iTunes has been downloaded 275,000 times in its first week of release, Apple has announced.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off of iTunes during his keynote speech at Macworld Expo last week. It's one of two major software releases promised by Jobs last year. The application is available for free download, though only for US English system users – an International-English version is promised "shortly".

Jobs said: "iTunes is simply the best way to manage digital music and burn custom CDs. With over 275,000 copies downloaded, it's clear that iTunes is a huge hit with Mac users."

iTunes will import – or "Rip" – tracks from CDs and compress them into MP3 files. It can organize track storage and retrieval, and offers search, browse and playlist features. The application can tune in to Internet radio stations. iTunes creates on-screen visualizations of tracks while they are being played. The application writes customized music CDs on Apple's recently-launched, CD-RW-toting Power Mac G4s.

The app needs Mac OS 9.0.4 or later.