iTunes gets an update, iPhone gets 3G song purchasing

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The Macworld keynote is ending on a slightly sexier note than all that talk about software, with some tweaks to what’s on offer in iTunes. It’s not an entirely new version, and it’s not sparkly new features such as we saw with the launch of Genius, but it is some stuff people have been clamoring for for a while now.

First up: DRM. iTunes Plus is the DRM-free offering from Apple. Currently, 8 million songs are available with no restrictions, allowing you to play it on any computer, on any device, and listen to it at a higher quality bitrate. That 8 million will soon extend to the entire category, making it 10 million. Apple also promise that you’ll be able to upgrade your entire purchased music library to iTunes Plus in just one click.

Second: pricing. iTunes has been lagging slightly, by offering just one pricing regardless of the song you’re buying. Now, they’re going to offer $1.29, 99c and 69c songs, depending on the record label. April is cited as the date for this, but who knows when it’ll trickle down to the UK…

Finally, the iPhone. From today, it’s possible to download songs over the 3G network, rather than just when you’re in a WiFi zone. Once you sync your iPhone, it will then automatically dump your purchases in your library. Now, if they extend this to free-to-download podcasts, I’ll actually be in heaven.

So, there we have it folks. iTunes, but better.

Susi Weaser