updated 01:45 pm EST, Mon February 12, 2007
NexTune to open up iTunes?
A company called NexTune is claiming to have developed software that will bridge all the major DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies protecting musical tracks to offer consumers a simple, unified means of acquiring music without locking them into one particular type of player. Apple in recent months has come under intense scrutiny -- especially overseas -- for binding iTunes Store customers to its iPod portable player and iTunes software. NexTune "puts all the pieces of the puzzle together and provides a complete user experience," according to NexTune president and CEO Michael DuKane. The company is planning to release NexTune 3.0 next month, offering compatibility with Apple's FairPlay DRM-protected tracks sold from the iTunes Store. Apple has thus far refused to license its FairPlay DRM to competitors, and has historically worked aggressively to update its protection scheme whenever it becomes compromised.