iTunes Loosens Their Belt, Finally

Apple recently announced iTunes, the largest digital music e-retailer, will change it’s pricing structure and offer music without restrictions. Frankly, I’m not sure how they made it so far with the restrictions alone. Aside from the fact it’s extremely easy for iPod users to purchase music from the service and they really had no competition to get started, none worthy at least.

I NEVER buy from iTunes simply for that fact. What restrictions? How many times the track can be copied and what devices it can be played on. My biggest issues with the restrictions not only include limitations on sharing your music between devices, but the fact iTunes locked MPEG-4 format cannot be directly “drag and dropped” into Ableton Live. One of the best featured that came with the 6.0 version. Sure, there’s ways around that, but they’re time consuming and not worth the cost. We’ll see just how “un-restricted” iTunes music actually becomes. iTunes has been selling less-restrictive music provided by the EMI label, but had yet to sign other big names on. Although those labels already offer non-protected tracks to iTunes closes competitor, Amazon.

The cost is very enticing though, making most songs available for 69 cents, pricing others at the current 99 cents, and selling hits and new releases for $1.29. Competitors typically sell tracks from 89 to 99 cents. This tactic will likely give iTunes an even greater slice of the digital music pie, owning at least 75% of the market currently; Amazon owns less then 10%, according to consumer research firm The NPD Group. I’ll give it a shot in April when the new pricing and non-restricted music will be offered, but I will probably never leave Amazon (among other services) for iTunes. I love MP3s and wish lists, what can I say…

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