One of the biggest stories to come out of MacWorld last week was Apple’s abandonment of DRM for music sold through the iTunes store. DRM, or Digital Rights Management, is a software mechanism that controls where and when you can play content that has been legally purchased.
Apple’s DRM basically locked you to Apple’s hardware products, particularly their iPods.
So it’s great new that, by the end of April 2009, all music sold through the iTunes music store will be DRM-free. You’ll be able to play it on any device you damn well please, and copy it as much as you want. This is cause for celebration.
But, wait a minute. What about all that music I bought over the years that was (and still is) DRM locked? Well, Apple’s got a deal that will let you upgrade the music I already bought to their “iTunes Plus” tracks, format.
That sounds great, but there’s a catch: I have to upgrade everything I ever bought, all at once. And that’s not great. In fact, that sucks.
Right now, my bill for the deal is $342.22 for 1,373 songs. That works out to about 25¢ per song. And they haven’t even upgraded all the tracks to iTunes Plus yet, so my bill’s gonna get even bigger.
The thing is, I don’t want to upgrade my entire library, especially not at that expense. I’d probably actually pay to upgrade maybe 10% to 15% of my library. There’s a lot of crap that I actually regret having bought in the first place, so it’s salt in the wound to have to pay for it again.
So, sorry, Apple, your upgrade deal is no deal to me. I’m taking a pass on this one.