edmicman writes "Leave it to Sony to mess up DRM-free music downloads. What is the point of DRM-free tracks if you still have to go to a retail store to buy them? From the Infoworld article: 'The tracks will be offered in MP3 format, without DRM, from Jan. 15 in the U.S. and from late January in Canada... The move is far from the all-digital service offered by its rivals, though. To obtain the Sony-BMG tracks, would-be listeners will first have to go to a retail store to buy a Platinum MusicPass, a card containing a secret code, for a suggested retail price of $12.99. Once they have scratched off the card's covering to expose the code, they will be able to download one of just 37 albums available through the service, including Britney Spears' "Blackout" and Barry Manilow's "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies."'"