Since this isn’t a news blog, I wouldn’t post this unless I had actually tried it. And that’s exactly what I have. So how did it go? And was it worth it?

Well, the obvious advantage is that the DRM protection is gone. If you happen to live in Norway, this means you can now share your music with friends (legally). If you prefer to keep it to yourself, at least you can now play it with any software (VLC works great) or hardware.

I was really hoping that I could now burn out my AAC files to a CD and play them in my car, but that was not the case. My player is supposed to support AAC, and it will in fact play files that I rip myself, with iTunes. It would however NOT play the iTS files. Then again it won’t play the AAC files from allofmp3 either, so I’m guessing the player is just very picky.

The second advantage is that the “upgraded” music has twice the bitrate of the old files – 256kbps. For AAC, that’s pretty high. I had to give it a try, and see if I spotted a difference (you get to keep your old files, even when you upgrade them to the new DRM-free version).

I played the two files, side by side, with a pretty decent pair of headphones. I have to say: not much of a difference. Most of the time, I couldn’t notice any change at all. There were more complex parts however, where it actually made an improvement. The bigger files seemed a bit softer, and less tinny. Unless you have a kick-ass stereo (and I mean an expensive one, not one with big speakers), there is no reason to upgrade your files for the better quality alone.

I only had 5 files to upgrade, and although 3 of them downloaded right away, the last 2 only got halfway before they hit a stall. One of them eventually resumed after a few tries, but the last one took several hours to get. I’m guessing it’s just some problems on Apples part during the first few days. Annoying none the less.

So, is worth it?
If you live strictly with Apple gear, I can’t see why DRM would be a problem. If you’re not quite as faithful however, there is a definite advantage of being able to play your files on other devices. The extra audio quality I’m guessing is just something they threw in to make the premium price a bit more appealing.

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2 Responses to “iTunes Store sans DRM”  

  1. 1 Smaran

    I didn’t upgrade any of my songs, but I downloaded some free iTunes Plus songs and I like being able to do what I wish with the songs; move them into GarageBand, use them in iMovie and so on.

  2. 2 Andreas

    Right on, Smaran! Power to the people 😉 Or something.


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