iTunes IconThere has been a lot of coverage about Apple's new DRM-Free music over the past few days, particularly about how Apple is embedding the original purchaser's name and email address (and other data) in the track data itself (eg here and here).

Naturally, some people aren't too happy with this and a lot of the comments are along the lines of "Huh, so much for DRM-free music, now they're tracking me". Well actually, it still is DRM-free and they're not tracking you. You can now play these tracks on ANY device that supports the m4a (AAC) format, which you couldn't before. There is absolutely NO digital rights management in the track what-so-ever. As for the tracking, the only way they'll be able to track you, if they so choose, is if you do something you shouldn't with the track.

Yes, the tracks do have your personal information embedded in the data (it always has had to some degree), but this is to be expected. If Apple & EMI are going to prove to the world that DRM-free music is the way to go, they have to put in some form of deterrent to stop people sharing the files willy nilly, without actually restricting users.

Whilst this won't be a problem for the more tech-savvy to circumvent (I'm sure a quick trip through a hex editor could change this info) whilst still retaining the original high quality (converting to MP3 results in data loss), it will deter the not so tech-savvy from sharing the files, which is just what Apple and EMI want.