Australian music lovers may soon be able to buy songs through the iTunes Music Store - though the Sony BMG and Warner catalogue may be unavailable.

Forbes reports that Apple faces some reluctance on the part of two of the big four labels to sign up for the service, which commands 80 per cent of the UK's digital downoad market.

The report claims Apple plans to launch its Australian iTunes service on October 3, but only EMI and Universal have agreed to license songs to the service at present. This means tracks from Sony BMG and Warner Music may be unavailable.

These are the same companies that slowed the launch of iTunes Japan, the report explains.

Seemingly, executives are battling for more flexible prices - they want to charge digital consumers more to buy popular songs, in an attempt to make up for what they perceive as lost album sales.

Apple and the major labels are scheduled to renegotiate their existing licensing deals in spring 2006.