That extra charge for restriction-free music? I learned that at iTunes U

As promised, Apple’s iTunes Store has started rolling out music from EMI labels in a high-quality format free of digital rights management restrictions. The initiative launched today under the banner of iTunes Plus, which is apt because the cost of a DRM-free track is the usual iTunes 99 cents plus 30 cents more for the convenience of being able to use your purchase where you please (see “Price of freedom: Eternal vigilance plus a 30% premium“). Engadget has a walk-through, and it looks like Apple has made the process of upgrading your previously purchased tunes pretty painless, if you’re so inclined.

But if you really want bang for your buck, head over to the store’s new education wing, called iTunes U, which grew out of a pilot project with Stanford. In it, Apple announced, you’ll find a scattershot collection of “course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours provided by top U.S. colleges and universities, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University and MIT.” And all that higher ed is yours for free, or as you will learn to say at iTunes U, gratis.


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  • Linda W.

    Looks like Apple has finally put an initial value on DRM’d files compared to standard files. DRM files are worth (at least) 25% less. And Apple’s DRM-hobbled music service? What’s the opposite of “iTunes Plus”? Why, “iTunes Minus”, of course.

  • tbyron

    Saw this last night…it appears as though things are not quite as they seem on the “DRM-free” files (and this is from an Apple worshiper):

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  • I read those two articles you linked to, tbyron – I was surprised to see such an outlandish response from the first guy, to be honest.

    I think that labelling who the track was sold to is a great step in the right direction towards unDRMing music. I mean, realistically, when you buy the track, it is sold specifically to you. You can now play it however you like, but still do not have the right to freely distribute such content. Having the file tagged with your name should indeed help in persuading many people not to share.

    The second article makes a decent claim in asking how said information will be used, especially with “spoofing” capabilities; however, I can’t imagine that a legal argument would hold up in court based on this fact alone if there were no reason for an individual to be in court (i.e. spoofing other names/addresses)

    For the comment on “accidentally setting your purchased music folder to a p2p network” are you kidding?

    All I can say is lol. I think you all know why.