Quote: CUPERTINO, California—April 2, 2007—Apple® today announced that EMI Music’s entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com) worldwide in May. DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song. In addition, iTunes customers will be able to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free versions for just 30 cents a song. iTunes will continue to offer its entire catalog, currently over five million songs, in the same versions as today—128 kbps AAC encoding with DRM—at the same price of 99 cents per song, alongside DRM-free higher quality versions when available.
“We are going to give iTunes customers a choice—the current versions of our songs for the same 99 cent price, or new DRM-free versions of the same songs with even higher audio quality and the security of interoperability for just 30 cents more,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year.”
Although the increased price for the higher-quality and DRM-free music can surely be debated (and I hope will one day fall back to or below the current "standard" prices), I'd say this is a step into the right direction.
The question is how EMI's competition will react to this bold step into a new media distribution era; It may even have long-term implications for DRM in all kinds of media distribution.
DVDs are today practically DRM-free, if not exactly on the legal level; The draconic DRM on the new HD DVD / Blue Ray formats together with the severe consequences for the consumers is certainly a step into the wrong direction, and we may see the day when media distributors will acknowledge that you don't gag and strangle the people who are paying your salaries...
D L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 10561 posts, RR: 53 Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 935 times:
30 cents a song "upgrade..."
I just took a look at the money I've spent on iTunes since I got my first iPod. I've spent around $500 for 600 songs. 600 songs times $.30 is $180 to "upgrade" my songs to be able to use them the way I use CDs, which of course have no DRM. Craziness - WAAAAAY too expensive.
At last! I still prefer CDs, but this is perfect for getting tracks a la carte if you don't want the entire album. Good job EMI, and I hope this catches on!
Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 2): Can't you get around the DRM by burning the music to a CD, and then ripping it back as MP3? At least that's how my Rhapsody works.
You certainly can, but especially if you have as much music as I do, it's such a pain in the ass. And at the end of it, you're still left with a song that's below CD quality. For the money, not worth it IMO.
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
Go3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3266 posts, RR: 22 Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 905 times:
The only complaint I have against the current ITunes way,is that my car CD player won't play protected ITunes files. I have to convert them to CD first. What other benefits would be had from them not being protected, besides the better quality?
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 20860 posts, RR: 55 Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 889 times:
Quoting N231YE (Reply 9): At least the record companies are loosing their "greedy" strength hold on this.
They never really had that - they are simply beginning to acknowledge that you need to offer a solution that works as well and as conveniently as music from file sharing does - and people will gladly pay for a fair and comfortable legal offering.
Quoting N231YE (Reply 9): I recall reading somewhere that the music industry tried to push Apple to raise the price of an iTunes song for as much as US$2.99, but Steve Jobs refused and kept the price at US$0.99 a song.
Indeed - "a la carte pricing" at the discretion of the music labels was long a point of contention between the labels and Apple. And Apple prevailing there has made the $0.99 price tag an industry-wide standard to the benefit of the customer.
That the improved format will be more expensive has probably more to do with the fact that the "old" DRM format will have to coexist with it for some time to come - much better quality and total freedom vs. lower quality and DRM restrictions must find some expression in price; But the market will almost certainly make the better format a the current "normal" price the standard sooner or later.