Klaus
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ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:28 pm

From the official Apple press release:

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store:

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.”

We've been discussing pretty much exactly those two issues before - quality and DRM - and Steve Jobs' recent plea for DRM-free music had met many people's scepticism.

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
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:43 pm

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.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:44 pm

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.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
AC773
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting Klaus (Thread starter):

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!  bigthumbsup 

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.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:14 pm

Quoting AC773 (Reply 3):
You certainly can, but especially if you have as much music as I do, it's such a pain in the ass.

Never said it wasn't  Wink I'm thinking of cancelling Rhapsody, simply because I don't download enough music for it to be worth it.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
DeltaAVL
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:22 pm

This just sounds like another money-making deal by Mr. Jobs. There's no way I'm spending the money to "upgrade" songs that I've already bought.
"We break, We bend, With hand in hand, When hope is gone, Just hang on." -Guster
 
Klaus
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:26 pm

Quoting DeltaAVL (Reply 5):
This just sounds like another money-making deal by Mr. Jobs. There's no way I'm spending the money to "upgrade" songs that I've already bought.

Especially not as you actually get more value for your money...  crazy 

But if the current DRM scheme doesn't bother you and the current quality level is just fine for the music you like, you can still stay with the lower-quality DRM versions.

So what's the problem?
 
Go3Team
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:38 pm

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?
Yay Pudding!
 
Klaus
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:55 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 7):
What other benefits would be had from them not being protected, besides the better quality?

What more do you need?  Smile

The quality should be indistinguishable from uncompressed signals in almost all circumstances. Correct tags and album art plus basically free usability on any player make it near perfect...

The only conceivable further improvement so far (besides lower price) would be actually uncompressed music the way Magnatune offers it...
 
N231YE
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:02 am

At least the record companies are loosing their "greedy" strength hold on this.

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.
 
Klaus
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:11 am

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.
 
ajd1992
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:57 am

I don't think this will bother many people. I mean, Isn't 128kbps AAC the same as 192kbps MP3? I rip my music at 192/mp3, and can't tell the difference. I can if it's 128/mp3 though.
 
sv2008
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:21 am

I thought the higher price was just to offset people copying it.

The quality isn't really a big deal, but no restrictive DRM is.
 
Asturias
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RE: ITunes Store To Offer DRM-free Music In May

Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:33 am

I like! This is very good and I will certainly buy these new DRM free tracks from EMI over DRM tracks from others. Where available I will 'bail out' my DRM tracks.

Steve sure has some heavy influence in the music industry!

All good and well, I hope other major labels will join - in fact I am sure they will. Sell music at a higher price sounds good to them, I'm sure  Smile

saludos

Asturias
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