By Keith Clark • January 9, 2009 Yours truly... Earlier this week at Macworld, Apple made a stir by announcing that its iTunes Store will soon be selling content without DRM (digital rights management) restrictions, and further, will be altering its uniform 99-cent price structure. DRM is technology that controls the usage of digital media or devices that, for example, limits viewings or copies of media files. Dropping this restriction can be seen as good news for music consumers, except perhaps those who have already compiled large DRM-protected collections and will be forced to pay 30 cents per track for what Apple calls “iTunes Plus”. Further, eliminating DRM does not mean that iTunes will be providing files in MP3 format. Apple will continue to provide AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) downloads, encoded at 256 kbps, which the company states it prefers for sound fidelity and size reasons. Eight million songs from all of the major labels will soon be available DRM-free, with ten million available by the end of the this business quarter, according to Apple. The iTunes 99-cent uniform price will be split into three points – 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29 – expected to be in effect this coming April. Initial reports indicate that major labels Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI will dictate the specifics of the new price points. And, Apple also announced that all downloads will be available through 3G (essentially wide-area cellular telephone networks), in addition to the current online and WiFi options. About Keith Keith Clark Editor In Chief, ProSoundWeb & Live Sound International Keith has covered professional audio and systems contracting for more than 25 years, authoring hundreds of articles in addition to hands-on work in every facet of publishing. He fostered the content of ProSoundWeb (PSW) from its inception, helping build pro audio’s largest portal website, and has also served for several years as editor in chief of Live Sound International (LSI). Comments Have something to say about this PSW content? Leave a comment! Cancel reply Scroll past the ”Post Comment” button below to view any existing comments. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Tagged with: Apple Audio Pundit Business Digital Downloads iTunes Macworld MP3 Music New Programs Sony Wi-Fi · all topics Subscribe to Live Sound International Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. Stay up-to-date, get the latest pro audio news, products and resources each month with Live Sound. Subscribe Today!