Apple’s Macworld announcement that the entire iTunes catalogue is ditching the God-awful DRM that has kept it back is fantastic news for music lovers worldwide. After all, now you can purchase music that you can listen to on whatever device you want, however many times you want, all for the same price (until their new pricing structure kicks in, I guess). But what about the tunes you’ve already purchased, laced with hidden DRM and holding your music collection back?
Well, despite the fact that you can purchase the same tracks for the same price without DRM, if you’ve already purchased a DRM-encoded version, you’ll need to pay Apple 50 cents per track to remove the restrictions, or $1.00 per track for music videos. And considering that Apple were happily announcing that they’d sold 6 billion songs on iTunes since the music store kicked off in 2003, that’s one hell of a bonus fee to be paying.
Moreover, what of the 2 million tracks that won’t be DRM-free until April? Will you need to pay the bonus 50 cent charge again then? Our advice: if you do purchase from iTunes (and now it’s mostly DRM-free, there’s little reason not to), make sure you’re getting the DRM-free version of the track before you click OK.