NOTE: This article is no longer relevant. As of April 2009, iTunes Plus is the default format for all music on the iTunes Store and upgrades are no longer available.
There's been a lot of hype surrounding iTunes Plus
, but you may not be quite sure whether it makes sense to upgrade the music you've purchased at the iTunes Store to the new iTunes Plus content.
Though all music bought at the iTunes Store after Jan. 2008 is free of DRM, and thus is iTunes Plus music, many people have hundreds or even thousands of songs they purchased prior to the change. These people need to decide whether to upgrade. To help make that decision, here are the basics of iTunes Plus:
- Files are higher quality, encoded at 256 kbps vs. 128 kbps for normal iTunes Store music.
- There is no DRM on iTunes Plus files, meaning you can play them on as many devices as you want. No more need to authorize computers.
- iTunes Plus music costs the same as traditional iTunes Store music, from $0.69-$1.29 per song.
- Upgrades to iTunes Plus are US$0.30 per song and for albums, 30% of the album price.
So, now that you know the basic details of iTunes Plus, I'd recommend the following:
You Should Upgrade to iTunes Plus If You:
- Are opposed to DRM on principle
- Have more than 5 devices to play music on
- Want higher-quality, better-sounding files
- Have lots of free disk space - the iTunes Plus songs are much bigger
You Should Not Upgrade to iTunes Plus If You:
- Want to share them online
- Use iTunes to remove DRM by burning CDs and re-ripping them as MP3. iTunes 7.2 no longer allows this.
- Don't want to pay extra money for songs you've already bought
- Can't hear the difference between the two kinds of songs due to your ears or speakers
- Have little free hard drive space