iTunes–Now Higher Quality and DRM-Free!

Posted by AJ Harbison at 3:44 am

In other musical news, Apple announced on Wednesday that the iTunes store has been upgraded and all new songs will now be offered in higher quality (256-Kbps AAC encoding) and (more importantly) DRM-free. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, which in turn stands for that pesky technology that prevents you from playing songs from the iTunes store on any digital device you want or copy them to another computer, and limits the number of times you can burn the songs onto a CD. Many consumers felt that the DRM technology was too restrictive, but of course many artists supported it because it was able to increase the likelihood that they would be paid for their product–consumer convenience versus artists’ rights.

In order to allow the new DRM-free music, Apple negotiated with record companies to offer songs at three different price points: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29. But the company assures us that most songs will be offered at the lowest price. And your current iTunes library can be updated to “iTunes Plus” (higher quality and DRM-free) for 30 cents a song.

I should point out that just because music is DRM-free does not make it legal to burn CDs for other people from your music library.

To see Apple’s announcement on the iTunes website, click here. A good MSNBC article can be found here; the other good article I found was on InformationWeek and can be found here.

P.S. I should also point out that this blog marks the 101st post on TLB! I would have pointed out that my last one was #100, but I failed to realize it until this one. So raise a glass of champagne, good wine or your drink of choice and toast to another hundred posts on everyone’s favorite listening blog!



  1. Gravatar

    Idhrendur on 01.09.2009

    DRM free makes me happy. The entire idea of DRM is short-sighted, doomed to failure, and likely to just make those who play by the rules suffer. Thus this xkcd: http://www.xkcd.com/488/

    Not that I’m in favor of piracy.

    But then again, if the only change were the files being DRM free, and they wanted to charge the $.30, I would probably pirate unlocked copies of the songs I have. With the improved quality…I’m much *much* more inclined to be pay.

  2. Gravatar

    rumcreeters on 01.11.2009

    Yea! I didn’t like the DRM thing, because I often burn mix tapes (cds) for myself (really, I do…they’re different themes for different moods I might be in) and you never know when that song is just dying to be added to another mix, and suddenly you can’t because you already put it on 5 other ones. Sad, sad day…

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