Apple's new iTunes update promises 'iTunes Plus' DRM-free music

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Something’s up in iTunes-land. It’s 7.55am, and I’ve just switched on my Mac. The Software Update application is asking me to download iTunes 7.2, which will allow me to “preview and purchase iTunes Plus music – new higher-quality DRM-free music downloads from participating music labels”.

Hurrah. It looks like Apple is rolling out the results of its deal with record label EMI to sell unprotected music – they did say the aim was to launch by the end of May, after all. ‘Labels’ raises hopes that there’ll be others on board too, although I’m guessing they’ll be independent labels, rather than other majors like Warner, Sony-BMG and Universal. For now, anyway.

However, don’t get wildly excited just yet. Having updated my iTunes to 7.2, the actual iTunes Store doesn’t look any different – there’s no menu options for iTunes Plus, and having checked out a few albums by EMI artists, no option to buy the DRM-free downloads there.

Watch this space, though. It looks like the newly-named iTunes Plus downloads are imminent on the iTunes Store.

Stuart Dredge