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The new iTunes Plus store
Apple's new iTunes Plus is now selling unprotected music at a premium price

The wave washing away DRM hits Apple’s music service with today with the announcement of iTunes Plus. The DRM-free music tracks do command a premium over the traditional $0.99 protected tracks, with each 256 kbps AAC encoded track costing the consumer $1.29 each. iTunes customers who have already purchased tracks that are now available on iTunes Plus may upgrade their library of previously purchased content to iTunes Plus tracks for just 30 cents a song and $3.00 for most albums.

Songs downloaded through iTunes Plus allow customers to use their purchased content without limitations on the type of music player or number of computers that purchased songs can be played on.

EMI is the first and only record label with its catalog available on the new service, as announced in April. “This is a tremendous milestone for digital music,” said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group. “Consumers are going to love listening to higher quality iTunes Plus tracks from their favorite EMI artists with no usage restrictions.”

Although only EMI currently stands alone on iTunes, more are promised within the near future. “Our customers are very excited about the freedom and amazing sound quality of iTunes Plus,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We expect more than half of the songs on iTunes will be offered in iTunes Plus versions by the end of this year.”

EMI’s venture into unchained music isn’t only on iTunes – the record company announced earlier this month its involvement with Amazon.com’s new MP3 music store.





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