Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sony Your Rights Online

Sony Announces DRM-Free Music at Amazon 293

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-as-dumb-as-we-thought dept.
sehlat brings us a New York Times report that Sony has agreed to start selling DRM-free music from Amazon's MP3 store. This comes days after Sony revealed plans for physical MusicPass cards that would allow DRM-free access to a small portion of Sony's library. Now that all four major record labels are on board with Amazon, some are expecting Apple to make moves away from DRM as well. From the NYTimes: "Sony's partnership with Amazon.com also underscores the music industry's gathering effort to nurture an online rival to Apple, which has sold more than three billion songs through its iTunes store. Most music purchased on iTunes can be played only on Apple devices, and Apple insists on selling all single tracks for 99 cents. Amazon, which sells tracks for anywhere from 89 cents to over a dollar, offers the pricing variability the labels want."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sony Announces DRM-Free Music at Amazon

Comments Filter:
  • by 7Prime (871679) on Friday January 11, 2008 @03:46AM (#21996498) Homepage Journal
    He wants to know why suddenly everything down there is now... FROZEN!
  • Free market (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpectreBlofeld (886224) on Friday January 11, 2008 @03:50AM (#21996516)
    Those of you who feel that the free market has no recourse against the large corporation and cartel, take note - this is the voting power of your dollar at work. Or, the lack of the dollar thereof, specifically.

    It didn't take dismantling of the RIAA, court-ordered cessation of their ridiculous lawsuits, or legislative intervention to protect the consumer - it took your disillusionment with the industry and unwillingness to part with hard-earned cash to pay for crippled formats and less freedom with the content you purchased.

    The next step will be the determining factor in the future of media sales. Will you buy MP3s, unrestricted, for a reasonable price? Or will you continue to download it for free via Limewire?

    Option A will reinforce a reasonable business model that will benefit the industry, the artist, and you.

    Option B will reverse the progress that has been made.

    Choose wisely, Indiana Jones...
    • It also took Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:07AM (#21996588) Homepage
      Apple had become too powerful and arrogant, so basically the labels had become more scared of Apple than of the consumers.
      • Shush Mr Firewire, you know fine that everyone wants USB these days! While your insight and better technical prowess is impressive, the free market has spoken. Farewell.
      • by wall0159 (881759)
        Exactly - what is to stop the labels reimplementing DRM when there are many small online music sellers? Small retailers wont be in a position to stand up to them in the way that Apple did.

        Free market my ass.
      • by intheshelter (906917) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:52AM (#21998106)
        Are you kidding me? Apple was the only thing between you and the RIAA's desire to force you to subscription pricing or $3.99 digital singles, or forcing you to buy the WHOLE digital album!! The only reason there is a viable digital market right now is that Apple "gets it". They created a store that was very easy to use, and they were the only vendor who stood up to the RIAA and other media companies. Apple worked hard to create a viable digital market, store, and portable devices, and they knew the media companies demands would result in disaster so they resisted.

        Apple is not a saint by any stretch, but I think your analysis is way off. Rather than arrogant they were smart enough to create a market the way consumers wanted it to be and they tried hard to protect that market from disastrous media company meddling. Now the media companies are once again trying to screw up the digital market by excluding the one partner who made the market viable. I don't think Jobs is perfect, but he's a hell of a lot smarter than the media rubes and he'll have an answer for them. I for one howpe the rumor of Apple creating its own record label is true. They need to shake up big media's control and corrupt business practices.

        As for the Amazon thing. I welcome any DRM free tracks. That's a positive step. But beware of the media companies motives. If they manage to break Apple I have no doubt that DRM will be back in a big way because the RIAA does not care about consumer needs one bit.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ucblockhead (63650)

          Apple was the only thing between you and the RIAA's desire to force you to subscription pricing or $3.99 digital singles, or forcing you to buy the WHOLE digital album!!


          Exactly. This is why they are abandoning DRM. They realized that the only successful DRM gave Apple the power to force them into a particular pricing model. They'd rather give up on DRM than see that happen.
    • Re:Free market (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moonpie Madness (764217) on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:11AM (#21996612)
      Such a great point.

      But some will believe that music isn't worth their money, but is worth the effort to torrent. they will claim that they are just not willing to reward the awful quality of music with their money, rather than complaining about money.

      Or, of ocurse, they will claim that the formats you can buy just aren't good enough. They will want lossless.

      But, like you say, if sales of music don't pick up, and piracy doesn't decline, some in the industry will exclaim that DRM must return. Not sure that this affects the pirates very much.

      Pirates: at least remove all the tags, etc, so it's not too obvious that files you share came from DRM-free stores.
      • Re:Free market (Score:4, Interesting)

        by somersault (912633) on Friday January 11, 2008 @07:50AM (#21997600) Homepage Journal
        This is true though. Unless the MP3s are 192kbps as I rip all my CDs at, I'm going to keep buying CDs rather than just downloading. I also like to have CDs anyway to play in the car (maybe my next car will have an MP3 player, but I dont want to bother spending any money upgrading my current one, a 6 CD changer is enough for me right now..). Not everyone who doesn't choose to download this will be a pirate, but I am tempted to buy some albums just to show my support for the lack of DRM..
        • Re:Free market (Score:5, Informative)

          by curiosity (152527) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:10AM (#21997732) Homepage
          They are at 256kbps from Amazon.

        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          maybe my next car will have an MP3 player, but I dont want to bother spending any money upgrading my current one

          One of the selling points for my car was that lousy factory stereo would play mp3s. It's not digital storage -- you just burn data CDs filled with mp3s sorted by directory -- but 700 megs is a lot of music with mp3s. More then enough for most of my car rides, plus you can always burn more CDs if you need to :)

          I'm surprised this isn't standard equipment nowadays. My Car [suzukiauto.com] is anything but high-end and it came with it.....

      • by sm62704 (957197)
        Such an obviously bad point.

        RIAA music isn't worth the money (maybe make it a dime and I'll buy it) nor is it worth the effort to torrent. I'll rip my MP3s from indie CDs, and if I want any RIAA MP3s I'll sample them off the damned radio, way less hassle than either legal or illicit internet downloads.

        And the formats aren't good enough. I buy lossless music on CD, vinyl, and cassette. And download lossless indie files from archive.org. Here [archive.org] are some files from some old friends of mine [kuro5hin.org] in SHN. FOLAC, MP3 and
    • Re:Free market (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tkrotchko (124118) * on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:18AM (#21996646) Homepage
      I've already purchased from Amazon, but I won't buy from iTMS for a few reasons:

      1) Amazon has more attractive prices (generally $8 for a CD)

      2) It's in MP3. I think non-DRM's AAC files are fine, but MP3's are more desirable.

      3) Amazon just downloads the stuff to your hard drive. It feels just like a purchase.

      All that said, CD's are more desirable, and if purchased used are a better value (they can be legally resold). But the Amazon model is the first electronic system to be interesting enough for me to pay money for it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ljaguar (245365)
        "3) Amazon just downloads the stuff to your hard drive. It feels just like a purchase."

        what do you think iTunes does? it also just downloads the stuff to your hard drive.
      • by Bob[Bob] (60151)
        2) It's in MP3. I think non-DRM's AAC files are fine, but MP3's are more desirable.

        Whuh? Why would you prefer MP3 over AAC? Are you still using a Diamond Rio or something? :-)
        • by peragrin (659227)
          AAC's or MP4 are just the next evolution of the MP3.

          The only reason more people can't pay them is because they tried to play WMA's more figureing on MSFT to win the DRM war.

          Apple doesn't mind losing this part. as more iPods can be sold.
        • Re:Free market (Score:5, Informative)

          by Steve001 (955086) on Friday January 11, 2008 @07:09AM (#21997426)

          Bob[Bob] wrote and included with a post:

          2) It's in MP3. I think non-DRM's AAC files are fine, but MP3's are more desirable.

          Whuh? Why would you prefer MP3 over AAC? Are you still using a Diamond Rio or something? :-)

          The main reason I can think of for preferring MP3 over AAC: Just about every compressed audio player will play MP3 files. Although the number of players that will play AAC file is increasing, it will be a long time before it will approach the number that can play MP3.

          I have many devices that will play compressed audio files (including my computer). All will play MP3, five will play WMA, two will play AAC, and two will play ATRAC.

          One of the main advantages AAC has over MP3 is better sound quality at a lower bitrate. For me, encoding my MP3 files at a 192 bitrate gives me good sound quality, and I don't mind the extra space it take to store the files. I might save space using AAC but the files will only play on a limited number of devices.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by tepples (727027)

          Why would you prefer MP3 over AAC? Are you still using a Diamond Rio or something?

          I don't listen to country [wikipedia.org]. The point is that a lot of portable players can play MP3, WMA, and nothing else. Apple iPod players can play AAC without DRM, and many that also play MPEG-4 ASP or H.264 video can, but others cannot. This is due to both a limited silicon budget for decoders and a limited patent royalty budget for decoders.

        • by darjen (879890)
          My 2005 car has an mp3 cd changer in it that I often use, rather than going through the trouble of getting my iPod out and connecting the FM transmitter. And it's better sound than FM too. Needless to say, the 100 or so tracks that I've purchased from iTunes don't play too well on there.
      • by darjen (879890)
        Normally when I see an album I want, I buy it used from Amazon Marketplace and resell it after I rip the tracks. But I've also purchased mp3s from Amazon and have been quite happy with the service. It's unfortunate that a lot of the music I want doesn't seem to be available there yet. As soon as it is, I will probably often end up buying my favorite two or three tracks from a cd and forego the whole purchase/resell process.
      • 1) True enough, Amazon is a little cheaper. I also find it harder to browse.

        2) Some think AACs sound a little better, and are therefore more desireable... though at least Amazon offers MP3's in a bitrate high enough to be pleased with.

        3) iTunes purchases show up as "purchased music". So it feels quite a lot like a purchase - and I think it goes without saying that it downloads to your hard drive as well... And if you use iTunes for music, Amazons purchasing tool is a little less convenient (though not mu
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FireFury03 (653718)
      The next step will be the determining factor in the future of media sales. Will you buy MP3s, unrestricted, for a reasonable price? Or will you continue to download it for free via Limewire?

      I'll continue to download the albums, listen to them and then either buy the CD (if I liked the album) or delete what I downloaded (if I didn't).
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        The RIAA should listen to you. MP3s should be, and are to you and me, promotional items to get you to buy the physical goods. Here's a tale I've told before and will tell again how NOT giving me an MP3 almost cost a sale.

        When I heard Santana had a new album out (Supernatural, 1999) I went to CD Now! to have a listen. They then (and probably still do) had short twenty second clips of songs.

        The more clips I heard the more disappointed I was. The Abraxas album blew me away when I got it way back when dirt was
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JumperCable (673155)
      I'm holding out for FLAC. Then we'll talk.
    • Reasonable pricing (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Walles (99143)
      Will you buy MP3s, unrestricted, for a reasonable price?

      Of course, but remember that the definition of "reasonable" is that the price is something both seller and buyer will agree on.

      Until the current pricing has proven to actually be reasonable, nobody knows if we're there yet. The "reasonable" price for a song could very well be $0.01 per song, and then the current uncrippling of extremely over-priced songs wouldn't prove anything.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Humm (48472)

      Option A will reinforce a reasonable business model that will benefit the industry, the artist, and you.

      Option B will reverse the progress that has been made.

      I'm not sure that I agree on this. Yes, major labels selling DRM-free music is probably a reasonable business model. But I'm not convinced that Option B is the regression you make it out to be. There is other progress to be made as well. DRM-free music solves a number of problems related to the restrictions on using your music. It doesn't address

      • by sm62704 (957197)
        Take that to an extreme and it sounds silly. What other evil could be spoken of so? Say the RIAA were cannibals [uncyclopedia.org]. You might then say That said, having all major labels stop eating babies is very good news, though, and I hope they are rewarded for it.

        They shouldn't be rewarded because they became less evil, they should be punished for what they've done. If your dog pees on the carpet, a rolled up newspaper will do. If he fetches your slippers reward him. If he bites you, take him to the vet and have him put d
    • Re:Free market (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cadallin (863437) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:22AM (#21996982)
      Your interpretation is extremely slanted. As others have noted, this is a precautionary measure by an enormously powerful Cartel to shut an up and comer out of the market. Whether it works or not is still very much up in the air, but in either way it demonstrates nothing about the power of the free market. This market (music owned by mainstream publishers and more generally music still under copyright) is not a free market to begin with.

      As for choosing wisely lest we lose progress, What Progress? Copyright still lasts for an Unconstitutionally long time (which is effectively unlimited), and artists are still be badly exploited by massive corporations. There is no progress to be lost, except the continued erosion of sales of music owned by the big cartel. The decline of their revenue is the REAL progress. Once the power of big media is eroded to the point of making re-regulating media and telecommunications in a reasonable way, then we will have made a grand achievement.

    • Re:Free market (Score:4, Insightful)

      by WK2 (1072560) on Friday January 11, 2008 @06:06AM (#21997158) Homepage

      Will you buy MP3s, unrestricted, for a reasonable price?

      I think it is a good move on Sony's part to release DRM-free music. But it is too soon to start buying their stuff. They are still Sony. Don't forget the Blu-Ray DRM. With the region codes they intend to spring if they win the format war. And don't forget the rootkit fiasco. As I understand it, Sony continues to plant trojans on their CDs, they just don't contain rootkits anymore. Yes, definitely too soon.

      • I think it is a good move on Sony's part to release DRM-free music. But it is too soon to start buying their stuff. They are still Sony.

        No, they are Sony Music. Big difference.

        Don't forget the Blu-Ray DRM. With the region codes they intend to spring if they win the format war.

        What? Why? That's not even under Sony's control, that's part of the Blu-Ray spec that a lot of companies developed. Heck, even HD-DVD uses the same DRM and SOny had nothing to do with that. And you are only SUPPOSING they plan to
    • by pthisis (27352)
      Personally if I were one of the many stellar Sony classical performers I'd be jumping for joy. I know that I've been looking into a lot of new pieces in the past few months, and have posted various places looking for recommendations of performances. Several times I've gotten back answers along the lines of "A, B, and C are the consensus best performances, and both A and C are available as mp3 downloads from Amazon". Certainly particular performances _do_ matter, and for pieces that I really enjoy I might
    • by zotz (3951)
      "Those of you who feel that the free market has no recourse against the large corporation and cartel, take note - this is the voting power of your dollar at work. Or, the lack of the dollar thereof, specifically."

      Hardly.

      These are not Free Market Goods but rather goods protected by government granted monopolies...

      Plus, this is not as a result of customer anything in my book, but rather an attempt by the music companies to take back the control over the business they gave to Apple by mistake. (Without realizi
    • by chrish (4714)

      Will you buy MP3s, unrestricted, for a reasonable price?

      Naturally; I've been doing it for years from the likes of Magnatune and eMusic.

      There's one big problem though... Amazon.com won't let me, and Amazon.ca doesn't have any. 100% idiotic, especially since I can buy CDs from Amazon.com no problem and rip them myself.

      I prefer buying CDs (album art, and a physical backup for when my hard drive kills itself), but some things are out of print and/or insanely hard to find. And the major labels don't generally

    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Sorry, bud, but
      1. Sony is evil, I will not buy from Sony.
      2. I'll rip my own MP3s from the CDs I buy from the indie bands I patronise
      3. They're still suing their customers, I cannot in good consciense buy anything from an RIAA label. Suing your customers is the best way there is to go out of busines, and go out of business is exactly what all RIAA labels should do.

      Nope, I still ain't buyin' RIAA music. Especially from those rootkit infested bastards at Sony.
    • by AntEater (16627)
      "Will you buy MP3s, unrestricted, for a reasonable price?"

      I'm still waiting for the price to become reasonable.

      I have no problem with paying for music but charging somewhere around $10 USD for an album in lossy mp3 format with non-transferable ownership is not what I consider reasonable. [Maybe for flac. Maybe.] Considering that the cost of production is as close to zero as you can get with this distribution model there's no reason for those kinds of prices. When mp3 downloads are around $5 for an album I
  • Come on Sony, give iTunes some DRM-free love. You know you want to!
  • ...it's available on things called "compact disks".

    Plus you get a nice plastic case, sleeve notes & a nice shiny disk that sounds better in a reasonable hi-fi than any lossy downloaded file.

    Oh, and did I forget to mention that good music albums (of which there are thousands) do not have just one or two good tracks - that particular property is reserved for the "great unwashed" who never shop beyond the shelves of their local supermarket for music.

    You mean ***PAY*** someone to cause the heads of my

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      You mean ***PAY*** someone to cause the heads of my hard disk to write a few ones and zeroes????
      Using your attitude, there are already fees due to copyrights, and they're in this case applied to stuff called music.
    • Umm, you apparently don't know much about "Compact discs" as many such discs HAVE DRM (Sony rootkit, anyone?) Look really closely at that album you're about to buy. Does the case have the SANCTIONED Compact Disc logo on the packaging? No? That's because any CD with any sort of DRM or modification (bonus data tracks) violates the Compact Disc Format, and is not allowed to carry that branding.

      In other words, if you don't see the sanctioned logo [google.com] on front or back of the case on the actual paper inserts, odds are you have a DRM-laden disc.
      • by jimicus (737525)
        I don't know about your part of the world, but here in the UK record labels decided that the logo wasn't very important years before they introduced DRM.

        For some odd reason, it seems putting a 12cm shiny polycarbonate disc in a suitably sized box, printing an insert and having record stores put it with all the other 12cm shiny discs was enough to ensure customers didn't get confused at the lack of the logo.
      • by WK2 (1072560)

        Umm, you apparently don't know much about "Compact discs" as many such discs HAVE DRM (Sony rootkit, anyone?)

        That's not quite the same thing. The music on the CD is encoded without DRM. The CDDA format does not allow DRM. Many music manufacturers add trojans (such as Sony's rootkit) to the CD, which is similar, but not quite the same thing. A Linux user won't notice the trojan. A Mac user won't notice the trojan. Someone who puts the CD into a standalone player won't notice the trojan. Someone who uses Windows, and has patched their registry to fix the Autoplay security bug won't notice the trojan. OTOH, perhaps

  • some are expecting Apple to make moves away from DRM as well

    Apple would love to "make moves away from DRM." [apple.com] Obviously they will do this as soon as the RIAA-signatory record companies make the DRM-free music available to them. The DRM is not central to Apple's business but is something the record companies forced on them to make the initial deals that created itunes.

    After Jobs released the memo linked above, EMI made DRM-free music available to Apple, and Apple immediately started selling it DRM-free. Of

  • US only (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A1kmm (218902) on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:12AM (#21996624)
    Unfortunately, they didn't think to also drop their geographic restrictions, so this is only available to their US users. I can only presume that they got pressure from the music industry to do this, because they think they can get more out of people in their own countries. Of course, it really just means that overseas Linux users will either download the files illegally or they just won't listen to big 4 music at all.
    • by jonwil (467024)
      The geographic restrictions exist because different companies own the rights to a given piece of music in different countries.

      For example, a given Sony Music track might be owned by Sony Music America in the USA but may be owned by Sony Music Australia in australia.

      In some cases its totally different companies that own the rights in different countries.
      • We all understand or can imagine the ridiculous legal situations and vast sums paid to lawyers renegotiating them all. But we don't care. We just want to buy the music. Please please may we give you money Sony?
    • That per-country restriction is odious. I have been drooling over several classical music albums I wanted to purchase, only to discover that I am an unwelcome customer. Whether I'll just download the stuff from "other sources", I don't know. I doubt, though, mostly because I won't find what I want on those "sources". But in any case, I won't forget the affront.
    • Unfortunately, they didn't think to also drop their geographic restrictions, so this is only available to their US users.
      That will do wonders for the US trade deficit. Especially given that so-called "IP" is about the only thing the US has left to export.
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      Unfortunately, they didn't think to also drop their geographic restrictions, so this is only available to their US users.

      That's alright - US users can just put it on eMule for us.
    • by MrNemesis (587188)
      Well, it's marginally less odious than what I call Apple's price fixing (i.e. differential pricing across the EU with enforced regional barriers - this is exactly the sort of thing the EU was designed to stop, barring local taxing laws).

      I've seen a fair few albums available as MP3's on amazon.com that I'd have loved to have bought on impulse (which is how I buy most of my music these days, usually going by samples/recommendations from LastFM or friends IMing me tracks) and haven't been able to, and I still
  • DRM killed itself. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wvmarle (1070040) on Friday January 11, 2008 @04:24AM (#21996678)
    I argued it before here [slashdot.org] that DRM is a dead end, killing itself by limiting it's own market. And apparently this is really happening, and happening so much that it's starting to cut in profits.
    Apple has more or less a stranglehold now on the market, and the labels demanding DRM on their music help Apple maintaining this stranglehold, and block e.g. Amazon from selling music that plays on the iPod. After all, when they must use DRM, they can not use Apple's DRM, and thus the market for Amazon and the rest is limited to the non-iPod market. And that market of course is small, and no serious competition for Apple.
    The only way out for the labels, the only way to break Apple's hold including the demands of one price for all songs, is to drop the DRM requirement. And finally they do so - it started of course with some iTunes-plus songs, and then one after another the labels realised that they themselves are locked in by DRM as much, if not more so, than the consumers. Even "rootkit" Sony BMG apparently finally realised that.
    Now the only thing I can hope for is some real competition. US$ 0.99 (HK$ 7.7) for a single song is imho way too expensive. For that price I can buy complete movies (legal, mind you - old ones, but still, a complete movie, on VCD, sometimes go for HK$10 for two). A new movie on VCD costs here HK$ 40-50, a DVD costs about HK$ 90-120, a music CD costs HK$ 70-100 for local artists and HK$ 110-150 for overseas artists. This for legal copies, not the cheap illegal import from China.
    So now finally the labels have cut the DRM from the songs, allowing Amazon and presumably soon other vendors, maybe Microsoft or Yahoo, to sell songs without DRM. Amazon is now selling a lot at prices lower than iTunes, this will likely attract customers away from iTunes. iTunes is getting competition, and may be forced to lower their prices. iTunes may also decide to give up on their DRM, the lock-in is broken up by the supply side and there is no need for them to put on the DRM. After all adding DRM costs money: it takes computer cycles, requiring more computer power; it requires extra logic on their chips or software in the iPods, etc. DRM less media is cheaper, even if only marginally so.
    So will Apple give up on their DRM? Sure. I'm really sure they will. Maybe not anytime soon, but as soon as Amazon et. al. get some traction, they will. As soon as there comes a real competitor to the iPod, they will do as well just to keep there store going.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zotz (3951)
      "iTunes is getting competition, and may be forced to lower their prices. iTunes may also decide to give up on their DRM, the lock-in is broken up by the supply side and there is no need for them to put on the DRM."

      Does iTunes' present contract allow them to lower the prices?

      Does iTunes' present contract allow them to drop the DRM?

      all the best,

      drew
    • by dissy (172727)

      Apple has more or less a stranglehold now on the market, and the labels demanding DRM on their music help Apple maintaining this stranglehold, and block e.g. Amazon from selling music that plays on the iPod
      lolz, how can apple block people from selling mp3s? how have they even attempted to do this? not to mention apple doesnt own the mp3 standard and cant dictate to anyone anything about it.

      Incase the joke is missed, iPods play mp3s

  • by Bertie (87778)
    Satan "feels a bit chilly, puts on sweater"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does anybody seriously believe that Apple wants to have DRM on iTunes ? Of course not - after all it was Steve Jobs who penned the open, anti-DRM letter in the first place.

    What the record companies are attempting to do here is break iTunes' monopoly on music downloads. They see the way to do this as supplying another retailer with a superior product (ie. DRM-free music) whist still insisting that iTunes sells DRM'ed tracks. They are then hoping that people will move over to Amazon's system, killing iTunes,
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Does anybody seriously believe that Apple wants to have DRM on iTunes ?

      Yes. It locks iTunes to the iPod, and so they mutually support each other giving apple the monopoly. Speaking out against it didn't mean Jobs didn't like it. Just that he realised that if Apple didn't allow DRM free music on iTunes, it would mean competitors would be able to offer a better product. Apple had to make a concession here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Luscious868 (679143)

      Does anybody seriously believe that Apple wants to have DRM on iTunes ? Of course not - after all it was Steve Jobs who penned the open, anti-DRM letter in the first place.

      I certainly do. Having DRM directly benefits Apple. You're locked into the iPod. If your iPod dies and you've bought a ton of music from the iTMS and you're faced burning it all to CD and re-riping it then, likely, having to import all of your music into some Media Library Management software that is compatible with a new MP3 player wha

  • by earlymon (1116185) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:56AM (#21997122) Homepage Journal

    Most music purchased on iTunes can be played only on Apple devices, and Apple insists on selling all single tracks for 99 cents. Amazon, which sells tracks for anywhere from 89 cents to over a dollar, offers the pricing variability the labels want.
    Unless they would choose to follow the EMI model - plays on many devices, price not set at 99 cents.

    Sony - FUD. Redundant by design.
  • If I want an old sixties song, it is not worth 99c. No wonder Limewire flourishes. Old music should be more like 10c a track, then piracy can be combated. Apples rigid 99c rule has been a big impediment to the uptake of digital sales. And the music needs to be at a higher bit rate. 128kbs became popular when everyone used dialup. I would prefer 320, the very least 256. If I am paying for a track I want some audio quality. Apple do not own aac, it is a part of mpeg, the other music players can use it if they
  • Economist Article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Friday January 11, 2008 @07:07AM (#21997416) Homepage
    This weeks Economist [economist.com] has a really great story [economist.com] about the music industries future. Hint: It's glum.

    Quote:

    IN 2006 EMI, the world's fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. "That was the moment we realised the game was completely up," says a person who was there.

  • Hmmm, with Amazon's move into the digital music download market, I wonder if they are considering making music purchases available to Kindle owners. It has a built in mp3 player and a pretty fast wireless download capability. Wouldn't that surprise everyone if an e-Book became the oft-discussed "convergence" device before the cell phone did.
  • by grolaw (670747) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:04AM (#21997692) Journal
    Never, never, never trust these idiots. Don't run the risk that they will include some additional "content" but call it something other than DRM.

    They will never have my business again. They proved themselves untrustworthy and only fools ask to be taken twice.
  • Now that the content is there (or getting there), Amazon just needs to improve upon their already excellent store. Why can't I have a "wishlist" of songs I want to download? Right now I have a text file of songs I want, I just haven't gotten around to buying them yet. Shouldn't I be able to mark tracks for downloading later?
  • Apple insists on selling all single tracks for 99 cents. Amazon, which sells tracks for anywhere from 89 cents to over a dollar, offers the pricing variability the labels want.


    This is the key, I think. The labels want to play Amazon and Apple off eachother in order to push prices up.

  • So...to buy music online...you have to go to a meatspace store?

    Why not just buy the fucking CD at that point?
  • by Vadim Makarov (529622) <makarov@vad1.com> on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:30AM (#22000336) Homepage
    U.S. only.

    I've tried to purchase a track at Amazon already two weeks ago. I was turned down. They only sell to buyers located in North America.
  • S3 mp3 storage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Friday January 11, 2008 @08:09PM (#22008808)
    I have what I think is an awesome idea for Amazon. Give everyone who buys mp3s a free S3 storage account. For every mp3 purchased, create a virtual link to the file in their S3 account.

    Now you have a backup of all your purchased music at no charge, which you can download at any time at standard S3 download rates. And, of course, you can feel free to use that S3 account for other purposes if you like. But there's no monthly fee for storing the mp3s since Amazon only needs to keep a single copy of each song for all users.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Working...