Although Noah may be busy hobnobbing with Al Gore and the technoratti at MacWorld (just kidding ? he's uploading a vid right now covering the keynote for you folks), he managed to get some news nuggets out. Sadly, phone phans looking for new cell hardware will be disappointed, but music fans will dig the scoop. Aside from some new iWork and iLife updates and debuts, as well as a new MacBook, the announcement's basically about the iTunes store.
Here's the relevant dish:
Apple just issued a press release about the announcement:
?Beginning today, all four major music labels -- Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI, along with thousands of independent labels, are now offering their music in iTunes Plus, Apple's DRM-free format with higher- quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings. iTunes customers can also choose to download their favorite songs from the world's largest music catalog directly onto their iPhone(TM) 3G over their 3G network just as they do with Wi-Fi today.? Songs purchased on an iPhone will automatically sync to a user's computer the next time they sync their iPhone.?
The release quoted Steve Jobs, who was absent at the keynote, promising that most songs will be priced at the lower end of the range (closer to 69 cents than $1.29). According to Apple, iTunes is offering eight million of its 10 million songs in the DRM-free iTunes Plus format starting today. As for the rest of the two million songs, those are slated to be available in iTunes Plus by March's end.
So what do you do if you've got a huge library of songs in the old format? iTunes offers a one-click option to upgrade that library of previously purchased songs to a higher-quality, DRM-free iTunes Plus format. The cost is 30 cents per song (or 30 percent of the album's cost).