Numerous sites provide iTunes vouchers for users living outside the United States who want access to the huge store of music available only in the USA iTunes store. Here are some of the voucher stores most popular among South Africans, with pricing.
The largest music store in the world, iTunes, is generally inaccessible to customers living outside North America, unless they are happy with the scraps that come from free music, podcasts and free applications.
Apple requires an American credit card and address for purchasing music online at iTunes, but has provided a loophole: iTunes vouchers. Strictly speaking, these are available only to American customers, but a global industry has emerged to take advantage of the fact that you only need the voucher code, rather than the physical voucher, to make the purchase.
We explain the procedure to redeem vouchers in the iTunes USA store in this accompanying article (How to use iTunes in SA). But first, you need to buy the vouchers.
Of course, you pay a premium for the vouchers, as the resellers have to pay face value for them, so there will always be a mark-up on the normal voucher cost..
Media Without Borders, or MediaWob, explains on its site:
“MediaWoB allows anyone with a valid credit card or PayPal account to buy iTunes gift certificates that can be redeemed at the United States iTunes Store.
“While there are iTunes stores available in other countries, none of them have as big a catalog of items available as the US store (currently more than 10 million songs, 100 000 podcasts, and 27 000 audiobooks). In addition, many iTunes features are only available at the US store:
“While the range is obviously incredible, the best thing about the US store is that (at current exchange rates) it actually works out cheaper than many other country-specific iTunes stores (even after our minor mark-up is applied)!
“Unfortunately iTunes only allows you to shop at the US store if you have an American credit card, which is where our services come in.”
And, of course, those of its rivals. The best known iTunes voucher store used by South Africans is iTunes express, while iTunesUSA is the main locally-based service. Their prices vary substantially, with Maximus having the best pricing, but not a PayPal payment option:
Maximus Cards: www.maximuscards.com
ITunes express: http://itunes-express.web.officelive.com/default.aspx