Creative bites Apple's music pie

MP3 distributor, Creative Labs, has partnered with digital music provider, Soundbuzz, to give consumers access to legal downloads in Australia.

Creative Labs marketing manager A/NZ, Nick Angelucci, said the technology was similar to the iTunes Music Store, which had yet to be open in Australia.

"The idea is to encourage people to buy the player that has legal music downloads," he said.

Angelucci previously said he was gunning for iPod in order to regain the MP3 market.

Creative customers are able to download music in WMA format to Zen and MuVo models with songs costing $1.99 ($US1.54) each.

General manager of the Apple division at reseller Renaissance,Steve Ford, said consumers bought iPods for more than just price points and downloads.

"Whatever Creative gets up to, Apple watches with interest," he said. "Not having an iTunes store in Australasia has had no impact on sales."

Until March, Renaissance distributed Creative but dropped the brand in order to concentrate on the iPod market and the distribution deal went to Morning Star.

Ford said iPod users were content with being able to enjoy their home music library. The company had entered a new market with its iPod Shuffle.

"We're over the moon with sales on iShuffle," Ford said. "Having Creative around creates an awareness of products in the market but Apple continue to lead."

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