Looks like Apple’s going to drop the DRM on the music in the iTunes store — but there’s no indication that the DRM that’s too “evil” to be borne for music will be likewise dropped from audiobooks and video. Right now, Apple will only sell audiobooks from Audible — and Audible will only sell audiobooks with DRM (even if the author and publisher don’t want it). I don’t get it — if DRM is so foul that it can’t be borne when it comes to music sales, why is it acceptable for other kinds of media in the iTunes store? And if Apple is so committed to getting rid of DRM, why did it renew Audible’s exclusive, DRM-only audiobook deal, after Steve Jobs said that he wanted to get the DRM out of the iTunes store? …and as the single largest shareholder in Disney, you’d think The Steve could get someone there to consider selling videos without DRM?
SAN FRANCISCO—January 6, 2009—Apple® today announced several changes to the iTunes® Store. Beginning today, all four major music labels—Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI, along with thousands of independent labels, are now offering their music in iTunes Plus, Apple’s DRM-free format with higher-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings. iTunes customers can also choose to download their favorite songs from the world’s largest music catalog directly onto their iPhone™ 3G over their 3G network just as they do with Wi-Fi today, for the same price as downloading to their computer. And beginning in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29, with most albums still priced at $9.99.
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