Apple releases first DRM-free “Free song of the Week” on iTunes - Macenstein

Apple releases first DRM-free “Free song of the Week” on iTunes

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

Apple has made its first DRM-free “Free Song of the week” available on iTunes using the new “iTunes Plus” audio format (well, actually it’s a Discovery Download, not sure what the difference is).

The track, “Lightning” by Eric Church, prompts a user to choose between the regular old DRM-ladden AAC file, or the iTunes Plus format when they attempt to download it. A dialogue box alerts you that by choosing iTunes Plus, “you will always be offered the DRM-free, highest quality audio when available.” However, don’t worry that you’ve set the preference forever you’ll be stuck paying more for all your tracks (the iTunes Plus tracks cost about 30 cents more than the DRM versions). “This preference can be changed via the iTunes Store account settings,” adds the warning box.

This is a great chance for users test out whether or not they can notice a difference between a 128 kbs AAC file and a 256 kbps AAC [edit] file without having to spend any money. Personally, I can’t tell the difference in audio quality on this particular track, but then I have never heard it before either.

Download the free track Lightning here and test it for yourself.

2 Responses to “Apple releases first DRM-free “Free song of the Week” on iTunes”
  1. mike says:

    Funny that it shows the song as “FREE” from the iTunes store but when it is added to my shopping cart it shows as $0.99. – mike

  2. Dandy says:

    FYI; correction to this blog entry: The iTunes Plus files are 256 AAC, not MP3 format.

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