1.50 per song would have been a nicer price point, but I suppose they are hedging in case the Aussie dollar tanks again if/when the economy takes a hit from rising inflation - it's harder to go up once the price is set.

      There's also the overhead of running a high bandwidth store in a backward country (whose "leading" technology company, Telstra can't even

  • I've been waiting a LONG time for this. I want to download some songs from some Oz artists (that I can currently only buy from overseas online) but not all of them are available in the iTunes US and I can't buy them from iTunes Australia. Acts in and around Oz like Little Birdy, Youth Group, Scribe, Clare Bowditch, Eskimo Joe, Gyroscope, Grinspoon, and more aren't available to the US yet. Granted, I think they may still be adding songs, which means they probably just haven't added them to the US store.
  • by linuxbaby (124641) * on Monday October 24, 2005 @11:23PM (#13869219)
    My company is one of the main providers of music to iTunes worldwide.

    Knowing that iTunes Australia was launching, I did an interview with AppleTalk Australia [appletalk.com.au] that tells a little bit more behind-the-scenes stuff, in case you're interested.

    I'm glad this is finally up-and-running. Australia has a great independent music scene (as I spoke more about in previous Slashdot comment [slashdot.org]).

  • No Elvis, no Beatles, no Clash (a lot of people might not care about that last one, but last time I checked there were a lot of fans of the first two).
  • It's Sony's loss. iTunes is a popular proven distrobution method, it seems Sony misses that or this is their way of whining about songs being "only" $0.99. They're already getting 100% of the profits from iTunes, Apple is getting a few cents for the operating costs of hosting and transfering the files. Oh, that's right, they want their 100% profit to be higher, maybe songs for $2.49
    How about why is a 3-4min song 99c while 44min of audio and video only $1.99?
    yes, I know the tv episode was origionally aired w
  • by michaeldot (751590) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:36AM (#13869538)

    The Aussie store currently doesn't have the Just For You feature, but if you go to the home page and switch to the US store using the popup menu at the bottom, it appears.

    (You have to switch back if you want to buy a song later.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't bother with ITMS.au, it's slower than molasses. In fact it's so slow it makes dial up look positively snappy. I think they have employees that read the incoming HTTP requests out, and someone writes it down, walks over to the library catalogue of songs they have... works out the search results, writes it down, hands it back to the data entry employee (there is just one, who is really busy) who then types up the results in HTML and sends it back out the 300 baud modem to me. It is faster to find and do
  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @01:09AM (#13869661) Homepage
    I have been downloading from iTunes to Australia for well over a year, because I have a UK bank account as well as an Australian one. The choice from the UK store is probably better than the Australian offering at the moment anyway. Apple doesn't care where your IP address is from, they only check that your credit card is registered in the territory that the music store is located in. This seems to work around the regional disaster that is the record industry quite neatly. In fact, I'd say it makes a mockery of the whole regional distribution model, and really it's about time that the record industry realised that it needs to wake up and smell the coffee as far as globalisation is concerned. As for any tracks I still can't get legally? Well, there's always Acquisition...

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