Warner agrees to use MP3 format

Warner Music Group is making its music available for US downloads from Amazon in MP3 format without copy protection.

Warner had been holding out against using the format because MP3 tracks are easier to share between users and may be freely burned onto CDs. Amazon.com's download store is a major US competitor to Apple's iTunes, which uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) to restrict the use of some of its tracks.

Warner's artists include Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin and Sean Paul.

Sony BMG is now the only major recording group not signed up with Amazon.com's download service, which is only available to US customers at present. "By removing a barrier to the sale and enjoyment of audio downloads, we bring an energy-sapping debate to a close," Warner Music chief executive Edgar Bronfman said in an e-mail to Warner employees.

View: Full Article @ BBC News

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20 Comments

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the important question is:

will they lower the bit rate to 128kbps or even lower in exchange for taking off the DRM??

my guess is yes :suspicious:

And still, No way to get digital music here (Israel). Physical CD Albums from a decade ago cost like 15-16 USD and new albums cost over 20 USD. A bit high, i guess.

Doing away with DRM is always nice, but I wish they'd choose something besides mp3. It's an old outdated format that really needs to die and I think most if not all devices support the more modern codecs now.

I'd love that too, but the one problem I see is that filesize with FLAC is a major barrier. My FLAC files average probably 25-35MB each. When MP3s can be under 10MB, it's a no-brainer.

There are other lossless encoding algorithms, though, which can sometimes give better ratios. I think (though I'm not 100% certain) that SHN was one of them.

If they could find a lossless encoding algorithm that has a decent filesize and doesn't support DRM, and then use that, I'd suddenly become a lot more enthusiastic about buying music online. As it is, the closest I come is going to online stores to order physical CDs to be shipped to me.

Paying for lossy sound? CD audio is already too lossy for me. Considering how complex some music is getting, it's time for higher quality.
Will they even have FLAC or some other format availible too?

I'm waiting for 96 kHz, 32-bit, 8 channel audio not compressed or lossless compression. :x
Make that 192 kHz, 64-bit, 16 channel. HAHA

Oh puhleaze, CD audio is already to "lossy" (sic) did you mean lousy? The whole point is that it is compressed for a much smaller download you dolt. Of course there is going to be some quality lost, there always is when there is compression. But anyway, have fun waiting. :P

Radium said,
Paying for lossy sound? CD audio is already too lossy for me. Considering how complex some music is getting, it's time for higher quality.
Will they even have FLAC or some other format availible too?

I'm waiting for 96 kHz, 32-bit, 8 channel audio not compressed or lossless compression. :x
Make that 192 kHz, 64-bit, 16 channel. HAHA :)

lol. Why would we need consumer output at higher bit depths and faster sample rates than the human ear can possibly hear? Do you really expect someone to stand in at the vertex of 16 perfectly placed speakers every time they want to listen to music?

10:1 says you have no idea what you're talking about.

I think he was just being sarcastic. :-/ Uhh, I hope he was anyway. CD's were designed to let its audio surpass what we can hear. It's a "perfect" medium as for that anyway, and not lossy either. If there's a flaw here, it would be in stuff like capacity, or recording methods, or your own hardware, but not the CD's themselves. I assume the reason some go higher than this in audio production is due to audio "rules" like the Nyquist frequency... But since CD's have a sampling frequency at 44.1 kHz, the audio can be unambiguously represented at 22.05 kHz, and the human ear of a newborn baby can normally distinguish sound of up to around 20 kHz. So with that said, if humans were bats, I would agree with you.

Radium said,
Paying for lossy sound?

Most people I know can't tell/won't tell a difference past 192kb, so why do they care? Anyone who is a serious audiophile would be buying the CD anyway, or at least not downloading one thing.

They won't sell CD-quality because a very small percentage care.

This is great. Ever since Amazon's music service came out, I always check it first for the songs I want. That way I don't have to worry about Microsoft OR Apple's DRM BS.

I try to keep my music library as DRM-free as possible, so if I ever want to move to an mp3 player other than the iPod that I have now it'll be an easy transition.

I think the music industry have finally started to wake up to the reality that there is a group of people who have no intention of paying for music, (especially kids). If you can "consume" (hear) music, then there is a way of ripping it off. DRM generally only disenfranchises honest purchasers (why else would people care?). The days of the big selling artist (with huge "back catalogs" ) are over. Like the film industry, the music industry is learning to make it's money when it can, no more "sitting on gold mines!" All other business models have gone this way, and is the reason technology has been "given" to China. This is a brave (and ignorant) new world!

Magallanes said,
Greedy new world.

Huh? Coming from a story where they're switching to less greedy sales methods, I think you need to clarify that comment...
Or was it off topic and you just commented on something completely different?