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As anticipated, EMI Music today announced that it plans to make all of its digital music offerings free of anti-piracy restrictions and that iTunes would be the first online store to sell the DRM-free music. EMI also said its downloads will be available in a higher quality format than previously offered.

The new DRM-free premium EMI music will be sold on Apple’s iTunes Store in higher quality 256 kbps AAC format (twice the current bit rate) for a higher price—individual tracks will sell for $1.29. Apple said iTunes will continue to offer 99-cent standard sound quality tracks with DRM still applied. Full albums will only be offered in the premium version. In addition, iTunes customers will be able to “upgrade” their previously purchased EMI tracks to the higher quality DRM-free format for 30 cents a song.

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