Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Apple's iTunes Store Ditches DRM

People who take joy in hating all things Apple, iTunes and iPod have one less gripe. After reaching a new agreement with the major record labels Apple announced that it will no longer embed copy protection into any of its songs. Not only does that mean that it will become easier to move iTunes libraries between computers but non-iPod devices will now be able to play files purchased from the iTunes store. Starting today 8 million songs will be offered DRM-free, the transition is expected to be finished in approximately 3 to 4 months. Apple has also decided to allow the record companies to have different pricing strategies for different artists. Tracks will sell for $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29 in the United States. Now if only they would allow iTunes and the iPod to play FLAC files, sell lossless files in the iTunes store, and/or high resolution files they’d really be on to something. The major unanswered question is what about all of those previously sold DRM-encumbered files already? Will customers be able to upgrade to the real deal for little or no money?

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