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Monday, April 25, 2005, 04:35 pm PT (07:35 pm ET)

Sources: Australian iTunes Music Store ready to serve tunes

Apple Computer this Thursday will finally launch a much anticipated localized version of its iTunes music download service in the land of Oz.

Not surprising, the company remains mum on the subject.

But sources close to the Australian music industry tell AppleInsider that this week's rumored announcement will pan out.

In addition to comments from actor and sometime-musician Russell Crowe, who recently told listeners of a local radio show that iTunes Australian would begin selling his tracks for $1.80 on April 28, sources have file several other corroborating reports.

For starters, Apple Computer Australia is now listed as the owner of the www.itunes.com.au domain name.

Additionally, Australian DJ BeXta recently wrote on her website that "iTunes is about to become available in Australia finally," and that it would host her album "Conversations with Ones and Zeros" as one of its first local offerings.

But the most telling information comes from music industry insiders who say that Apple on Thursday (the 28th) will launch a national advertising campaign for the iTunes music store in Australia.

Already the computer maker has booked spots with several radio stations that will begin airing Thursday afternoon.

This Thursday also marks the second anniversary of the iTunes music store, which launched on April 28th 2003.

If a report on Music.ch claims is accurate, Apple this Thursday will also launch iTunes music stores in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

All five of the aforementioned locations were rumored to be the recipients of iTunes music stores in 2004 but saw plans delayed due to complicated regional licensing negotiations.