As if giving Leopard a release date wasn't exciting enough, Apple has announced it's cut the price of the DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks to just 79p -- the same price as the copy-protected stuff. Not only that, but many new labels have been added to the previously EMI-only collection, such as The Orchard, Beggars Group and Sub Pop.
The news is not totally unexpected -- Amazon launched its DRM-free music download store in the US last month and offers a variable pricing structure on its entire catalogue, which includes the whole digital catalogue of EMI, and a number of artists from Universal, not to mention a vast plethora of works from independent labels.
DRM-free guru eMusic previously held the title of largest protection-free digital store in the world. iTunes now claims it wears the crown, with over two million tracks in its sans-DRM library, along with its millions of copy-protected tracks, movies, TV shows and podcasts.
The DRM-free war is hotting up and we, the consumers, can only benefit. We've been screaming about our desire to spend more money if stores would just get rid of their crappy, anti-consumer 'protection', and now, finally, stores and labels are not only seeing the light, they're quickly trying to outdo each other to win the number one spot in the market.
It's another red email day for the death of DRM. -Nate Lanxon