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MWSF 09: iTunes Store songs sans DRM

Last January 6, 2009, Apple held its Macworld San Francisco keynote with Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, taking the stage.

During Apple’s last Macworld keynote, the company introduced new versions of their multimedia suite, iLife, and office suite, iWork. Apple also released the new 17-inch MacBook Pro, which completes the lineup of Apple’s portable into the unibody design. Last but not the least, Apple announced DRM-free songs at the iTunes store.

This post will discuss Apple’s shedding of DRM from songs sold in the iTunes Store, as well as variable pricing and over-the-air downloads.

when the iTunes Music Store launched on April 28, 2003, it had 200,000 songs in its selection and all of the songs were wrapped in digital rights management or DRM. This prevented the songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store to be played in no other digital music player except the iPod and just on authorized personal computers.

Almost 6 years later, the iTunes Music Store has sold 6 billion songs and has more than 10,000,000 songs. It also dropped ‘music’ from its name to become the iTunes Store, as it expanded its slections to TV shows, movies, music videos and iPod and iPhone apps.

Yet another milestone was set last January 6, 2009 as Apple announced that their songs will be sold DRM-free. This means that any song downloaded from the iTunes Store can now be played without restrictions on any number of digital media players that can play the AAC format as well as on any number of PCs.

Songs will also be at a higher bit rate: higher-quality 256 kbps instead of 128 kbps as when the iTunes Store first started out.

Also new is the loss of the fixed $0.99 pricing scheme. The new pricing scheme is $0.69 for back catalog tracks, $0.99 for standard songs, and $1.29 for new or popular releases.

Last but not the least, iPhone owners can now download songs over-the-air using 3G. Before it was restricted to downloading from a Wi-Fi network.

This news is not that relevant to most here in the Philippines. As of moment, the iTunes Store only sells apps for the iPhone and iPods through the apps store. We cannot yet purchase songs, music videos, TV shows or movies.

[source: AppleInsider]
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Filed under: iTunes Store, ,

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