Sony BMG releases more DRM-free music

Download prices at Dada Entertainment aren't bad, but the selection leaves a lot to be desired.

Sony BMG, one of the top four recording companies, is releasing more DRM-free songs through a partnership with Dada USA, a mobile-entertainment company based in Italy.

Songs from Sony BMG artists such as the Foo Fighters, Kelly Clarkson, and The Strokes, will be offered through a new music service, Dada Entertainment, where users can pay $9.99 to obtain 15 tokens. Each token can be redeemed for a music download or ringtone or other content such as games or wallpaper.

The unprotected MP3 files can be transferred to an iPod, mobile phone, or any other digital music-playing device, the companies said Tuesday. Over-the-air downloads aren't ready yet, but Dada said in a statement that it expects to launch that in coming months.

The problems are obvious with this one. Music subscription services such as Napster offer unlimited music for about $13 a month. And the subscription services don't restrict users to a song library exclusively of Sony BMG songs (a Dada representative said the company is trying to cut licensing deals with other labels).

The good news is the music found at Napster is laden with DRM. The songs from this jointly operated service aren't. They are also cheaper than the downloads at iTunes and most other online music stores.

Perhaps most importantly, this is another example of a major label experimenting with songs stripped of copy-protection software.

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