iTunes Plus DRM-free music
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
I read last month that Apple were going to release higher quality songs from EMI amongst others in the near future. Do you have any news as to when they will be available for purchase in the iTunes Store and whether this will be in the US only or a global launch?
A: Actually, Apple released the newer higher-quality tracks on the iTunes Store as of yesterday (May 30th). An upgrade to iTunes 7.2 is required to access this new content, now referred to as “iTunes Plus.” This appears to have been rolled out on all of the various International iTunes Stores.
The iTunes Plus content is encoded at 256kbps AAC, and does not include any digital rights management (DRM) copy-protection. Your personal information is embedded within the tracks, however, to identify you as the original purchaser of the content.
When you first access any iTunes Plus content, you will be prompted by iTunes to set your preferences as to whether you want to view “Plus” content instead of the older 128kbps DRM content, where available.
You can also later adjust this setting from within your iTunes Store account preferences by selecting the “Manage iTunes Plus” button now found at the top of your account profile:
With the new iTunes Plus feature, you now also have the ability to upgrade your existing content with new “iTunes Plus” versions:
Unfortunately, this is presently an all-or-nothing deal—there is no way to only upgrade specific or selected content, other than purchasing second copies at the normal price.
If you do choose to do a mass-upgrade of your content, iTunes will nicely replace your existing content with the newly-upgraded “Plus” content, transferring ratings, play counts, and other metadata in the process. iTunes will offer to either discard the original DRM-laden 128kbps version of the track or save it elsewhere in case you want to keep the original copy.
As of this writing, it would appear that Apple is still actually working on getting much of their content upgraded and online in the new “Plus” versions, and the Upgrade feature may therefore not work completely until such time as these issues have been resolved. Several users with larger purchased iTunes libraries have reported problems with the upgrade feature indicating that some content was not yet available for purchase.
You can find more information on this in our front-page article, First iTunes Plus tracks, albums appear in iTunes Store.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases iOS 10.3.2 beta to developers
- Rumor: Apple may add cellular capability to next Apple Watch, create USB-C/Lightning hybrid
- Urbanears launches new lineup of Wi-Fi Connected Speakers
- Apple adds ability for developers respond to apps reviews, tweaks in-app rating prompt rules
- Report: 10.5” iPad Pro could still arrive this spring
- Apple’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps gain Touch ID support, other improvements
- Apple releases tvOS 10.2 and Apple TV Remote for iPad
- Apple releases watchOS 3.2, featuring Theater Mode, SiriKit
- Apple releases iOS 10.3 with Find My AirPods, Siri + CarPlay improvements
- Wells Fargo rolling out ability to use Apple Pay for transactions at some ATMs later this year
- AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon Headphones
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Circle with Disney Parental Control and Internet Filtering System
- Pioneer Rayz Plus Lightning Connector Earphones
- BEEM United BeMe D200 Lightning Connector Earphones
- Jam Audio JAM Xterior Max Rugged Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- HiFiMAN Edition S Headphones
- Divoom Timebox Mini Bluetooth Speaker
- iClever BoostSound BTS-09 Bluetooth Speaker
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10