On the day Apple implemented single track iTunes Plus upgrades, I decided to take our entire library DRM-free. In fact, frustration with Apple’s (prior) DRM-encumbered system pushed us onto Amazon MP3s. However, while most of our music has been ripped from CD, we have made a number of iTunes purchases over the years. I’m unaware of exactly how much Apple music we own or what the per-track upgrade cost is. In the end, it didn’t even matter. Freedom is priceless.
The first task on my computer was to locate the upgrade option in the cluttered iTunes Store interface, which I found linked in a right-hand sidebar. From there, converting my davezatz@mac purchases tracks was a breeze. Unfortunately, I’ve also made purchases under a davezatz@yahoo account – which led to unforeseen frustration. For example, while I could license iTunes to play music from both logins on a computer, my iPhone will only take one. And I never did discover how to merge two accounts. So I logged out of davezatz@mac and attempted to log into davezatz@yahoo, to unlock those tracks, only to discover the account or password had been disabled. While searching the iTunes Support site for a way to gain access to this second account, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Apple offers live chat. The rep I ended up with was exceptional – she quickly reset my password and walked me through upgrading the remainder of my iTunes. The last step was unlocking Melissa’s iTunes, via her computer and account, which was painless.
In the end, we spent around $45 and the process actually took less time than it will to write this post. The next step is centralizing our music library. I’m thinking of consolidating the collection onto the networked 750GB Maxtor OneTouch 4 hanging off our Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS). I believe this would provide access to all tracks from every computer in the home while also enabling us to create our own custom playlists (that I can sync to my iPhone and she can sync to her iPod Nano fatty). Has anyone gone down this path – am I on target?
Some of the biggest winners in Apple’s decision (with studio support, obviously) to go entirely DRM-free have to be Sonos owners. Their systems have suddenly become a much more capable music distribution and playback solution. And I do find the feature set quite compelling. However, as a nomadic minimalist, I’m still waiting for a boombox-esque design before joining in.