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Music Technology

Microsoft’s bright iDea

The rumour-mongers are convinced that Microsoft is going to attack the iPod head-on later this year, and MacDailyNews reckons that the firm has an interesting gimmick for potential switchers: if you go the Microsoft route, Microsoft’s software will scan your copy of iTunes for any tracks you’ve bought from Apple and then let you download copies of those tracks in Windows Media format for free.

Three initial thoughts:

* It’s a nice idea, despite the cackles from the Apple faithful. While it’s possible to re-rip your iTMS purchases as DRM-free MP3s (or whatever), it’s a pain in the arse to do it if you’ve more than a handful of tracks.

* That said, Microsoft’s solution means you’re trading one lot of DRMed music for another.

* Wouldn’t it be funny if the iTunes tool got hacked and told Microsoft that *all* your iTunes library – ripped CDs, bittorrent downloads and all – had been purchased from the iTMS?