BRIEF: iTunes Flexible Album Pricing/Microsoft Pays Universal Off the Top

There is a new iTunes rumor circling around the web…this time it’s about album pricing.  Cnet reported on it a few days ago, saying that iTunes may allow for flexible album pricing on albums where you have already purchased some of the songs individually.

If it’s true, all I can say is – it’s about time.

This rumor, if proven true, is another step in the right direction for DRMed music files, and making the purchasing of music online more affordable and fair to the consumer.

It is unfortunate that while this rumor of things happening positively for music lovers, over on the other end of the mp3 player spectrum (namely Zune territory) it was revealed last week that a major blow for consumers has been allowed by Microsoft.

Microsoft is paying Universal (one of the largest music companies in the world) money off the top of EVERY Zune sold…ya know…because EVERYONE that buys a music player is a pirate and is stealing things from the recording industry.  This sets a terrible precedence, that the music companies have already hinted they expect to use when re-negotiating contracts with Apple over the iPod.

For my two cents I think Steve Jobs will shove his hand in a meat grinder before he gives into the that kind of extortion (whether that’s a good or bad business move is another debate entirely), but it’s going to be an issue in the near future, and one that I’m sure will have a large effect on the future of the iPod – and how much we pay for it, and the music we download.

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