Apple has sold over 600 million songs through iTunes, the company confirmed this morning.

Speaking at the launch of iTunes Australia, Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes said: "We have now sold over 600 million songs worldwide and have nearly 80 per cent market share in most of the countries we are in. This is our 21st time and I will say that there is no place that we have ever launched where music downloads have been strong prior to us," he said.

ZDnet reports that Cue also said: "It is certainly our belief that digital music buying is the future of music purchasing. Certainly our customers love it and you can see it in the younger generation. They buy a lot of music now and they buy it all online. That is what they know music as, they certainly do not know music as a record or as a CD, they know it as digital bandwidth," said Cue.

Cue also stressed Apple's strategy to offer a better user experience than that available through peer-to-peer services, stressing that customers are happy to buy music.

Peter Jenner, manager of Billy Bragg, recently compared music to religion, saying: "People are happy to buy music by artists they love. It brings them closer to the artist."