Almost two months have passed since Apple and EMI's historic joint announcement proclaiming the arrival DRM free music downloads. At the time Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed tracks would be available in May, but with less than two days to meet that deadline suddenly something's under way at iTunes central...
A mass software update has been popping up on user's computers today asking them to upgrade to iTunes 7.2 with the description "With iTunes 7.2, preview and purchase iTunes Plus music—new higher-quality, DRM-free music downloads from participating music labels."
Three points to raise here:
1. It appears we're all going to need the latest version of iTunes to purchase DRM free downloads (when they arrive)
2. Apple has christened these downloads 'iTunes Plus'
3. 'Participating music labels' as in plural? Is this a typo or did Steve's peer pressure yield results?
As for the actual functionality of iTunes Plus, the help file in 7.2 reveals:
"The first time you buy an iTunes Plus song, you specify whether to make all future purchases iTunes Plus versions (when available). You can change this setting by accessing your account information on the iTunes Store. If you already have iTunes Store purchases that are now available as iTunes Plus downloads, you may upgrade your existing purchases. To do so, visit the iTunes Store and follow the onscreen instructions."
All seems straightforward enough. So Steve, 34 hours and counting...
Update: It's here with 32 hours to spare, but sadly at this moment in time EMI is the only record label onboard. Read the official press release here and fire up iTunes 7.2 now for some DRM free goodness.