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.
Q: I heard that iTunes Store allows you to download songs from the iTunes Store at a higher format? How do you set a higher quality format for downloading tracks from the iTunes Store?
A: The iTunes Store does offer certain tracks from specific artists or labels in a higher format known as “iTunes Plus.”
The iTunes Plus format is encoded at 256kbps AAC and is free from any digital rights management (DRM) restrictions, meaning that you can use these files on any computer or other audio device that supports the AAC format, or you can freely convert them to another format such as MP3 to playback on virtually any software application or hardware device.
iTunes Plus content was originally released this past spring, and sold for a premium price of $1.29 per track as opposed to $0.99 per track for the standard 128kbps DRM-protected version of the same song. Recently, however, iTunes has lowered the pricing on their iTunes Plus content to the standard $0.99 per track pricing.
You can identity iTunes Plus tracks by looking for the small “+” symbol that appears next to them in the iTunes Store track listing:
Further, you can get a listing of all tracks that are available in the iTunes Plus format simply by clicking the “iTunes Plus” link found in the “Quick Links” on the right-hand side of the main iTunes Store page:
Once you access the iTunes Plus page, you will also see an “Upgrade My Library” option in the top-right corner, providing you with the opportunity to upgrade ALL of your existing iTunes tracks to iTunes Plus, possibly for a small fee:
At one time iTunes also provided an iTunes Plus preference setting in your account settings page to allow you to choose whether you would prefer to see the normal iTunes tracks or the iTunes Plus tracks when browsing the iTunes Store. This has been removed with the recent price drop, since there is no longer any advantage to purchasing the older 128kbps DRM-protected tracks at the same price.
It should be noted that despite the lack of DRM restrictions on iTunes Plus tracks, they still contain information embedded within them identifying the name and account from which the track was originally purchased.
- 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?
- Notes from Apple’s Q4 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q4 2016: $46.9B revenue, 45.5M iPhones + 9.2M iPads sold
- Apple reportedly hiring engineers from BlackBerry, developing car operating system in Canada
- Apple releases PowerBeats3 Wireless earphones
- Apple Pay launch in Japan encounters major problems
- Apple releases iOS 10.1, tvOS 10.0.1, watchOS 3.1
- New details about Apple Watch Nike+ exclusives, availability
- Apple’s website hints at possible Apple Pay launch in Germany
- ConnectSense Smart Outlet adds power monitoring, reduces price
- Automatic releases new Automatic Lite version of car monitoring accessory
- Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 Headphones
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Speck Presidio and Tech21 Evo Tactical for iPhone 7
- 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
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps