DRM-Free Music Plays for Microsoft. Sorry, Apple

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is getting exactly what he asked for nearly a year ago: Industry movement away from DRM music. But the DRM freedom he wanted is looking more like DRM freedom from Apple. There has been a whole lot of shakin' going on the last two weeks with respect to DRM-free content: Warner made its library available to Amazon, as unprotected MP3s. Sony BMG announced plans to release its catalog DRM free. In second quarter, Napster will go back to its MP3 roots, with a library available in the unprotected format

While the DRM-free moves may be good for consumers, many labels' have another motivation: DRM freedom from Apple. The iTunes Music store is the biggest seller of DRM music, which should be good for labels wanting to curb piracy. But as iTunes/iPod dominance has increased, labels have found themselves in an increasing Apple choke hold.

View: The full story @ MS-Watch

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The labels are all in love with Amazon, who will do whatever they want to prop up their music store, but time goes by and Amazon either can't bring the numbers iTunes does or starts making demands, they will likely loosen up. I think the big labels all really love iTunes, they just loving having the threat of Amazon to use in negotiations as well.

im just happy I managed to completely dodge DRM content for years... and now I will never have to worry about it again! Muauahahahahahahah

Same here. I got it into my head early on that spending money on DRMed media was equivalent to ****ing money away. I did almost get bitten by a copy-crippled CD, but luckily my Mac ripped it just fine. DVDs are the only DRMed media I've ever bought, and then only because of the intrepid efforts of Jon Lech Johansen and his Fair Use Enforcement tool, DeCSS.

heh i bought my first songs from itunes.

The DRM isn't anything to be worried about anyway lol it's piece of cake to break anyway i stripped it from them and re-encoded them from .m4a to mp3 and they are free

Yup I'm all for being without DRM since I can use the music how I want to use it after I buy it. I eschewed Apple because you were locked into using an Ipod which I can't stand. I'm not forced into using Itunes, I can buy my music from wherever now that there is more DRM-free places to do so. I'm quite happy with the turn of events.

ghos said,
I eschewed Apple because you were locked into using an Ipod which I can't stand.

Or with their DRM-free music (over 2 million songs) you can play it on any player you want. You can also burn the tracks to a CD-RW and re-import them, as a way of getting the DRM off.

So basically just one person has to download a song free of DRM and then can make some copies for all his family and friends.

hardgiant said,
So basically just one person has to download a song free of DRM and then can make some copies for all his family and friends.

People did that already. This way at least the industry has a chance to sell music to people that hate DRM instead of having it all ripped off.

And people are just going to FLOCK to the stores to buy those damn things Sony is pushing? yea right. Almost any player can play M4A unprotected music, + there are uncountable apps available to convert those files to MP3. And all MP3s will play on the iPOD.

But Apple want to push DRM free music, hence iTunes Plus which are DRM-free AAC files? The DRM was required before the recording industry would even consider distributing music electronically!

Talk about catch 22. You do what is required in order to satisfy the recording industry, then you get accused by the recording industry of "holding them back" - i've never heard such nonsense in all my life!

ozzieXP said,
I guess no one wants unprotected ACC? :D

No, people aren't even getting the choice thanks to the record companies.

I guess no one wants unprotected ACC?

The point is, when it is free from DRM, you can do what the hell you want with it so it is sort of irrelevant what format it is in - you can turn it into WMA, MP3, OGG or whatever other format you want!

Chicane-UK said,

The point is, when it is free from DRM, you can do what the hell you want with it so it is sort of irrelevant what format it is in - you can turn it into WMA, MP3, OGG or whatever other format you want!

Transcoding kills the sound quality. Why not just offer it in the most common format?

But Apple want to push DRM free music, hence iTunes Plus which are DRM-free AAC files

But with only 500,000 or their 6 million+ tracks available, they aren't really pushing to get it done...

<i>I guess no one wants unprotected ACC?</i>

I want unprotected AAC, but everyone is going with MP3 now because it's the most popular. Trouble is it's only the most popular because everyone supports it. This is a codec that was created in the 1980s, I really think it's overdue for being replaced. AAC is really nice, if the stores would just start offering it instead. I think another problem is that many people seem to have the idea that AAC is owned by Apple or something, which of course isn't true at all.

Antaris said,

But with only 500,000 or their 6 million+ tracks available, they aren't really pushing to get it done...

Um... Apple has over 2 million of their tracks DRM-free, and that number's growing bigger every day.