Warner unhappy with new, DRM-free AnywhereCD

Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com, has launched a new music download service that sells DRM-free albums (no singles) in the MP3 format, but Warner Music Group is not happy about it. AnywhereCD currently offers a fairly wide selection of music with a number of big names, such as Green Day, They Might Be Giants, Rolling Stones, Faith Hill, Metallica, and more. Although Robertson claims that albums start at $9.95, most albums are ranged from $12.95 to $19.95 apiece. The extra value apparently comes from the "confidence of knowing you own all the digital tracks forever and they will play everywhere." The MP3 files purchased through the service are encoded at 192kbps, or better – the site claims that "very few people, if any, are really able to distinguish between our very high quality MP3s and the original CDs." Despite EMI's statement its DRM-free music won't be exclusive to iTunes, AnywhereCD doesn't appear to offer any music from EMI on its store just yet.

Warner Music Group immediately demanded that AnywhereCD stop selling the label's albums the same day that AnywhereCD launched, saying that selling the music without copy protection was in "flagrant" violation with their agreement. "Accordingly, we have sent them a notice of termination and they are required to immediately remove all of our content from their site," the music label said in a statement given to Reuters. Some of the biggest artists whose music is being sold through AnywhereCD are those from Warner, including that of Madonna and Prince. Unfortunately for consumers, it appears that EMI is one extreme and Warner is the other.

Link: AnywhereCD Home
News source: Ars Technica

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21 Comments

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DRM free music is a good step in the right direction.... but if I have to buy music online... I want the exact same quality than what I am buying on CD.
That is why I think online stores should offer music in FLAC or WAVEPACK format... It's compressed but loseless compression. Like that your sure to get 100% (or more 99.9%) of what you get on a CD

I mean, whatever purist says, MP3 is a very good format at higher bitrate (192+ VBR... encoded with something like the LAME encoder, not with **** like Itunes), but if I have to buy it... I want full fledge quality, and you definitively only get that with loseless codec

my 2 cents :P ohhh btw... **** warner

There really are some crappy replies to the story.

I am against DRM. It's inconvenient and only serves to bother the legal purchaser. However, that said, if AnywhereCD breeched a contract they had with Warner, then Warner has every right to be upset. They can work on a new deal to deal with DRM free, but they can't just decide to say "**** it" and release tracks without DRM when their existing contract disallows it.

If there's a reason that site should be closed that's because they rip consumers off. They may just buy the CD albums for less money and enjoy the uncompressed audio too!

The RIAA don't get it, The labels don't get it, And this store doesn't get it.

You want higher revenue? Give us quality music for a fair price, Without DRM or any similar limitations.
Do that, And watch your revenue skyrocket.

I don't really get what everyone is complaining about.

Offering DRM Free music is great, but not when it hasn't been allowed by the record label.

This is the kind of activity that is harmful to consumers (as it reduces the trust that the labels have in the stores).

If the store had done things legally and in a proper way then there wouldn't have been any problem - but they didn't so their customers will suffer.

I was really expecting this, and more. With Apple and Microsoft cutting out DRM I figured the RIAA companies would be screaming by now.

Warner: "Wahhhhh! We wanted our money in $10s and $20s, not $5s and $10s! And the $10s are all crinkly, we want fresh ones! Wahaaahhhhh!"

Obviously, Warner doesn't understand that DRM doesn't work, and is not what customers want. I honestly cannot think of one advantage that DRM has for the consumer. I also don't know anyone who loves having copy protected music.

i can to, but usually only at lower bitrates... once u go below 128kbps mp3 is when it starts getting quite noticeable then... but i would say around 192kbps+ it's much harder to notice the difference between the real CD and the MP3 file.... especially if you use those varible bit rate mp3 files where the bit rate varies drastically (peaks at 320kbps at times durring song etc) but in general it has a avg bit rate of 192.

I wish people would forget about MP3 altogether. I use nothing but Wavpack and Flac and I am dying for people to stop wasting time with lossy formats

Blaxima said,
I wish people would forget about MP3 altogether. I use nothing but Wavpack and Flac and I am dying for people to stop wasting time with lossy formats

MP3 is not "lossy" and sounds perfectly fine at or above 192kbps plus it's the most widely supported format. Other formats may be a little better and you're free to use them if you like however I fail to understand why everyone must use them as you suggest.

ANova said,
MP3 is not "lossy" and sounds perfectly fine at or above 192kbps plus it's the most widely supported format. Other formats may be a little better and you're free to use them if you like however I fail to understand why everyone must use them as you suggest.

No Think you will find it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lossy_data_co...sic_compression

Lossy is where you do erode the quality of the source file, hence why the bit rate matters on an MP3 or the quality setting matters on a Jpeg. Lossy is not a derogatory term like lousy or rubbish, but just a definition of the compression system used.

Blaxima is talking about lossless compression http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lossless_data...dio_compression which doesn't erode the quality of the original file.

Personally I like CDs for a lossless archive of my music and MP3 for day to day portability.

Blaxima said,
I wish people would forget about MP3 altogether. I use nothing but Wavpack and Flac and I am dying for people to stop wasting time with lossy formats

If you use nothing but Wavpack and Flac how does other people using a lossy format affect you to the point of killing you?

Shadrack said,

If you use nothing but Wavpack and Flac how does other people using a lossy format affect you to the point of killing you?

2 words - File Sharing