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Apple shines at Macworld, even with MVP Jobs benched

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This year's Macworld keynote had the potential to be a real stinker – what with über-CEO Steve Jobs sitting things out for health reasons and the company's announcement that this was the last time it would attend the annual trade show. But even with Jobs out, the Cupertino-based company presented software updates and a new laptop that earned squeals from fanboys.

iTunes

The biggest announcement in the presentation by Apple's Phil Schiller was that the company's iTunes music store would be dropping digital rights management (DRM) from all the songs it sells. Boy Genius Report had one of the first rundowns of the changes.

Also significant on the music side of things is a change in the company's once-simple song pricing scheme. Instead of a flat $.99 fee per song, some older, "bargain bin" songs may now be scooped up for $.69, while other, more in-demand titles will increase to $1.29. The move is a departure from Mr. Jobs' conviction that the iTunes store's success hinged on a simple pricing model.

Finally, iPhone owners can now download songs over a 3G connection – rather than being limited to downloading music when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Gizmodo has a good overview.

iLife '09

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