Apple Announces "iTunes Without DRM"

Apple today announced something rumored for a long time, and something several other music stores have already had: DRM-less music.  Of course, Apple was already selling DRM-less EMI music via its iTunes Plus store but now, according to Apple, everything will be DRM-free (well, as of the end of the quarter, anyway).

Eight million of iTunes' ten million songs are currently available DRM-free, with the remaining to be "cleansed" by the end of Q1 09. Make sure you note the "iTunes Plus" label to make sure the song / album is DRM-free, if you want to be sure about something you want to buy.

Pricing? Well, it is tiered, as the music labels finally get the variable pricing they wanted. There will be $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29 tiers. It's unclear how exactly the tiers are determined, however, and the new tiered pricing does not kick in until April.

Based on what they are saying, it might take until April to get everything figured out; their press release says:
And beginning in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29, with most albums still priced at $9.99.
Aha, negotiations are still in progress.  If Amazon MP3 and Wal-Mart are watching, hopefully they have a response for this move planned, as it eliminates the DRM-free advantage they held.
Via:  Apple
Tags:  Apple, iPhone, iPod, itunes
3vi1 5 years ago

Ding-dong, the witch is dead! Time for me to pull my iTunes account out of hock and show my support. BTW - works fine under Wine on Linux.

Der Meister 5 years ago

Intresting... but I still dislike Itunes

peti1212 5 years ago

What is DRM? I don't get it...

Iria 5 years ago

DRM is digital-rights-management, or copy protection.

shanewu 5 years ago

Digital RESTRICTIONS Management is more like it.

Imagine a big, juicy, smelly turd that doesn't let you do what you like with the media and e-books you purchase...that is what DRM is.

jeremy 5 years ago

Does this mean I can re-download stuff I've already bought from iTunes without DRM?

shanewu 5 years ago

Jeremy - I read in one of the original rumors that you'd get a free DRM-free version of any DRM-crippled songs you have downloaded. Not sure if that's true though.

peti1212 5 years ago

Oh ok, makes sense. The interesting thing is, I didn't even know this was existing. I never though there was some protection. At least my songs weren't protected. ???

tanka12345 5 years ago

Its about time Apple did this.

shanewu 5 years ago

Well, peti, that depends on when and where you bought them. Most online music stores had DRM built in at one time (Wal-Mart, iTunes, Yahoo, etc). The only "major" one that never has is emusic, which is why I use that serice.

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