Apple slices DRM-free iTunes tracks price to 99 cents

Posted by Mark Raby

Cupertino (CA) - After five months of charging users an additional 30 cents to download a straight MP3 track, Apple has decided to bring the prices down to the same as their DRM-ridden counterparts.

At the end of May, Apple debuted an extension to the iTunes library called "iTunes Plus".  Unlike typical downloads that can only be played back on the iTunes software or approved devices, iTunes Plus tracks are untouched MP3 files that can be accessed universally.

Apple said the offering "has been incredibly popular with our customers, and now we're making it available at an even more affordable price."

The move likely comes as a response Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other online behemoths that have entered the same market with DRM-free tracks priced at less than $1 each.

Apple originally justified the price premium by saying the MP3 tracks were of better quality, and that customers were paying for the convenience of taking their songs wherever they go.