Saturday 2 July 2011

Buying from the iTunes US Store in South Africa

Written for South African iTunes users wanting to buy their favourite music online.

Having exhausted the wait for music to be sold via iTunes South Africa's store, whilst  bemoaning the absence of great variety in local online equivalents, I decided to follow MP3SA's instructions on setting up my "US" account.

Despite initial reservations at potential technical aggravations, the process was surprisingly hassle-free. Once done, I used MP3SA and MediaWob to purchase iTunes vouchers. Both rely on PayPal to settle voucher payments; so register with it in advance (or check your credit card details are current). MP3SA's delivery was slower: MediaWob emails a voucher number straight away, but MP3SA first authorizes an online account before you get a voucher number (this can take up to 48 hours). Since both sites' voucher denominations may vary in availability, it's useful to check both before purchasing.

Redeeming the vouchers in the iTunes US Store was simple. However, buying, downloading and navigating the store at the same time could be an unreliable (and irritating) experience. Given my laptop's temperamental network card, Telkom's dodgy traffic shaping and other potential networking issues between SA and the US, this was not suprising. However, I will think twice before downloading a double-album for two hours...

That said, the variety on the US store is superb and I look forward to using it for music I can't find on local equivalents;  travisnoakes, rock on :) !


  1. Hi Travis,

    On behalf of mp3sa -- would like to comment that only first time buyers are subject to the initial 'wait'. Returning customers will also be served products instantly.


  2. You can also buy iTunes vouchers at This site links from the iTunes account creation instructions at:

  3. Before following instruction from mp3sa,, et al. to create a fake US address, you should consider creating a REAL one at You could also use this forwarding address for other US services; from to online auctions. Neat!

  4. Jason Bagley also has a very useful guide to setting up an iTunes US account at; Interestingly, he listed three other sites to consider purchasing US gift cards from: Maximus Cards, Evopoints and Wildtwig.

  5. It was almost funny to see Steven Ambrose ( on the E News Channel a while back earnestly telling South Africans that they can't use a Kindle or iTunes in SA "without a US credit card account". Granted, he could hardly encourage local consumers to sign up to the iTunes US store (as that would not be kosher from a legal perspective), but it is actually quite easy to sign up in practice with one's local-is-lekker credit card. It's a pity no one called him out for fibbing. Oh, I just have...

  6. I used recently. Paid with PayPal and got emailed my voucher. Quick and easy :)


This blog is moderated due to problems experienced by a few readers who could not submit unmoderated comments. Please keep your comment length under 300 words; any longer and you will struggle to submit it. Ta, Travis.

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