New iTunes features include 3G downloads, tiered pricing, and no more DRM


We sure did have some fun at the MacWorld keynote today, huh? Apple announced a slew of updates, Peter yelled at Coldplay, and we learned about some changes to how iTunes is going to work from here on out.

Good changes, too — not like the day I showed up for eighth grade and found that my pant legs were about five inches from my shoes and my voice sounded like Yoko Ono warbling.

Anyway, here’s what’s happening with iTunes:

1. Apple’s finally going the tiered pricing route. Coming in April, songs will be priced at 69 cents, 99 cents, or $1.29 depending on awesomeness. That’s good news for people like you and me who prefer rock from before the turn of the century as we’ll get most of our songs for 69 cents while Apple’s revenues get propped up by today’s youth buying some P Diddy song sampling seventeen other songs for $1.29 — thanks kids!

2. All songs will be DRM-free and encoded at 256 Kbps AAC by the end of the quarter. Either Apple’s feeling generous or they’re feeling the heat from Amazon’s DRM-free music service that nobody but me uses. Most of the iTunes library is DRM-free now – called iTunes Plus – but the entire thing will be DRM-free by spring.

3. The iTunes music store now works on your iPhone over 3G. Again, finally — this should have been there since the beginning. Also, songs you buy on your phone will sync with your computer and vice versa and they’ll all cost the same price regardless of which device you use to purchase them. This will hopefully put pressure on carriers, who gouge people into paying twice as much for a song for the privilege of downloading it to our phones.