Apple released iTunes 7.2 this morning. Why is this important? Two reasons. First, Windows Vista is now considered a supported operating system. Yeah! Us Vista users are VERY happy about that! Second, and FAR more important, one can now download Higher quality DRM-free music. This is a significant milestone, one that I personally hope people don’t abuse.
Why is DRM-free music so important? Well, first off, DRM-free music isn’t ‘free’, it’s actually MORE expensive than the current DRM music. DRM-free music is music that is not locked into any one computer or device. It means that if you buy a track, it’s YOURS. You can play it on ANY player that supports AAC (Apple’s format). You can convert it to .mp3 without needing to burn it to a CD and re-rip it to get around the copy protection. You can make copies. You can play it on any computer you access. You generally can do whatever the heck you want with it, including sharing. Now, the caveat. IT IS STILL ILLEGAL TO GIVE A COPY TO SOMEONE ELSE. Please keep that in mind. It’s one thing to play the music for someone on one of your devices, it is quite another to give them a copy of the track.
Why am I stressing that sharing is illegal? Because, if the sharing gets out of hand, the record companies will go back to not selling DRM-free music. Personally, I will be buying tracks and albums from iTunes Plus (the DRM-free service). I’m voting with my wallet. This is something that we need to support. Copy protection usually helps no one, and the quicker that the record companies and movie studios see that, they can spend the money making better music and movies and not freaking out over lost revenue.