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Apple To Sell Higher Quality DRM-Free Music On iTunes

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Apple To Sell Higher Quality DRM-Free Music On iTunes

Postby Ian on Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:56 pm

I've had an iPod for awhile now but never felt the need to buy music through iTunes. With Apple's announcement, I just might show my support of DRM-free music and buy a few tracks.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/04/02itunes.html

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.”

“EMI and iTunes are once again teaming up to move the digital music industry forward by giving music fans higher quality audio that is virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings, with no usage restrictions on the music they love from their favorite artists,” said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group.

With DRM-free music from the EMI catalog, iTunes customers will have the ability to download tracks from their favorite EMI artists without any usage restrictions that limit the types of devices or number of computers that purchased songs can be played on. DRM-free songs purchased from the iTunes Store will be encoded in AAC at 256 kbps, twice the current bit rate of 128 kbps, and will play on all iPods, Mac® or Windows computers, Apple TVs and soon iPhones, as well as many other digital music players.

iTunes will also offer customers a simple, one-click option to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free format for 30 cents a song. All EMI music videos will also be available in DRM-free format with no change in price.
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Postby Wesociety on Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:46 pm

Let's hope that DRM-free media continues to gain support.
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Postby Dartman on Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:37 pm

And rather then just do it because that's the way it should have been all along they call it a added value and charge extra for it, way to go apple #-o
But yes lets hope it takes hold and pricing drops. I can buy a cd with all the tracks cheaper during sales and we know we can do whatever we want with it.
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Postby SithTracy on Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:04 pm

Prices probably won't drop if people are willing to Pay, Apple may try to squeeze a few more cents out of us... Don't know which recording artists I am interested in with EMI, but I may have to take a gander @ iTunes Music Store... If not, there is still QTFairUse6 for the 99 cent tracks.
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Postby Ian on Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:19 am

I don't think its Apple that wants the extra money. There were rumors that EFI wanted Apple to front a huge chunk of money in case this fails.
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