Apple’s Experiment With DRM-Free Music Begins

noah | May 30, 2007 8:45 am

For those of you who ignore your computers’ “update this software” nagging, a note: The newest version of iTunes–which Apple released earlier today–features support for iTunes Plus, the not-very-well-named edition of the store that will sell music without digital copyright protection. (Perhaps rushing to make the May deadline meant that the “branding” part of launch prep got a little rushed.) There aren’t any unprotected tracks available yet; we’re guessing that a front page trumpeting the change, and spotlighting unprotected tracks, will launch sometime today, if only because the “New Releases” section there hasn’t been updated since Jordin Sparks’ and Blake Lewis’ EPs were added to iTunes’ catalog.

The help area’s section on iTunes Plus does reveal two interesting nuggets–users can make DRM-free downloads the default the first time they make an iTunes Plus purchase, and people who have already purchased songs can “upgrade” to their DRM-free versions, if they’re available, and if the users are willing to shell out a few extra coins.

Apple Delivers iTunes Store Upgrade, Prepares DRM-Free Catalog [Digital Music News]