Apple and Emi announced today that the entire digital repertoire from Emi music can be purchased at Apples iTunes store without DRM. The songs will be offered at a higher quality which means an encoding quality of 256 Kbps instead of the usual 128 Kbps. There is however one downside: The DRM free songs cost $1.29 per song instead of the usual price of $0.99 per song. I'm a little bit concerned about the 30% increase which can not be explained rationally I think. Albums on the other side will not change in prices at all which makes the single song price increase a mystery to me.
Music Videos can also be purchased DRM free with no change in price. If you did purchase EMI songs on iTunes before you can upgrade the existing song to the DRM free version for $0.30 per song. This is definitely a step in the right direction, the only thing that really bothers me is the increased price for single tracks which surely is reasoned by EMI with losses due to people spreading the music more freely around the net.
Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group, said, "Our goal is to give consumers the best possible digital music experience. By providing DRM-free downloads, we aim to address the lack of interoperability which is frustrating for many music fans. We believe that offering consumers the opportunity to buy higher quality tracks and listen to them on the device or platform of their choice will boost sales of digital music."
This is absolutely a step in the right direction and other major music labels will likely follow the lead if EMI will generate more revenue or sell more music albums and single tracks than before, and especially so if the DRM free downloads are responsible for that.
Time to get rid of DRM altogether, are you listening MPAA?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.