Finally, iTunes is in Australia

I love it, iTunes Music Store has arrived in Australia!

It’s great that the best and pretty much only decent digital music shop has been made accesible to Aussies, the only problem I can see is that they deliver the songs as 128kbps AAC files – I just bought Africa Babaataa’s “Looking for the Perfect Beat – 1980-1985” and it was ALL 128kbps M4A (AAC). Now these M4As are of a higher quality than standard MP3s, which is good, but only at 128kbps???? I would have thought the service would supply M4As (AACs) in at LEAST a 192kbps bitrate? It means higher quality sound, something along the lines of CD quality.

I can think of FOUR reasons (none of them acceptable) why they wouldn’t have supplied at this higher bit rate:

FILE SIZE: It would be a larger file, therefore less files can be fit on any one iPod

BANDWIDTH: As it is a larger file, it would take longer for people to download, but marginally. Maybe 20%-30% longer.

DECODING: The higher the bit rate, the higher the computing power therefore more drain on the batteries. The less bitrate, the less taxing on the processor and batteries, therefore longer battery life on the iPod.

RECORD COMPANIES: They still prefer people to buy their physical product, therefore would still want people to buy the “real thing”.

Good, but a shame. I’m going to leave some feedback that if we’re going to spend a LOT of money on a digital album ($16.99) the least they could do is supply it in a format which is even in the BALLPARK of CD or vinyl quality? Is this too much to ask?