Apple launches iTunes Plus alongside iTunes 7.2 release

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple on Wednesday morning launched iTunes Plus, an extension of its iTunes Store that has begun selling DRM-free music tracks for $1.29 per song.



iTunes Plus



The new iTunes Plus tracks feature high quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality which the company claims is virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings. They also come without limitations on the type of music player or number of computers that purchased songs can be played on.



For the time being, iTunes Plus will consist of EMI?s digital catalog of recordings, including singles and albums from Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, Joss Stone, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane and more than a dozen of Paul McCartney?s classic albums available on iTunes for the first time.



Alongside the higher quality iTunes Plus tracks, iTunes will continue to offer its entire catalog of over five million songs as 128 kbps AAC encoded tracks with DRM. They'll continue to sell for just $0.99 per song.



iTunes will also provide customers a a simple, one-click option that will allow them to easily upgrade their library of previously purchased EMI content to iTunes Plus tracks for just 30 cents a song and $3.00 for most albums.



"Our customers are very excited about the freedom and amazing sound quality of iTunes Plus," said Steve Jobs, Apple?s CEO. "We expect more than half of the songs on iTunes will be offered in iTunes Plus versions by the end of this year."



EMI music videos are now also available in iTunes Plus versions with no change in price. iTunes Plus songs purchased from the iTunes Store will play on all iPods, Mac or Windows computers, widescreen TVs with Apple TV and soon iPhones, as well as many other digital music players.



iTunes 7.2



In order to preview and purchase iTunes Plus music, customers will need to upgrade to iTunes 7.2. The new version was released early Wednesday morning as a free 29.6MB download or Macs and a 36.3MB download for Windows PCs.



Apple's iTunes Store features the world?s largest catalog with over five million songs, 350 television shows and over 500 movies. The iTunes Store has sold over 2.5 billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over two million movies, making it the world?s most popular online music, TV and movie store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    a-mazea-maze Posts: 65member
    Sweet!
  • Reply 2 of 67
    shintocamshintocam Posts: 68member
    There was a 7.2 update but the Canadian iTunes store does not seem to have the new section.



    Bummer.



    EDIT: Thanks to all for pointing out how to get to the "+" section - looks like we can get this in the Great White North after all.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    monomono Posts: 16member
    I can't see the DRM-free stuff on the U.K. version either.
  • Reply 4 of 67
    extremeskaterextremeskater Posts: 2,248member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a-maze View Post


    Sweet!





    Well I don't think I would call this sweet. Apple has been looking for a way to charge more than 0.99 cents for iTunes songs and now they have found it. This is a joke, instead of reducing the price of music which is what everyone has been asking for, they increase the price, typical.



    Lets see mac mini going away, apple tv failure, overpriced iphone which is already losing hype, delayed OS release and now overpriced music. Yep its been a banner year, lets hope Intel does something new in 2007 because its clear Apple had nothing to do with their success in 2006.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,874member
    Well guys, if it isn't there, blame the music licensing associations in your countries for it.
  • Reply 6 of 67
    boogabooga Posts: 1,079member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shintocam View Post


    There was a 7.2 update but the Canadian iTunes store does not seem to have the new section.



    Bummer.



    Canada?? Are you guys still a separate country?

  • Reply 7 of 67
    boogabooga Posts: 1,079member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post


    Well I don't think I would call this sweet. Apple has been looking for a way to charge more than 0.99 cents for iTunes songs and now they have found it. This is a joke, instead of reducing the price of music which is what everyone has been asking for, they increase the price, typical.



    I haven't actually heard that much grumbling about price. I've heard a lot about DRM, but 0.99 a song seems to be a sweet spot. Compare that to several-dollar ringtones for phones, and I think it's fair to say that Apple has been keeping music prices down.



    I think it's fairer to say that the music labels have been looking for an excuse to raise prices, and Apple has been fighting them to keep them low. But giving permission to drop DRM isn't something the labels are going to do for free, so Apple and you have to pay for it.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    Even though we can log on to the US Store in Canada (and window shop at all the movies and TV shows which we still can't buy without an American credit card), the 7.2 version of the U.S. iTunes Store still doesn't appear to mention "iTunes Plus" anywhere...could it somehow be blocked if it's accessed from outside?
  • Reply 9 of 67
    g_warreng_warren Posts: 713member
    iTunes + isn't officially on the UK front page yet either, but if you go into your account and enable iTunses +, and then search for an EMI artist, eg Coldplay, some results have a + beside them. Probably the same in Canada?
  • Reply 10 of 67
    So Cool!!!!!!!!!!



    I am anxious to try it!!
  • Reply 11 of 67
    almalm Posts: 111member
    Quote:

    more than a dozen of Paul McCartney’s classic albums available on iTunes for the first time.



    Strange, I could find only two. And those are new ones.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    cedriccedric Posts: 28member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G_Warren View Post


    iTunes + isn't officially on the UK front page yet either, but if you go into your account and enable iTunses +, and then search for an EMI artist, eg Coldplay, some results have a + beside them. Probably the same in Canada?



    Same in Switzerland (not often mentioned on Appleinsider, isn't it? But Swiss people are still alive... ). What I can't find is that one:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    iTunes will also provide customers a a simple, one-click option that will allow them to easily upgrade their library of previously purchased EMI content to iTunes Plus tracks for just 30 cents a song and $3.00 for most albums.



    I hope it will be there (or I'll find it) soon...



    EDIT: found it!
  • Reply 13 of 67
    david_ocdavid_oc Posts: 90member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post


    Well I don't think I would call this sweet. Apple has been looking for a way to charge more than 0.99 cents for iTunes songs and now they have found it. This is a joke, instead of reducing the price of music which is what everyone has been asking for, they increase the price, typical.



    Lets see mac mini going away, apple tv failure, overpriced iphone which is already losing hype, delayed OS release and now overpriced music. Yep its been a banner year, lets hope Intel does something new in 2007 because its clear Apple had nothing to do with their success in 2006.



    They haven't increased the price, they still offer 99c DRM tracks. Also, Plus albums cost the same as DRM albums.



    There is no word yet on the mini. The Apple TV is not setting the world on fire but it can't be called a failure. The iPhone is, if anything, gaining still more hype (though whether this is good is questionable).



    Have a lie down, count to 10 and chill out.
  • Reply 14 of 67
    ...the price for "Plus" tracks is $1.39 in Canada (compared to $0.99 for DRM-enabled tracks). We also have to pay $2 more for the "Plus" albums while Americans get no price hike. I assume that's the tax levy here that also keeps blank CD-R's artifically high (blank DVD's have been cheaper than CD-R's for 2 years in Canada!)



    Still, even with the strong Canadian dollar (over US$0.93), we enjoy the cheapest iTunes prices for single songs and low-end albums (though the U.S. is now cheaper for the "Plus" albums)...
  • Reply 15 of 67
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    I just upgraded all my Pink Floyd and Penguin Cafe (EMI) to iTunes plus. 90 tracks in all for $AUD 12.60.

    Use the "upgrade your library" option. Actually its only halfway through downloading as I write.

    Cheer
  • Reply 16 of 67
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,591member
    Do you think the iPhone will allow these new tunes to be used as ring tones?
  • Reply 17 of 67
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    Do you think the iPhone will allow these new tunes to be used as ring tones?



    Yes, its DRM free, its your music and your iphone. Why would it be anything else?
  • Reply 18 of 67
    restalotrestalot Posts: 77member
    I'm in Canada and I upgraded 48 songs for about $17 this morning before I left for work... I had to click a link in iTunes to refresh the homepage and there the link was on the right side near the complete my tunes...



    The update process was easy... I've not had a chance to listen to the tunes but I'm doing it as a future-proofing system so I can move my music anywhere I want in the future...
  • Reply 19 of 67
    domerdeldomerdel Posts: 78member
    will it have DLNA support for my PS3 ?
  • Reply 20 of 67
    jwink3101jwink3101 Posts: 739member
    Where? I cannot find where to upgrade my existing music
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