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Sam Costello

Apple Ditches iTunes DRM, Adds Variable Prices, 3G Downloads

By January 6, 2009

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At the Macworld Expo today, Apple announced a number of changes to the iTunes Store, including:

  • The removal of digital rights management from 8 million songs effective today. An additional 2 million will have DRM removed by the end of the quarter. This will allow users to move songs to other devices and not be tied to the iTunes authorization system any longer.
  • Non-DRM tracks will be provided in AAC format at 256kbps encoding. Upgrades will be done using the standard iTunes Plus process and will cost US$0.30 per song or 30% of the cost of the album.
  • Variable pricing. Songs at the iTunes Store will now cost $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29 each. Prices will be determined by record companies, not Apple. Some reports have back-catalog tracks going to $0.69, $0.99 being the standard, and new or popular songs coming in at $1.29. I don't see confirmation of that yet, though. Also no word on how this will affect album prices, if at all. This pricing goes into effect in April.
  • Over-the-air download of music through the iTunes Store for iPhones using the 3G data network. This feature used to require a WiFi connection. The feature is working immediately.
January 7, 2009 at 4:02 am
(1) Ally duan says:

Really good news. DRM free for all iTunes music.
I often used wondershare streaming Video Recorder to download DRM music,videos here.


Now it is no use for all music.

How about DRM Videos, DRM movies, and DRM TV shows? When we get free DRM of them.

January 7, 2009 at 9:38 am
(2) Sam Costello says:

Looks like video content is left out of the removal of DRM for now. Given Hollywood’s feelings about piracy and DRM, I suspect video content at the iTunes Store will continue to have DRM for a while.

April 16, 2009 at 3:18 am
(3) Mike says:

For all these DRM music purchased long time ago, users can use the Virtual CD burning method to convert the DRM music to plain MP3.

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