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iTunes moving to tiered price model, making iTunes Plus the standard


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iTunes moving to tiered price model, making iTunes Plus the standard
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Luca
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2009-01-06, 12:34

Starting in April, iTunes will sell songs for either $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29, depending on the music label.

They're also letting you upgrade all your purchased songs to iTunes Plus, and by the end of the quarter, all of the music on the iTMS will be DRM-free.

Both are excellent moves. The first one should let you pick up older songs for a more reasonable price while keeping the labels happy by letting them charge more for new releases. It also encourages competition among the labels. Let the kids get their latest Britney Spears CDs... they'll have to pay for them, which means I won't have to pay so much if I come across a Creedence song that I don't have yet.

As for DRM-free, Apple jumped on this not a moment too soon. iTunes would eventually fade into obscurity if they didn't switch to DRM-free music.
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thegeriatric
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2009-01-06, 12:37

This is definatley a good move.
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torifile
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2009-01-06, 12:38

Any word on the encoding for the DRM-free tracks? If it's the same as iTunes plus (256 AAC), it would be better quality than amazon's, right?
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Dorian Gray
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2009-01-06, 12:38

Great move, Apple! But I wonder if it's free to upgrade your library to iTunes Plus? Seems a bit unlikely. Also, does this mean all music will be 256 kbps now?

If it's all DRM-free and 256 kbps, buying music on iTunes just got a whole lot more attractive to me.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
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Wrao
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2009-01-06, 12:38

All of these things have been on the store for a while now. Albums have been popping up more and more that are $6.99 and under(although the individual $.69 song is new). Apple has had the option to upgrade your DRM purchased stuff to Plus. And, more and more albums have been uploaded DRM-free. This announcement is basically just their way of saying "finally, shit is sorted with the labels"
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ronmexico
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2009-01-06, 12:43

woohoo 69!
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rampancy
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2009-01-06, 13:00

I noticed this when I decided to check if I had any new iTunes plus upgrades and saw a whack of new albums available, all of them not from the usual sources (EMI, etc.).

Is there an expiration date on when you can upgrade?

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- Mahatma Gandhi
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thegelding
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2009-01-06, 13:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegeriatric View Post
This is definatley a good move.
+1

nice

g
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Moogs
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2009-01-06, 13:27

Getting DRM-free music... priceless...

Updating a library of 200 DRM files... $60. Nice.

For those of you with 1000 or more songs, I pity you but this is a good move for sure.

Bush on Putin: "..I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy... was able to get a sense of his soul."
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turbulentfurball
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2009-01-06, 13:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmexico View Post
woohoo 69!
That's what she said.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
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2009-01-06, 13:40

Wine 'er, dine 'er, 69 'er?
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PB PM
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2009-01-06, 13:45

Good news indeed. I was thinking of buying CDs again just to avoid DRM.
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Swox
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2009-01-06, 13:47

It would be nice if they'd have an option to strip all your existing purchases of DRM... I'm sure that won't happen though.

Nice for future purchases

Do not be oppressed by the forces of ignorance and delusion! But rise up now with resolve and courage! Entranced by ignorance, from beginningless time until now, You have had more than enough time to sleep. So do not slumber any longer, but strive after virtue with body, speech, and mind!
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spotcatbug
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2009-01-06, 14:44

I would like to be able to choose MP3 over AAC as well. I mean, yeah, AAC is better quality for the same bitrate (not that I could possibly tell), but MP3 will work on every single music playing device I have, or will ever have, ever. Amazon still wins my money.

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.
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spotcatbug
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2009-01-06, 14:48

I would like to be able to choose MP3 over AAC as well. I mean, yeah, AAC is better quality for the same bitrate (not that I could possibly tell), but MP3 will work on every single music playing device I have, or will ever have, ever. Amazon still wins my money.

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.
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Wrao
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2009-01-06, 14:50

I wouldn't say that. .mp3 is more established, but that does not mean it is necessarily any more future-proof than .aac

At the rate iTunes is going, .aac will be as ubiquitous as .mp3 within a few years.
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ezkcdude
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2009-01-06, 14:55

Still no lossless format on the horizon, eh?
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Luca
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2009-01-06, 14:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
I wouldn't say that. .mp3 is more established, but that does not mean it is necessarily any more future-proof than .aac

At the rate iTunes is going, .aac will be as ubiquitous as .mp3 within a few years.
No effin' way. Here's a little test. Go to an online electronics shop, any kind (car audio, home audio, portable audio... anything) and do a search for MP3-compatible devices. Then do a search for AAC-compatible devices.

MP3 is a standard feature on virtually anything that can play CDs. AAC is a special feature that a few of the higher-end devices can play. It's more widespread than it was a few years ago, but it'll never, ever be as ubiquitous as MP3. At the very least, having a bunch of AAC files won't be too big of a liability in the future, but if your files are in MP3 format, you are guaranteed to be able to play them on anything for a long, long time.
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Wrao
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2009-01-06, 15:00

It will cost me $287 to upgrade 1132 songs to iTunes plus. I have purchased close to 3000 songs total from iTunes since its inception. So, clearly they have not plus'd everything yet. They are touting this upgrade price as a special offer, 30 cents a song, 60 cents a music video, does this mean they will stop offering the upgrade option? or that they will stop offering it for 30 cents?

I have a sneaking suspicion that, given enough time, original iTunes DRM .m4p will become free, though that could take many years.

Also, I dislike that you cannot choose which stuff to upgrade. I have bought a handful of albums I no longer care for, and would not care to upgrade.
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Luca
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2009-01-06, 15:00

Wait they're charging money? Screw that.
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spotcatbug
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2009-01-06, 15:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Wait they're charging money? Screw that.
Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but, actually, I think they should make it a free upgrade.

"For your patience in dealing with our DRM rules these past years, you may now upgrade all your DRM iTunes tracks to DRM-free, iTunes Plus tracks at no cost. Thanks for sticking-it-out."

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.
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spotcatbug
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2009-01-06, 15:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
I wouldn't say that. .mp3 is more established, but that does not mean it is necessarily any more future-proof than .aac

At the rate iTunes is going, .aac will be as ubiquitous as .mp3 within a few years.
Even if I concede the future-proofing point, AAC isn't even present-proof for me. My car's CD player will play MP3 CD's, not AAC CD's. Guess where I listen to my music most often.

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.
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Wrao
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2009-01-06, 15:13

I've never really felt all that restricted by the DRM. Occasionally I'll want to send someone something and can't, but it's pretty rare, the majority of the time I just enjoy the music that I bought and don't even consider it.

I think Music piracy is incredibly lame and I wish that people did not do it, and though DRM is not perfect, I think that iTunes couldn't have gotten off the ground any other way. Now that DRM is going the wayside, I hope that users remember that music is worth something, and just because they can share it freely now(again) doesn't mean they should do it unfairly.

However, don't the DRM-free files still contain your account information in the id3 tags? so you can't necessarily get away with massively distributing or pirating the music despite being capable of doing so.
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Wrao
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2009-01-06, 15:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by spotcatbug View Post
Even if I concede the future-proofing point, AAC isn't even present-proof for me. My car's CD player will play MP3 CD's, not AAC CD's. Guess where I listen to my music most often.
Get yourself an iPod!
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Gargoyle
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2009-01-06, 15:28

I just upgraded my library. I had another 50 that are now on plus and it cost me £7. I might never listen to the songs on anything other than my Mac's or iPods - but I want to have the choice, and I think it's worth it.

From my relatively small 1200 odd song library, I now only have 89 DRM'd tracks. Although I have only purchased 166 items. Speaking of which, maybe it's time for another CD ripping session.

OK, I have given up keeping this sig up to date. Lets just say I'm the guy that installs every latest version as soon as its available!
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torifile
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2009-01-06, 15:36

Wait. Are videos also DRM free? What's this about upgrading videos?
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Wrao
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2009-01-06, 15:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Wait they're charging money? Screw that.
Yeah, I'm not opposed to them charging money(since you are getting a quality upgrade as well), I think that 30 cents a song is way too much though. Again though, I think that .m4p will eventually become archaic and free, probably in a few years. So, I'm not too concerned long-term. In the meanwhile I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever having a large library of .m4p music. I guarantee you the enjoyment I have received from it outweighs the technical quibbling at least 1000:1, standard units of enjoyment: money.
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Luca
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2009-01-06, 15:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by spotcatbug View Post
Not sure if you're being sarcastic...
I wasn't. I just read the thing from the live feed and had no idea they were charging money. I think it's ridiculous and I'm glad I bothered to strip all the DRM from my iTunes files using the old "burn and re-import" method.

I would pay up to 5 cents per song for this.
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Kickaha
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2009-01-06, 16:03

Including the bump to 256kbps?
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Mugge
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2009-01-06, 16:23

A fine move in my opinion. I only have a few songs, so the upgrade price isn't much of an issue for me.

I was considering ditching iTMS due to DRM, but now I can spare myself that trouble.

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