Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Music on your Computer ... and iTunes 9.0

Like many people, I have a lot of music on my computer, and my iPod, either downloaded from places like iTunes store, Amazon.co.uk, etc, or ripped from my own albums. Again like a lot of people there are several in our house with computers and so it was good to see that Apple decided to make sharing of these files at home much easier with their release of the latest iTunes software.

It was also good, several months ago, to see them and other online suppliers move from DRM protected music, which is limited to playing on a limited number of machines, often requiring software peculiar to the systems it's run on, to DRM free music which basically means that you can put your songs on whatever machine or player you own and use them as you please - obviously for personal use only!

What's confused me with iTunes 9 is that it limits the number of computers that you can share with to 5. Now this presumably makes sense for films for example, which still have DRM embedded, but virtually all music downloaded these days is free of such controls so why the limit of 5? It remains perfectly possible to transfer these non DRMmed files from one machine to another by other means, so why is there this limit placed on the easy sharing via iTunes?

Perhaps it's a limitation of having to cater for DRMmed films and will be addressed later - if anyone in the know at Apple is reading this, would be interested to hear your comments.

Other than that it's becoming much cheaper to download music legally, but they could still do with reducing prices... and of course make much more obscure stuff easily available. I know many people who still download 'illegal' files simply because they can't find the songs or artists they want on legal sites!

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