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DRM-Free iTunes goes Live

Over the last few days Metue has posted speculation about a DRM-Free iTunes launch and what it might include. All signs pointed to it being imminent, and it in fact, was. iTunes Plus, Apple’s name for higher quality, digital rights management free music officially launched today. A full press release is available on Apple’s website.

I also guessed that Apple might add some additional news to the launch, something to add to the big-top circus that is an Apple announcement. I was part right, Apple did add to the iTunes Plus announcement, just not anything huge. They stated that they would be adding a new area in the iTunes store: a category with free videos and podcasts from UC Berkeley, Stanford and other colleges. Steve Jobs also noted in a statement. “[Apple] expect[s] more than half of the songs on iTunes will be offered in iTunes Plus versions by the end of this year.”

Overall, the press release wasn’t the big kind of news I hoped for but it’s still very possible that a Beatles announcement could be tied to the iPhone release in June as I guessed in my mid-May prediction. (If it happens, maybe they’ll be playing the Beatles classic “Hello, Goodbye” … if my tea leaves are accurate. We’ll see).

With the possibility of the Beatles and the iPhone being rolled out at the same time, the little contest offered yesterday will remain open. If a Beatles song plays during the iPhone launch, whomever responded first with the correct guess of what that song is will get an iTunes gift card.

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