EMI to offer digital downloads free of DRM

EMI to offer digital downloads free of DRM

EMI, the third largest of the big four major music labels, announced today that it will make its full catalog available as downloads free of DRM. Apple’s iTunes store will offer the DRM-less songs in May, with other sites to follow soon after. The iTunes store will sell songs from EMI artists in the AAC format encoded at 256 bits rather than the typical 128 bits.

Consumers, however, will have to pay a premium for the better audio quality and lack of DRM. Apple will sell these higher-quality songs for $1.29 versus the typical $.99 songs cost on the iTunes site. The price for entire albums, though, will not be affected. Additionally, consumers who have already downloaded DRM encumbered, 128-bit songs by EMI artists can upgrade to higher-quality, DRM-less tracks for $.30 each.

EMI has a sizable roster of artists, including David Bowie, Gorillaz, the Rolling Stones, and Sigur Ros, and while there were rumors that today’s press conference would include an announcement about the Beatles’s catalog finally being available online, no such deal has yet been made.



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I wonder how much of this was sparked by Steve Jobs' essay that asked people to take the music companies to task over DRM rather than the stores?

Either way, bonus for the consumer (for once?)!





in that article it says "all the way up to CD quality"

256 non DRM is a really good deal, but some people want lossless files (and apple supports lossless).

until then, ill stick to downloading lossless DRM'ed songs from musicgiants.com, and burning them to a cd, and then importing them at lossless again DRM-free



For the most part, I still buy entire CDs. I do download a fair amount of music from eMusic though.



I'm more intrgued about the higher bitrate than stripping DRM. iTunes offers the LOWEST quality bitrate available on the net, and it shows up fairly well compared to other sites and the original CD's. I realize some people will accept nothing less than 320, I see the 256 being a reasonable tradeoff.

Look behind you! A THREE-headed monkey!!!!!!!!



I'm pretty excited about this too. I'll happily pay a few cents more for un-DRM'd downloadable tracks.

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