One of my complaints about Apple’s iPod and their iTunes store has been that their “special” MP3 files contained copy-protection that prevented a given MP3 file from being played on other machines. (This copy-protection scheme is called DRM: Digital Rights Management. I call it Digital Restrictions Management. You’ll be pleased to learn that it’s built into Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows 7.)
Apple has negotiated a deal that removes copy-protection, in exchange for variable pricing: new releases will be priced at $1.29, most songs will be priced at $0.99, and older songs will be priced at $0.69.
The good news: No more copy-protection!The bad news: Amazon and Wal-mart have also introduced tiered pricing of songs.The good news: It will pay to shop for the lowest price, as any song may be cheapest from any vendor.More good news: From within iTunes, check Amazon’s pricing with Advantageous: http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/07/psa-advantageous-auto-checks-amazon-mp3-pricing-from-itunes/
As far as I know, the iPod was the last platform with copy-protected music. Good riddance.
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