updated 01:30 pm EST, Wed January 17, 2007
Apple to open FairPlay?
Apple is planning to open its FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) standard used on tracks purchased from its iTunes Music Store, according to /Tech/ sources. The publication says Apple is gearing up to make two announcements this week, making protected AAC files streamable via USB and the ability for third-party 'Made for iPod' manufacturers to license Fairplay for their own use. If true, the moves would result in more hardware with expanded functionality, such as digital output straight from iTunes, and built-in displays of previously protected track content such as album artwork. /Tech/ speculates that the move could be intended to keep Made for iPod companies on board as the appeal of more "open" players like the Microsoft Zune become stronger.