Monday, April 2, 2007

Apple speaks with EMI, offers DRM-free music

Today Apple CEO Steve Jobs and EMI CEO Eric Nicoli met at a joint press conference to announce new "digital offerings," which turned out to be DRM-free music availability on the iTunes Store for all EMI music offerings. As you may know, EMI is a record company that was rumored to offer completely DRM-free music to their music retailers but had not done such until today. Not only that, but Jobs and Nicoli have also announced that this new DRM-free music will be available at a lower compression rate for better quality listening, up to 256kbps from 128kbps.

However there is a small, small catch. Buying DRM-free songs from iTunes will be completely optional, and will cost 30 cents more than a usual track, for a total of $1.29. So far EMI is the only record company to offer DRM-free music on iTunes, but Apple expects all other such companies to see the light and follow the lead.

What this means for you and I is that starting in May, any EMI song or album bought from the iTunes Store will be able to be stored and played in any other MP3 players, not just iPods. Also, if you own any previously purchased EMI songs from iTunes, you will be able to upgrade them to the higher quality and freedom for 30 cents extra per song.

For more detailed details, you can listen to EMI's audio webcast on their site or read MacUser's liveblog entry (if you don't have speakers).


Julien said...

Isn't this bad for Apple in that people will be able to potentially transfer their songs from iTunes and use them on their Zunes or other competitors' players?

Philippe said...

No, it's good because now even if you don't have an iPod you can buy songs from iTunes -> increased sales for Apple.

And they're not letting you transfer your songs just like that you have to upgrade them for 30 cents.