Australians have had their first taste of an online music store. MP3 distributor Creative Labs has partnered with digital music provider Soundbuzz to give consumers access to legal downloads.

Nick Angelucci, Creative Labs marketing manager ANZ, says the technology is similar to the iTunes Music Store, which is yet to be opened in Australia.

“The idea is to encourage people to buy the player that has legal music downloads,” he says.

Angelucci previously told Reseller News that he is 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 each (about 81 pence).

More than

Steve Ford, general manager of the Apple division at reseller Renaissance Ltd., says consumers buy iPods for more than just price points and downloads.

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

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 says iPod users are content with being able to enjoy their home music library and adds that the company has entered a new market with its iPod Shuffle.

“We’re over the moon with sales on iShuffle. Having Creative around creates an awareness of products in the market but Apple continue to lead.”

Victor Ho, Morning Star product manager, says the company has entered discussions to offer a similar online store here.