Apple ends DRM on iTunes and revises prices


As we reported in the story below back in January, Apple has finally bowed to pressure and removed DRM from all of the songs sold on iTunes.

The three-tier price structure is now live too, while all files are now encoded at 256kbps.

Of course with 320kbps files available from the likes of 7Digital, partnered with Spotify, and online stores such as Amazon selling music for as little as 29p a track, will it be enough?

Our June issue, out May 6th, will have plenty on the battle of the bitrates and digital music in general, as well as showcasing the magazine's redesign...

It's been a while coming, but Apple has finally bowed to the inevitable and announced that it will start selling music on its popular iTunes store without Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Currently most music downloaded from iTunes can only be played on iTunes or an iPod.

But a new deal with Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music means that from today eight million songs on iTunes will be DRM-free, and by the end of the first quarter of 2009 all 10 million songs will no longer have DRM.

Without DRM, music downloaded from the iTunes store will be playable on most portable music devices, not just iPods.

To coincide with the announcement, made at the Macworld conference in San Francisco, Apple has also revised its pricing structure for iTunes.

There will now be three price levels, with iTunes songs available for 59p, 79p and 99p. All albums will remain at £7.99.

And in a related development, Apple announced that iPhone users will now be able to download music from iTunes via 3G as well as a wi-fi connection.