Digesting the News of DRM-free music on iTunes
So it’s about time that iTunes went DRM-free. I have been downloading most of my music from Amazon for the past year because of the flexibility of not being restricted by platform and usage. Finally, iTunes is catching up with Wal-Mart and MySpace too.
As Eliot reports on Epicenter @ WIRED, the word from MacWorld is that iTunes will offer three-tiered pricing for iTunes: 69 cents (or 79 cents) for older songs, 99 cents for average new songs and more for new hits. Seems to make sense: like movie matinees or DVDs in the “Action Alley” bins at Wal-Mart.
There are two sticking points as I see it:
1. The songs will still be in AAC format, which supposedly is better sounding, but forcing me to convert to MP3 if I want to listen to the songs on my BB or non-iPod device. That’s just annoying. Open up the gates Jobs. It’s okay to play nice and hold hands with the other kids, even those not wearing designer clothes.
2. If you want to make your current iTunes songs DRM-free, you have to pay 30 cents per song. In exchange you have no rights management and a higher res file: 256. But still, why should I have to pay for songs that I already have and which would be cheaper now than they were yesterday. You are already asking me to pay for music I might already own on CD just to have it in another format.
So I will probably use iTunes a bit more for new, generic, non-hit or catalogue music that I don’t already own, but I will say a little curse every time Apple makes my life half-easier and twice as hard (copy and paste on the iPhone anyone?). The cult will continue. Jobs will still have a job. But they won’t own me as much as they could if they just went a few steps further.