A new upgrade 7.2 for iTunes which appeared late yesterday offers support for "iTunes Plus", the title Apple has given for the higher 256 bit-rate DRM free downloads from EMI. These unprotected AAC tracks will sell for $1.29.
iTunes is still silent, however, as to when DRM free tracks from hundreds of indie labels clamoring to offer them will become available. While Apple sent a letter weeks ago asking indies to deliver mp3 masters, no label or distributor that we surveyed had been offered a launch date or the contract addendum that would be required to allow DRM free sales.
These delays by iTune's call into question both Apple's real enthusiasm for DRM free sales and the validity of any EMI only experiment. But they must be music to Amazon's ears as the internet giant rushes towards the launch of its DRM-free only store which promises a much broader selection of untethered tracks.