iTunes Plus (DRM Free tracks now available)

It seems that Apple Inc. have (finally) launched the DRM free tracks on the iTunes Music Store, which I am pretty sure is a good thing.

Now Apple don’t deserve all the credit here – EMI (and a big applause to them for the decision to go the route of portable music) deserve big kudo’s for being the first music distributor to offer tracks without DRM.

All is not so shiny with these DRMless tracks – they cost approximately 30% more than DRM encumbered tracks and albums however as they are higher quality (256kBit) this is somewhat easier to bare. The value proposition of the ITMS however is somewhat decreased now over CDs – with a CD which is basically the same price (if not cheaper) you get a permanent backup of it (the physical CD) and significantly more flexibility in the format that you can transcode the music into.

The biggest benefit of this – is that the ITMS becomes viable for people who want to use their songs on other devices (mobiles, Zune’s etal) hopefully we’ll see some price adjustment with the tracks on the store and many more labels jumping on the DRMless track bandwagon!

This is finally, and for once good for consumers!


Notes on my experiences – The ITMS is being slammed by people upgrading their tracks at the moment, the 45 or so songs that I had available to upgrade/update showed up, and came to $16.50 or so to have them in the higher quality more usable DRMless format, however when I clicked upgrade an error popped up, and I could no longer go to the upgrade my existing track selection. Was fixable by going to the shopping cart and selecting check for purchases – boom – a menu would you like to move your existing songs to the trash or desktop (i picked desktop – always keep backups of stuff 🙂 ) and 45 tracks immediately started downloading.

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