For long time and new Apple iTunes users, the news is perhaps a long overdue welcome. For years, iTunes back in the U.S. has been touting latest TV shows, movies, music and all sorts of online materials that only users outside of the country could dream of, or obtain through other means.
The official release says the iTunes Store is now available in the following countries: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei and Sri Lanka.
So what's the big attraction? I'd just put it down to one main advantage: convenience. All I have to do is to browse, shortlist what I like, and click the "Buy" button to have all my purchases to be downloaded directly to my computer via the iTunes app. And the songs, movies, and even podcasts will automatically be synchronised to my iPhone, ready to be played back whenever I want to.
Convenience aside, I find the selections somewhat limited. Even some of the albums I selected were not available yet, so I believe Apple is still taking some time to have them available for downloading. As for book titles, forget it. For some unknown reason, none of the books available on the U.S. iTunes stores (via Apple's iBooks feature) are available here, so we can only be happy with free stuff like public-domain books and Apple's own literature such as guides and manuals.
Apart from English songs, I'm also pleasantly surprised that Chinese and Malay songs (including music videos) are also available, so I'll definitely be spending some time going through them during my free time to seek out the songs I've loved during my younger days. My purchases so far? Pink Floyd: checked. Crosby, Stills & Nash: checked. Teresa Teng: checked. And I'll stop there before you correctly guessed how far back my music tastes go. Have fun exploring!
On another note: CIO Asia just won the Feature Article of the Year award at last night's ceremony organised by the Magazines Publishers Association of Singapore. It is a great honour and recognition for the hard work put in by all behind CIO Asia. You can find the award-winning story "Sailing Through the Storm" here.
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