Apple announced today that effective immediately 8 million songs on iTunes would be DRM free, and that by the end of the quarter all 10 million songs on the popular music site would be DRM free. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, otherwise known as copy protection. DRM-free music can be shared between all your devices without complicated registration and proprietary software.
In addition, iTunes songs will no longer cost a flat $0.99. There will be three tiers: $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29 starting on April 1st. You can expect to see older releases at the lower price point, and newer releases at the higher one. The removal of DRM and the flexibility on prices is a compromise worked out between Apple and the music industry.
iPhone users will be happy to note that they can now access the iTunes music store over the 3G network, not just WiFi. "It's the same quality you get in the store, right on your phone, no matter where you are, and you can sync back to your computer. That starts today," said Phil Schiller at today's MacWorld keynote.