A total of 1.2 billion pirate music discs were sold in 2004, accounting for 34% of all discs sold worldwide, according to a report unveiled today (June 23) by the International Federation of the Phono

The European version of iTunes Music Store has pushed past the 50 million paid-download milestone in its first year of operation, Apple Computer said today (June 23).

The computer giant simultaneously launched its market-leading online music service last June in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Apple has since rolled the download store out to a total of 17 European markets.

Since Apple pressed the button on its U.S. service in April 2003, it claims to have established a presence in 70% of the global music market. Itunes also operates in Canada. To date, roughly 430 million tracks have been downloaded on iTunes worldwide, according to Apple. The company did not break out sales figures by territory.

Apple has yet to confirm a launch date for imminent iTunes services in Japan and Australia.