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iTunes: The iTunes Store

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Some recent praise for my primer level pieces on iTunes and related tech brought to mind a conversation that your crusty chronicler was having with some even crustier folks in Los Angeles recently. Online apps, downloads and “all that iTunes stuff” was the subject of said conversation. Believe it or not, some of your screwy scribe’s most supportive regulars still largely get their music from “record stores” and although they are well aware of other technology they don’t generally totally grasp all of the digital details. Specifically, it brought other articles originally written for a now defunct music website to mind. The focus of these pieces was iTunes.

For those who missed the background piece, iTunes was created by Apple Inc. in January, 2001. It’s a proprietary digital media player app. With iTunes the user is able to play and organize digital music and video files. This app can even be interfaced with Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod to manage the contents of said electronic devices.

(View the list to learn more about the iTunes Store)

The iTunes Store
The iTunes Store Courtesy of Scenicreflections

The iTunes Store

The iTunes Store, formerly known as the iTunes Music Store, is a website where users can purchase and download tunes for use on a limited quantity of computers and an unlimited quantity of iPods. Not too long ago, any songs that users bought from the iTunes Store were copy protected with the Apple company's FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) system.  The system would allow the protected songs to be played on only up to five computers at once and an unlimited number of other devices such as the iPod or AppleTV.

DRM protected tracks
DRM protected tracks Courtesy of

DRM protected tracks

These DRM protected tracks cannot be played on computers that are unauthorized by the customer’s iTunes account. In 2009 the company officially announced that from that point on the iTunes Music Store would henceforth be DRM-free and that furthermore all of their cataloged songs would also be (DRM)-free as well.

iTunes pricing
iTunes pricing Courtesy of Geekosystem

iTunes pricing

Furthermore, Apple stated that there would be changes made in their pricing as well.  They announced that their tracks would now cost $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29 although at that time they offered no specific details regarding just how or why songs would be given a specific price.  At the time, customers thought new cuts would cost $1.29 and the older numbers would run either 69 or 99 cents each. Unfortunately for the buyer, however, record labels took advantage of the highest price tag by listing their entire artists’ catalogs with 1.29 songs.  Because of this the iTunes store carries very few tracks with the lowest, 69-cent price tag.  The Apple iTunes Store had sold over 10 billion songs by classic as well as contemporary artists.

End-note Courtesy of


At any rate, for those of my "old school" readers who are slightly behind the history behind current technological times, consider yourselves (slightly) more enlightened . . . even if this is just the tip of the electronic iceberg.

My name is Phoenix and . . . that's the bottom line.