Apple's iTunes Plus now world's largest DRM-free music catalog

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple on Wednesday issued a formal announcement regarding its expanded iTunes Plus service, which now offers more than two million tracks at the reduced price of just 99 cents.



All iTunes Plus tracks feature DRM-free music with high quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality which the company claims is "virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings."



In addition, the iTunes Plus catalog is now the largest DRM-free catalog in the world, and includes artists from Sub Pop, Nettwerk, Beggars Group, IODA, The Orchard and many others, along with EMI's digital catalog.



"iTunes Plus has been incredibly popular with our customers and now we're making it available at an even more affordable price," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "We're adding over two million tracks from key independent labels in addition to EMI's digital catalog and look forward to even more labels and artists making their music available on iTunes Plus."



EMI began offering their catalog on iTunes Plus earlier this year, and their selection has grown to include singles and albums from the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra and the solo catalogs of all four Beatles.



With the expansion of iTunes Plus, customers can now download tracks from a variety of labels without limitations on the type of music player or number of computers that purchased songs can be played on. iTunes Plus songs purchased from the iTunes Store will play on all iPods, iPhone, Windows or Mac computers, widescreen TVs with Apple TV, as well as many other digital music players.



Apple, however, did not comment on how owners of DRM-wrapped tracks purchased from its download service in the past can upgrade to the iTunes Plus versions. Before dropping the price of iTunes Plus tracks from $1.29 to $0.99, the Cupertino-based company charged a $0.30 per-track upgrade fee.



Apple's iTunes Store maintains its position as the world's largest digital media catalog with over six million songs, 550 television shows and over 500 movies and has sold over three billion songs, 100 million TV shows and over two million movies.



Reports that Apple would expand its iTunes Plus service while simultaneously dropping the price of the higher-quality songs were first published by ArsTechnica earlier this week.

«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    DRM free is how it should have been from the beginning. And it should have been MP3 not some alien format no one had ever heard of.
  • Reply 2 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    DRM free is how it should have been from the beginning. And it should have been MP3 not some alien format no one had ever heard of.



    YES...and Steve Jobs should have hired YOU to go into those conference rooms to negotiate such a deal with the record labels.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Thank God for competition.
  • Reply 4 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    DRM free is how it should have been from the beginning. And it should have been MP3 not some alien format no one had ever heard of.



    No, it should not have been MP3. AAC is covered by iPods and Zunes and I think current Sonys. That is almost the entire market. If crappy Creatives and iRivers are so concerned, then they can support AAC as well (if they don't already). Why should they have gone with an archaic format? To play files on $10 Chinese ripoff players? Like people who buy MP3/WMA players would buy on iTunes in the first place!
  • Reply 5 of 71
    glossgloss Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thataboy View Post


    No, it should not have been MP3. AAC is covered by iPods and Zunes and I think current Sonys. That is almost the entire market. If crappy Creatives and iRivers are so concerned, then they can support AAC as well (if they don't already). Why should they have gone with an archaic format? To play files on $10 Chinese ripoff players? Like people who buy MP3/WMA players would buy on iTunes in the first place!



    The newest Zen supports AAC as well.
  • Reply 6 of 71
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thataboy View Post


    No, it should not have been MP3. AAC is covered by iPods and Zunes and I think current Sonys. That is almost the entire market. If crappy Creatives and iRivers are so concerned, then they can support AAC as well (if they don't already). Why should they have gone with an archaic format? To play files on $10 Chinese ripoff players? Like people who buy MP3/WMA players would buy on iTunes in the first place!



    Besides MP3 having lower quality per bitrate it also has higher licensing fees than AAC. Apple was right to support this open standard.



    The Zune supported AAC from day one and I suspect that now that Apple is that largest online retailer of DRM-free audio that firmware updates for all the other players will finally support AAC.
  • Reply 7 of 71
    so 100 dollars store credit for people who bought the files for 1,29?
  • Reply 8 of 71
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    Looks like they can't simply flick a switch, Harrison is still 1.29
  • Reply 9 of 71
    plusplus Posts: 54member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    And it should have been MP3 not some alien format no one had ever heard of.



    How long is it going to take everyone to get it?MP3 is obsolescent, and very nearly obsolete! AAC is roughly a decade newer, and has replaced MP3. Heck, even my Sony-Ericsson "walkman" mobile phone (W810i) supports AAC!
  • Reply 10 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by plus View Post


    How long is it going to take everyone to get it?MP3 is obsolescent, and very nearly obsolete! AAC is roughly a decade newer, and has replaced MP3. Heck, even my Sony-Ericsson "walkman" mobile phone (W810i) supports AAC!



    if people dont "get it" then obviously mp3 is not obsolescent. the same way that hd-dvd doesnt hit as big as dvd did - the image/music sounds more than adequate the way it is now (unlike VHS or audio tape were) and space wise everyone seems to cope too, if thats one of the advantages of aac (the only step forward i can think of in terms of music-files).



    so no need to tell people whats obsolete and what not - because when it works, people make it obsolete, not the manufacturers trying to sell new old bs.
  • Reply 11 of 71
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by plus View Post


    How long is it going to take everyone to get it?MP3 is obsolescent, and very nearly obsolete! AAC is roughly a decade newer, and has replaced MP3. Heck, even my Sony-Ericsson "walkman" mobile phone (W810i) supports AAC!



    Having support for does not make a codec obsolete. Only when it's no longer in wide use will be obsolete. MP3 is very slowly obsolescing despite the iTunes Store efforts. This is mainly due to hardware support and user knowledge on audio codecs (see ascii's comment, above, as example) as most legal music is still purchased on CD and illegal music is mostly downloaded as MP3.



    Factory car stereos may support MP3 but usually not AAC, after-market car stereos usually support MP3 and it's a crapshoot between WMA or AAC support or neither.
  • Reply 12 of 71
    Friends, whether you are Apple consumers or shareholders -- I hope each of you is both -- these are the best of times.



    Stop bitching.
  • Reply 13 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Looks like they can't simple flick a switch, Harrison is still 1.29



    99p now I got my mind set on, buying some of those



    - update: just tried to down load "I got my mind set on you" and it says something to the effect of "this song is being modified please try again later" so it seems its really not as simple as throwing a switch. wonder will they email me a reminder?
  • Reply 14 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thataboy View Post


    Why should they have gone with an archaic format? To play files on $10 Chinese ripoff players?



    No. Because it was something new, a paid download store.



    And when you're making something new, part of the battle is explaining it to people. And since most people already knew what MP3 was, they should have leveraged that, instead of futher complicating things by changing the format on people. And then to add insult to injury they add DRM which is a whole other layer of conceptual complexity. It's a wonder it took off at all.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    No. Because it was something new, a paid download store.



    And when you're making something new, part of the battle is explaining it to people. And since most people already knew what MP3 was, they should have leveraged that, instead of futher complicating things by changing the format on people. And then to add insult to injury they add DRM which is a whole other layer of conceptual complexity. It's a wonder it took off at all.



    Great argument! You just stated that change brings complications and so we stay away from it. Apple is a witch, we should burn it to the ground!



    Or, since the codec required DRM by the RIAA, had less licensing fees than MP3, is better quality than MP3 and--most importantly--was invisible to the user when paired with an iPod that there were many reasons to go to AAC.
  • Reply 16 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    DRM free is how it should have been from the beginning. And it should have been MP3 not some alien format no one had ever heard of.



    So.. are you saying YOU are no-one?
  • Reply 17 of 71
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    DRM free is how it should have been from the beginning. And it should have been MP3 not some alien format no one had ever heard of.



    Whatever it is you are on, come off it.



    AAC is part of the MPEG-4 standard. Does that really make it some alien format that no one had ever heard of? Also, AAC is more open and less proprietary than MP3.



    I think players should definitely play MP3 for the existing files, but I really don't see why MP3 format should be used for new files, except by owners of older players.
  • Reply 18 of 71
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    And when you're making something new, part of the battle is explaining it to people. And since most people already knew what MP3 was, they should have leveraged that, instead of further complicating things by changing the format on people.



    Yes, they should have leveraged that. Now they are stuck with music players which hardly sell, and an online store that is loosing out to all competitors.
  • Reply 19 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    And when you're making something new, part of the battle is explaining it to people. And since most people already knew what MP3 was, they should have leveraged that, instead of futher complicating things by changing the format on people. And then to add insult to injury they add DRM which is a whole other layer of conceptual complexity. It's a wonder it took off at all.



    This is kind of like Monday-morning quarterbacking -- except that in this case, you're second-guessing the quarterback that totally clobbered the other team.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    AAC is part of the MPEG-4 standard. Is it really some alien format that no one had ever heard of? Also, AAC is more open and less proprietary than MP3.



    It doesn't matter what the "official" standards are, when you're rolling ou something new you want to be as simple as possible, and that means using the defacto standard



    Later, once people are used to it, and understand and have experience with music downloads as such, then introduce things such as superior codecs and other options.
Sign In or Register to comment.