Apple iTunes Drops DRM-Free Tracks to $0.99

By Richard Menta 10/17/07

With iTunes Apple has been all about price uniformity, but to close their deal with EMI to sell DRM-free tracks they created this odd two-tier price system where users spent $1.29 for unencumbered versions of music. Now Apple has announced that iTunes will sell those tracks for the same $0.99, bringing uniformity and a one price tier system back. The move price aligns Apple's DRM-free AAC encoded music with the price of MP3 tracks (an older codec unable to incorporate DRM) on Amazon.

Apple will also allow the DRM-free portion of its catalog, called iTunes Plus, to remain encoded at the higher 256kbps, which was originally sold as another incentive to bump up to the $1.29 price point. The price drop now makes the EMI tracks a better buy than the 160kbps recordings from the other major labels, even if you discount the fact that those other tracks are encumbered with digital rights management. This might be a small shot back at Universal, who in an attempt to break Apple's hold on the digital market offered DRM-free tracks to all services, but iTunes.

SanDisk Sansa View 16GB flash player is available on Amazon.

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