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The end of DRM ....... maybe ..... but you pay more per tune

by blackphoenix99 / April 1, 2007 10:48 PM PDT
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A small but significant step forward...
by Evil Penguin / April 2, 2007 12:05 AM PDT

Yes, definitely a step forward that Itunes now has DRM-free tracks from a major music label.

It's a shame that those are considered "premium" tracks (at this point), though.

I would have been more excited if they had just replaced the regular tracks with a DRM-free version.

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You don't get somethin' for nothin'
by thriftyT / April 2, 2007 7:23 AM PDT

This is a fantastic compromise IMO.
- Consumers (and BOL) get the non-DRM music they've been clamoring for.
- Record companies get increased revenue per track sold.
- Apple gets increased demand for new iPods due to larger size of the new DRM-free tracks.


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by Kokoro-Kun / April 2, 2007 12:35 AM PDT


ok, maybe just EMI, but it's such a positive step. When Tom predicted it (well, mostly) at the end of last year, I was thinking he must be crazy to think the that label companies are even considering it.

Not only no DRM, but twice the quality. I am absolutely willing to pay that. I hope the sales of those un-DRMed songs sell great, so the other companies can see that this is a workable model.

RIP DRM - 2008 Happy

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Oh snap, Tom
by Deiailis / April 2, 2007 12:45 AM PDT

I have to say, I was one of the doubters when Tom predicted a major label offering music without DRM. Tom has always had what I consider to be a little too much optimism in these sorts of things. However, looks like he was spot-on with the prediction that a major label would embrace DRM-free music.

And yes, I most certainly thought this was an extremely implausible and thus badly-crafted April Fool's joke. Apple Hot News claims differently:

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Understating under major point too

Finally itunes is selling music at a decent bit rate. Why would I want to buy a 128kbit AAC when I could rip music off a CD at much higher quality. Finally a decide bit rate, 256kbit.

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It's not good enough.
by udayan71 / April 2, 2007 7:12 AM PDT
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are you kidding me? not good enough???
by Kokoro-Kun / April 2, 2007 7:15 AM PDT
In reply to: It's not good enough.

>They need to sell everything sans DRM and in MP3.

One step at a time, what are you going to tell us next? that 99 cents is too much and they should lower it to 9 cents??? Give them credits when credits due. This is a HUGE step toward the right direction.

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$15.60 for a non DRM 12 song ablum? Um, No thanks
by pl4y3r0n3 / April 2, 2007 9:32 PM PDT

This will fail and that's the way the EMI wants it to prove that DRM laden files are a better value. Most people (most, meaning people that are not uber-techie) will not find the value in paying .30 cents more for an unrestricted file. One should not have to pay more for a higher bit rate non-DRM file; it doesn't take more effort to encode a file at a higher bit rate with no DRM than it does to encode a lower bit rate DRM file. Check your Sunday paper, most big box stores sell new CD's for $9.99 to $13.99 when they are first released and used CD's are even cheaper and can be encoded at any bit rate, DRM free. iTunes has convenience going for it but, at almost the cost of a 1/2 hr or 1hr long tv show, keep trying EMI, your greed will keep my dollars in my pocket.

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Don't forget the bit rate
by Nicholas Buenk / April 2, 2007 11:22 PM PDT

256kbit, more bandwidth, more costs. Also sound quality plus lack of DRM, means it's definitely worth the extra cost.

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Oh how wrong you are!
by skellener / April 5, 2007 2:06 AM PDT

> Most people (most, meaning people that are not uber-techie)
> will not find the value in paying .30 cents more for an unrestricted file.

Just the fact that they offer a higher quality song will lure people to that extra $.30. Remember, iTunes makes most sales for single songs, not albums.

It just shows how truly crazy the music industry is. DRM the low quality crappy stuff, but full quality audio on a CD or these new 256 bit AAC files from iTunes are DRM free. Huh? Yeah, protect the crap...that's just crazy!

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2003 - 2007.
by udayan71 / April 4, 2007 9:01 PM PDT

I think the iTunes Store opened in 2003. This is a tiny step which EMI suggested, and it comes 4 years after hollering from thousands of media outlets demanding no more DRM.

Treating consumers like pirates is insanity, it is a fundamental grudging distrust: 'we'll sell it to you but lock it down so hard that you can't do anything with it.' which is not conducive at all to unleashing the potential of online sales.

99c is demanded by the record companies so that CD sales did not collapse. The $15 or so that a CD costs is mostly physical production, none of which is required in online distribution. Yes, servers and bandwidth are necessary but the cost is not equivalent whereas the price is. So no, don't drop it to 9c (that doesn't give the artist enough) but do not leap up and down in joy at a minor (and still grudging) concession.

Not good enough Apple, especially after SJ's crowd pleasing DRM post. Promising from EMI, considering willingness to remove DRM. Not good enough overall because irrespective of the quality gain it is STILL a premium to get DRM free music. I don't illegally download music, but the rationale for it is quite frankly understandable when you consider the brevity of distrust in the consumer.

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Apple depends on the record companies
by Nicholas Buenk / April 2, 2007 10:33 AM PDT
In reply to: It's not good enough.

They can't sell non-DRM music unless the record companies agree. This will certainly influence other record companies. If consumers are willing to pay extra for DRM, it shows the record companies that consumers don't want DRM, the best thing you can do to protest DRM is buy these tracks so apple can do to warner brothers etc and say, non-DRM music is successful.

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(NT) (NT) In this case, they sell sans DRM because EMI said so.
by udayan71 / April 4, 2007 8:55 PM PDT
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by Entouchable / April 2, 2007 10:39 AM PDT

And the Grinch's heart grew 3 times that day.

This is great news. Granted, the songs cost more, but for 30 cents the people that were getting their songs legitly will continue to do so, and the people that weren't only have one excuse now (no money).

This opens up their target market now for iTunes sales from those dumb people not in the know to including us intelligent tech people who were too smart to *waste* money on locked down music when the free stuff was so much better (free as in beer AND as in speech).

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