Apple has launched its iTunes Plus service which makes selected tracks compatible with virtually any MP3 player.
Songs from record label EMI’s digital catalogue can now be downloaded without digital rights management (DRM) anti-piracy technology.
The dual system means standard Apple tracks will cost 79p, rising to 99p for EMI’s non-DRM versions.
Customers can upgrade previously purchased EMI tracks to the new format for 20p per song or £2 for most albums.
EMI is the first record company to make its music catalogue available without DRM.
The label – which boasts artists such as Coldplay, Kylie Minogue and Lily Allen – has signed a similar deal to provide non-DRM tracks via Amazon’s US website later this year.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said more than half the five million songs offered via iTunes should be available in the new format by the end of this year.
‘Our customers are very excited about the freedom and amazing sound quality of iTunes Plus,’ he said.
Other record labels are expected to follow EMI’s lead by removing the anti-piracy software from their music downloads.
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