In a move to counterbalance Amazon’s new MP3 music store, Apple has dropped prices on DRM-free tracks sold on iTunes.
With the opening of a new MP3 music store by Amazon last month, Apple has seen itself in the position of loosing important market share in the online music download industry. Amazon managed to force it’s way into a well established market by offering unprotected tracks for as low as 89 cents. In comparison, Apple offered DRM-protected tracks for 99 cents while DRM-free tracks were being sold for $1,29.
Starting Tuesday, iTunes has dropped 30 cents off price of DRM-free tracks, selling them for 99 cents, the same as protected tracks.
The price is not the only advantage for Amazon, as is only offers DRM-free songs that can be copied as many times as the customer wants and can be played on any device, including iPods and iPhones. On the other hand, the DRM-protected tracks available for download on iTunes can only be played on Apple devices.
The DRM protection can be bypassed by burning the tracks to CD and the ripping them back to mp3. Unfortunately, this process destroys some of the track data, as it involves decompression and re-compression of the songs.