iTunes goes DRM-free with EMI

Say goodbye to DRM if you're looking to buy EMI tracks on iTunes.

Apple's iTunes store began selling DRM-free songs from EMI on Wednesday.

DRM (digital rights management) software prevents owners from copying or freely using a digital file across multiple devices.

CNET Networks

As expected, all the songs from music label EMI that are sold on iTunes are now available in DRM-free versions. Shoppers have the option to purchase either a 256kbps AAC-encoded DRM-free song for $1.29 via iTunes Plus, or the usual 128kbps AAC-encoded DRM-version for 99 cents.

"We expect more than half of the songs on iTunes will be offered in iTunes Plus versions by the end of this year," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. No one at Apple was available for live comment on Wednesday morning.

Previously purchased EMI songs can be upgraded to the DRM-free version for 30 cents per song, or $3 per album.

EMI artists in the deal include Coldplay, The Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra. The deal excludes Beatles songs.

In February, Jobs released an open letter asking that record companies consider going DRM-free. Apple and EMI announced in April that a DRM-free deal was in the works and that it would exclude Beatles songs.

In order to use iTunes Plus, people must download iTunes 7.2, the latest version of the software.

eMusic already offers DRM-free songs, but its catalog has been limited to mostly independent labels.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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