Apple releases iTunes 7.2, with iTunes Plus DRM-free music | iLounge News

As of press time, iTunes Plus songs are not yet available for download in the iTunes Store. However, according to Apple, “[t]he first time you buy an iTunes Plus song, you specify whether to make all future purchases iTunes Plus versions (when available). ... If you already have iTunes Store purchases that are now available as iTunes Plus downloads, you may upgrade your existing purchases.” Both features, and changes thereto, can be accessiTunes 7.2, an upgrade to its free digital media management software.…">

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Apple releases iTunes 7.2, with iTunes Plus DRM-free music

In advance of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ appearance at the D: All Things Digital Conference tomorrow in Carlsbad, California, Apple has released iTunes 7.2, an upgrade to its free digital media management software. Version 7.2 adds one feature—previously-announced support for the downloading of DRM-free songs, now dubbed “iTunes Plus,” which as noted by Apple in iTunes Help “have no usage restrictions and feature higher-quality recording.” Initially spearheaded by the music label EMI, but also backed by independent labels, the songs sell for $1.29 each and use 256Kbps AAC encoding for superior sound quality than standard iTunes Store music downloads.

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As of press time, iTunes Plus songs are not yet available for download in the iTunes Store. However, according to Apple, “[t]he first time you buy an iTunes Plus song, you specify whether to make all future purchases iTunes Plus versions (when available). ... If you already have iTunes Store purchases that are now available as iTunes Plus downloads, you may upgrade your existing purchases.” Both features, and changes thereto, can be accessed through your account at the iTunes Store.

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Comments

1

Okay, let’s start the pool. How long until Warner, Sony, and Universal fall in line once they see how rich EMI is getting off of this?

Posted by Jeremy Avalon on May 30, 2007 at 3:19 AM (CDT)

2

I’m really glad Apple is doing this. Hopefully within not to long all iTunes will be DRM free. I bet after a while they stop selling DRMed music at all and drop the price the “iTunes Plus” music.

Posted by Graeme Smith on May 30, 2007 at 6:43 AM (CDT)

3

Finally.  I’ve been waiting all month for this!

Posted by illegalattempt on May 30, 2007 at 6:52 AM (CDT)

4

This is another milestone.  There will be more people considering high-end earphones after this.

Posted by JMK54 on May 30, 2007 at 7:52 AM (CDT)

5

I am quite disappointed that no one has highlighted the supposed Vista support. While Apple now state that iTunes is compatible with Vista, there are still the GUI issues which have been ongoing for years now. On the other hand, the move towards DRM-free music is a good one and I hope to see other record companies taking the plunge soon! :)

Posted by Ryan on May 30, 2007 at 8:43 AM (CDT)

6

Also of note is the availability to upgrade previously purchased songs, if available. This is Really good.  I wonder if anyone had a hard drive crash and lost music if they can “upgrade” for the additional cost and get their songs back.

Posted by Lou on May 30, 2007 at 8:50 AM (CDT)

7

Anyone else see this as a way to get off the $.99 standard?  Music companies pushed hard for this when initial contract ran out, but it didn’t materialize.  Once there is acceptance at $1.29 (even if you’re getting the DRM free version for your extra $.30), $.99 will soon be a distant memory.

For those that weren’t violating the DRM, Apple & the record labels have just passed along a 30% price increase AND got the lemings to cheer the increase!!!

Although this may be a dumb question, will you still be able to buy the DRM’d version for $.99?  If so, “never mind” as Emily Litella used to say on SNL.

Posted by jpa2825 on May 30, 2007 at 8:58 AM (CDT)

8

@jpa2825:

Perhaps if you’d read up a little instead of venting your spleen from the outset, you’d know that the DRM’d version IS AVAILABLe for $.99, you’d have saved yourself from getting yourself all worked up.

Posted by ryc378 on May 30, 2007 at 9:16 AM (CDT)

9

to jpa2825,

for 30 cents you get DRM free, but more importantly, higher quality audio files!!!
It has been stated that DRM’ed .99 versions will still be offered. I don’t understand your pessimism.
Still, you’re handcuffed to the iPod through AAC coding.

A-M

Posted by a-maze on May 30, 2007 at 9:21 AM (CDT)

10

@ jpa2825

Of course the record companies see this as a way to get off the $0.99 standard. I thought that was obvious, but that was likely a concession in order to get DRM-free music. I don’t see it as a problem, though, because they WILL retain the $0.99 DRM songs, as they have said since announcing this deal.

Yes, I too cheer the move because it moves us closer to getting rid of DRM altogether. If the price increases slightly for that purpose, so be it. For me, DRM-free music isn’t about illegal sharing, which I do not engage in, it’s about being able to play it on any device I want and work with the track however I want. It’s not just the “lemings” (sic) cheering the move.

Posted by Jason on May 30, 2007 at 9:31 AM (CDT)

11

A-M, there are numerous devices that support AAC playback.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Audio_Coding#Products_that_support_AAC

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on May 30, 2007 at 9:33 AM (CDT)

12

I know this is off topic, but is anyone having problems accessing their shopping cart (for those that use the shopping cart)? And woo hoo for the DRM free music!

Posted by JW05 on May 30, 2007 at 9:34 AM (CDT)

13

JW05:

Yes, I’m having trouble accessing my shopping cart as well.  I guess it’s due to the increased activity.

Posted by illegalattempt on May 30, 2007 at 10:57 AM (CDT)

14

$.99 tracks is a thing of the past (at least on iTunes).  You think the company that reconfigures its products each time it releases an upgrade (so all of the peripherals you bought have to be rebought) is going to maintain the DRM option for long?  Suckers!

Posted by TEllett on May 30, 2007 at 12:04 PM (CDT)

15

@TEllett:

I read your comment and immediately thought, “Huh? What does Microsoft Vista have to do with anything here?”

Posted by ryc378 on May 30, 2007 at 1:45 PM (CDT)

16

Compared to CD quality whats the difference?

Posted by Caleb on May 30, 2007 at 2:02 PM (CDT)

17

I won’t parchuse the DRM-less songs because ipod is the only device i used, in a addition, for I really can’t distinguish the 128 kbps and 256kbps by my ears.

Posted by Kong on May 31, 2007 at 2:57 AM (CDT)

18

a-maze (and others):
Isn’t it possible with the DRM turned off to covert the tracks to mp3? This would un-handcuff you.

Currently the only way to do this with the DRM’d tracks is to burn to CD, then rip back. At least if this now works as it should it’s a one click conversion if needed. It’s still a messy solution and of course the quality gets degraded in the process, I just think it’s a bit better.

My main issue has only ever been with my Squeezebox (media streaming whatnot) as it couldn’t stream the DRM format. I only use this and my iPod so I don’t need mp3’s otherwise (at the moment anyway). If it can stream the non-DRM format I will upgrade as much as possible and remove the need to convert to mp3 anyway…

Posted by pd on May 31, 2007 at 6:56 AM (CDT)

19

This is a step in the right direction, however I want to note two things.

1) With the 30% price increase, it will again be cheaper to buy the CD retail. 

2) 256 kbps is not only twice the sound quality, but TWICE the SIZE.  So for me, with a 1GB nano, I will only get 120 songs instead of 240.

Posted by JAS on May 31, 2007 at 8:53 AM (CDT)

20

To ryc378;
Didn’t you mean “Ryan” (vs. “TEllett”)?

As to your question, iTunes v7.2 adds (suposedly) Vista compatability.

Posted by Charlie on May 31, 2007 at 3:45 PM (CDT)

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