iTunes and Sony Connect Launched This Month; Napster UK High Pricing Explained

Although Apple is yet to make an official statement, many sources believe the European version of their iTunes music store will launch in the middle of June. Although Euro iTunes is expected to be more expensive than its American cousin, the price difference is not expected to be as dramatic as the one demonstrated between US and UK Napster.

Sony has just completed deals with European independent labels, adding another 75,000 tracks to its catalogue. The Connect store uses Sony’s SonicStage software to protect the ATRAC-encoded tracks, and does not serve MP3s. On future developments, Sony US lead Howard Stringer hinted that Connect might feature video content too – which, considering Sony’s huge range of capable hardware, is probably a very smart idea.

We’re grateful to Napster UK for getting back to us on our query regarding the remarkable disparity in pricing between its US, CA and UK stores. The reason? Greedy labels. Adam Howorth, Communications director at Napter UK told us: “it’s simply down to the higher wholesale price we get from the record companies in the UK. If they would reduce their prices, so would we.”

Connect Europe


Napster UK

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?