The Starbucks Song of the Day, DRM-Free

You probably already saw our news story noting that Starbucks was going to be giving away a bunch of music through the iTunes Store, a promotion that still has three or so weeks left to run. If you haven’t yet snagged any of the Song of the Day cards, here’s the way they work, with a potential DRM-free surprise.

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Every day, Starbucks gives out thousands of cards for a single song from a single artist. The cards feature an artist photograph, name, and song title on the face.


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The rear has the download code and instructions on how to redeem it through the iTunes Store. You’ll see the icon on the front page of the iTunes Store leading you to the code entry page.


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Amazingly, the Herbie Hancock track here was downloaded in iTunes Plus format – a DRM-free 256K download—because I had iTunes Plus enabled. A friend with iTunes Plus disabled downloaded the same track and got the smaller DRMed version instead, so you might want to enable Plus before redeeming a code. Bear in mind that most artists don’t offer their music in DRM-free format, let alone for free, so you won’t always get DRM-less tracks; John Fogarty’s Gunslinger and Mavis Staples’ We Shall Not Be Moved arrived DRMed regardless of whether iTunes Plus was turned on or off.


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The Starbucks/iTunes promotion runs until November 7 and consists of 37 songs. Who knows, maybe you’ll like something you hear?