Finally, the day South African Apple fans have waited for has arrived. After 9 long years of being available in first world countries, South Africans can now buy legal music from iTunes, using their South African credit cards.
Apple has made it clear that they will also focus on local artists, and the initial featured screens seem to support that. We ran a few talented South African artists through the search engine, and the results seem pretty good. Unfortunately we also found a few less talented ones as well.
Songs are available in rand pricing (a switch which occured about a month ago). We will be trying out the new service today, but we are particularly interested to see if iTunes Match will also be available to us. iTunes Match works like this – you have your music library (which you might have gotten very various sources, they do not all have to be purchased through iTunes), and then Apple goes and scans your library. Once Apple has these tracks it matches it to their massive iTunes catalogue, and then makes that catalogue available to your from any of your other authorized machines with iTunes, and all your authorized iOS devices like iPod, iPhone and iPad. Effectively this makes your entire music catalogue (legal or not) – available everywhere.
One caveat is that the movie and tv show selection is not yet available to us, which is a shame. Hopefully that will happen soon enough. In the meantime, movie fans will still have to use an US iTunes account (see how to get one here).
But perhaps the best part of this news is that retailers like Musica really need to start thinking twice before they charge R160 for a CD…
Find the Apple press release attached:
Apple® today announced the launch of the iTunes Store® in Russia, Turkey, India, South Africa and 52 additional countries featuring an incredible selection of local and international music from all the major labels and thousands of independent labels. The iTunes Store features local artists including Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India, and Zahara in South Africa, international artists including The Beatles, Taylor Swift and Coldplay, and world-renowned classical musicians including Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma and Yuja Wang. Customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store.
Movie fans can choose from a wide selection of films available for rent or purchase from the iTunes Store, with many available in stunning HD, from major studios including 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures, as well as leading local distributors.*
The iTunes Store is available in 119 countries and is the best way for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod®, Mac® and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. All music on the iTunes Store comes in iTunes Plus®, Apple’s DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.
iTunes® in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices. In addition, music not purchased from the iTunes Store can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match℠, a service that stores your entire music library in iCloud® for access at any time, from any iOS device. iTunes Match is available for purchase in the new countries added today.
Customers also have access to the revolutionary App Store℠ with more than 700,000 apps available in 155 countries.