Nokia's Australian Music Store opens for business

Can it challenge Apple?

Nokia Australia today announced the opening of the Nokia Music Store, aiming to compete with market leader iTunes.

Described by Nokia as "pushing the digital era", the online store, available from today at music.nokia.com.au, will have a large range of local content, in addition to global hits.

"It is now 'access all areas'" for Australian music lovers, said Shaun Colligan, Nokia Australia's general manager. "Not only we do we have millions of tracks available for consumers, but we have something for everyone, whatever their music tastes. Australian consumers can be confident that the Nokia Music Store will have a broad range of genres including popular and non-mainstream genres and independent artists."

The Nokia Music Store will feature a two-way sync. Tracks downloaded on a mobile phone can be then downloaded on a PC and vice versa—using a single account. The tracks are downloaded as WMA files and can be synchronised to and from a PC using Windows Media Player 11.

Despite the convenience of accessing and using the Nokia Music Store on a mobile phone, concerns are still rife regarding the high cost of data downloads in Australia. Devices that can access the Nokia Music Store include the N95 8GB, the N81 8GB and the recently launched N82.

Both mobile phones and PCs can be used to stream full-length tracks and custom playlists can be created. Tracks can also be added to a wish list.

A variety of methods, including credit cards and pre-paid vouchers, can be used to purchase music from the store. Individual tracks cost $1.70 per track; albums are available from $17. The Nokia Music Store will also offer a monthly subscription for PC users to stream an unlimited number of full length tracks for $10 per month.

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