iTunes Plus open for business

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Less than two months after Apple announced that its iTunes Music Store would start offering DRM-free music files as a premium option, its unimaginatively named iTunes Plus is now online, offering unlocked AAC files for just a bit more money (average price seems to be around $1.49 a song). They're unlocked, yes, but Apple still includes a pretty crafty security feature: encoding files with the purchaser's name. (Presumably, this is why you have to update your software to access iTunes Plus.) That means you're free to send your downloads all over the globe, so long as you realize they can always be traced back to you. It's a pretty good move, preying on everyone's sense of self-preservation, and could be just the beginning. What if the next update to iTunes had a feature where every time I tried to illegally distribute a file it would trigger a computerized voice, like an old-timey British private school teacher, saying, "Now, do you really think it's a good idea to do that, Mr. Raymer? There could be...consequences." That would be too freaky to deal with.

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