Microsoft Japan today (Oct. 13) announced that it will launch a local version of the MSN Music service Oct. 20 with a selection of 50,000 tracks provided by 10 leading Japanese labels. That number is

Microsoft Japan today (Oct. 13) announced that it will launch a local version of the MSN Music service Oct. 20 with a selection of 50,000 tracks provided by 10 leading Japanese labels. That number is expected to rise to about 100,000 tracks by the end of the year.

Individual songs will cost between ¥158 and ¥367 ($1.44-$3.34), while albums will sell for ¥1,300-¥2,200 ($11.85-$20.05). Each downloaded song can be transferred up to three times to portable devices supporting either the Windows Media Audio format or the Microsoft Windows Media DRM version 9 format.

Approximately 32 million people log on to the MSN Japan portal each month, according to the company.

Microsoft yesterday confirmed that its MSN Music service would roll out to eight more European markets, and separately announced an exclusive licensing agreement for the AC/DC catalog through MSN in the United States.