Apple confirms iTunes going DRM-free

By Justin Mann on January 6, 2009, 1:11 PM
In a move that is sure to get a lot of attention, Apple made it clear today at Macworld that iTunes was going to see a change in strategy. Primarily, the service will be due for a DRM overhaul, which will be seen by consumers as more and more content being made available without any DRM on the songs sold. The limited selection of DRM-free music is about to be superseded by over 8 million songs, with an additional 2 million expected to be added before the end of the quarter. This is an exciting move for any iTunes user, and confirms rumors late last year that more content providers were getting ready to offer DRM-free music.

That's not the only change in store for iTunes. The service will also now have multiple pricing brackets, which apparently will be in the hands of the content providers, rather than Apple, to choose. To start there will be a lower cost 69-cent tier and a higher cost $1.29 tier. Somehow I doubt that many vendors will go with the lower price, so many might see this as just a price hike compared to their traditional 99-cent per song costs.

The biggest downside of all, though, is that to “upgrade” music already purchased, you have to pay the 30-cent difference between the original cost and the new $1.29 cost. That probably won't go over well with people who have massive media collections already, but no matter what anyone says it's a step in the right direction. Last but not least, iPhone users will be happy to know that they can now access the iTunes music store over the 3G network, not just Wi-Fi.

User Comments: 6

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tengeta said:
What is this? The twentieth time they have said this?Once theres no DRM, announce that. Stop hyping up something you never end up doing Apple.And making money off DRM removal? Talk about running off customers, a lot of iTunes users need to know theres alternatives to forking cash over for that.
bun-bun said:
I never heard about this till now. All I can say is...OMG!I never thought this would happen.
9Nails said:
I'm pretty worried about this. With the RIAA recently dropping MediaSentry and picking up DtecNet, I can't help but think that they'll remove the restrictions but somehow fingerprint the file to your computer or iTunes account. I think their intentions are ill, and they're just negotiating a slam dunk method to sue customers.Until I know what business DtecNet is doing with the RIAA and how or if that has any involvement with Apple, I'm going to stay away from this.
njmarkham said:
Apple have realised they are losing the race, amazon are getting more exposure (I would recommend Amazon), cheap, easy to use and always has been DRM free. It's kind of funny that apple think the majourity of people would buy into Apple's small little world of you can do anything as long as your using apple technology.
JerryWithaJ said:
This has nothing to do with beneficence. It has to do with only one thing--money! If Apple (or anyone) thought they could make more money with DRM, we'd be stuck with DRM. I can go to Walmart and buy movies on DVDs--audio and video--for under $10. Yet, most music CDs (audio ONLY!) cost more than $10...because people are willing (conditioned to?) pay that.It looks like Nancy Reagan was right all along--JUST SAY NO!
windmill007 said:
Even without DRM it is still low quality music.
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