Artman, is that an illustration of technology transfer? Where does the photo come from?
WRT the long complaints: before using Speech, try using Summerize (Services menu). Here is an example of the result.
The firmware is the program of a hardware component, for example the bluetooth firmware makes the bluetooth module in your computer work.
In this case it is the computer firmware that is updated. The computer firmware runs the fans and sensors and other components on the motherboard. It also bootstraps MacOS X.
That's why it is wise to keep around an old version of iTunes before upgrading it.
The songs themselves are encrypted with the DRM scheme, and iTunes (or iPod) has the key to decrypt them. If one day Apple would want to stop you from listening to songs you purchased (and why would they?), they would need to have you install a new version of iTunes incompatible with the old DRM scheme.