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iTunes DRM-free downloads now available

"Ring the bells, light the candles, etc, etc. It's here. Apple has started selling DRM-free downloads.

Does this come by way of big Thank You to the people who've been paying a rip-off dollar a go for Apple's DRM-polluted digital music files? Nope. It's so the company can adopt the label of Good Guy and pry another 30 cents out of users.

As p2pnet posted yesterday, quoting MacRumors, "From the iTunes Help, it appears you will be able to upgrade your existing songs to the iTunes Plus (DRM Free) version:

"The iTunes Store also offers songs without DRM protection, from participating record labels. These DRM-free songs, called "iTunes Plus," have no usage restrictions and feature higher-quality encoding."

Called iTunes plus, the "higher-quality encoding" in the downloads, all from EMI, is Apple's excuse for hiking the price. DRM-loaded iTunes downloads are 128 kbps. The new offerings are at 256 kbps. The company claims this is sufficient justification for the almost 30% boost in fees."

It may be more expensive and we should acknowledge that this isn't all just good will, but it is regardless a good move. Even if kicking and screaming, the music industry will be brought into the 21st century.

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