The worldwide launch of Apple's iTunes Music store remains a mystery. Apple has previously announced/hinted at the upcoming availability of the iTunes Music Store in Japan and Europe. Apple has also been clearly pursuing licensing agreements in Canada as far back as October 2003. While the most recent expectations have placed a European launch for "the first half of 2004", a recent report seems to indicate that it may not meet this mark. Apple is reportedly working on a European-wide deal to provide a consistent and uniform Music Store. However, regional licensing fees and distribution of those fees remain to an obstacle. As a result, word is that the launch-goal may fall as far back as August 2004... but this remains a moving target. In the meanwhile, other companies may have more luck launching regional versions of their online music stores.