As expected, Apple Computer today (Aug. 4) launched its iTunes Music Store in Japan, the world's second biggest recorded music market. Initially, one million titles are available from 15 labels, incl

As expected, Apple Computer today (Aug. 4) launched its iTunes Music Store in Japan, the world's second biggest recorded music market.

Initially, one million titles are available from 15 labels including Toshiba-EMI, Universal Music and Avex, the company said. Apple added that it is aggressively pursuing deals with other labels.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs told reporters today at the Tokyo International Forum that 90% of the songs would be available at a cost of ¥150 ($1.35), and the remaining titles would be priced at ¥200 ($1.80). This pricing structure undercuts local services, including Sony Corporation's Mora download service, which offers all content at ¥210 ($1.89) per track.

During a presentation at the Tokyo International Forum, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the service had licensed catalog rights from ABKCO Records, which will make available content from the first six Rolling Stones albums.

Anticipation on iTunes' entry in Japan was high after the company recently announced that it would make "a very big announcement" at the media gathering in Tokyo.

Apple recently said its market-leading online music store had sold more than 500 million downloads worldwide since the service debuted in the United States in April 2003. iTunes Japan is Apple's 20th such download service.

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