Upgrade to iTunes Plus One Song at a Time  

Posted by: shilpz in , , ,

Apple has enabled users to upgrade previously purchased tracks to DRM-free iTunes Plus format one song at a time, rather than converting entire libraries.

When Apple announced at its final Macworld Expo that it was revamping iTunes to enable variable pricing and offer every track in DRM-free AAC format, it also created a bit of a problem for long-time (or big-spending) iTunes customers. Apple would let customers upgrade their existing DRM-protected iTunes tracks to DRM-free iTunes Plus format for $0.30…but it would only enable customers to upgrade their music libraries in one fell swoop. So, if a user has 100 DRM-protected tracks, the only way to upgrade to DRM-free iTunes Plus versions would be to spend $30.00 all at once—and for many users, that kind of up-front charge is more than they want to spend at iTunes in one go.

However, today Apple has enabled a la carte upgrades to iTunes Plus DRM-free format, meaning users can now upgrade selected music tracks to DRM-free format one at a time. The one-at-a-time upgrade feature also applies to albums and music videos: videos cost $0.60 to upgrade, and albums cost about 30 percent of their original purchase price.

Apple still offers the library-wide "Upgrade to iTunes Plus" feature, but no doubt hopes the song-at-a-time upgrade possibility will encourage users to spend additional money for music they've already purchased. Of course, the flip side is that users will also have the option of not upgrading DRM-protected material it turns out they don't care about anymore.

Apple's DRM-free iTunes Plus music tracks use 256-bit AAC encoding. Apple expects to have the entire iTunes music selection available in DRM-free format by the end of the first quarter of 2009.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 30, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


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