EMI to release DRM-free tracks in iTunes
Woo-hoo! Check out the EMI press release!
In iTunes Music Store, you pay 30c more to get the tracks without DRM - and you can upgrade DRM'd songs to be DRM-free by just paying the difference. And get this: it's gonna be 256kbps AAC - not the regular 128 kbps! That's good enough for archiving and format conversion for a long, long time in the future. I'm happy with that. This is what was asked for, this is what they are doing, and now it's up to the market forces to take this thing forward.
So, this means that the price of online music should settle at $1.29€/song, with cheaper versions available at different levels of cripplitude. I'm pretty sure that the $1.29€/song figure won't change for a long time (because traditionally, the price of music has not exactly gone down with new technologies), but it's still fine compared to new CD prices.
(Via, well, everywhere.)
Update: A surprisingly insightful comment from Slashdot, where someone wonders if this is going to kill Microsoft's music strategy, Windows Media, and Zune:
Well, twenty percent of the player market is still quite a lot, and considering that many cell phones play happily both WMA and AAC, I don't know if it really matters. But this surely is going to change the dynamics of the marketplace.
Update2: Just realized that increased quality probably means watermarking. Oh well, as long as it's not audible and that they are open about it.
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