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Wednesday, August 03, 2005, 06:25 pm PT (09:25 pm ET)

Apple launches iTunes Music Store in Japan

Apple today launched its iTunes Music Store in Japan, giving music fans the same features, pricing, integration with iPod and personal use rights that have made iTunes the number one online music service in the world.

With one million songs priced at just ¥150 and ¥200 per song, plus Apple’s ease of use and features such as built-in support for Podcasting, the iTunes Music Store in Japan is one of the best ways for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online.

Apple's iTunes Music Store remains the number one online music store with over 500 million songs purchased and downloaded worldwide, and works with iPod, the world’s most popular digital music player with over 21 million sold.

“iTunes and iPod are leading the digital music revolution,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are thrilled to be bringing the iTunes Music Store to Japan, and hope music fans here love it as much as others around the world do.”

The iTunes Music Store in Japan debuts with local favorites including iTunes Originals from globe and Ulfuls, exclusives from Def Tech, Crazy Ken Band, Chara, Little Creatures, Chie Ayado and The Complete B’z digital box set. Other iTunes exclusives released today include music from international artists such as U2, Jack Johnson and Björk, and over 10,000 audiobooks are available, including works by Japanese authors.

The iTunes Music Store in Japan also includes a wide variety of Japanese-language Podcasts, such as InterFM, Sotokoto and Radio Nikkei.

In celebration of the iTunes Music Store launch in Japan, Apple is hosting live music performances throughout August at all four retail locations in Japan, including the new Apple Store Shibuya which opens August 6.

Apple today also announced the worldwide availability of early Abkco catalog titles from classic artists such as Sam Cooke and The Animals, as well as the Rolling Stones.

iTunes is offering music fans worldwide the opportunity to pre-order a special version of the new Rolling Stones album “A Bigger Bang” with an exclusive bonus video.