InformationWeek blows it again: accuses Apple and EMI of ‘price gouging’ on DRM-free tunes

Apple Store“The deal announced today between Apple and EMI to sell unprotected digital songs on iTunes for $1.29 isn’t a deal. It’s a 30% piracy tax, substantially more than the 3% tax levied on blank digital audio recording media in the United States,” Thomas Claburn writes for InformationWeek.

“Never mind that Jobs is right and DRM should go. Charging a third more under the pretense of higher fidelity and greater freedom is just a rip-off,” Claburn writes.

Claburn writes, “It’s not clear how Apple will price its DRM-free albums. They’re $9.99 with DRM. Apple may decide that DRM-free music will be available only on a per-song basis, but let’s say the company offers complete albums for $12.99.”

“Don’t get me wrong. Jobs and EMI deserve praise for taking this step. But I’ll stick to ripping DRM-free CDs when I want music for my iPod, at least until the price is right,” Claburn writes.

Full article here.
Thirty seconds. That’s how long it took us to find, link to, and excerpt EMI’s press release which clearly states, “Complete albums from EMI Music artists purchased on the iTunes Store will automatically be sold at the higher sound quality and DRM-free, with no change in the price.”

Claburn the genius is going to stick with spending likely more for CDs than Apple’s iTunes Store charges for high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoded DRM-free albums because he can’t take thirty seconds to properly investigate and understand what’s really being offered by Apple and EMI.

Thomas Claburn:
Tom Smith, Editor In Chief, Online:

[UPDATE: 4/4, 4:30pm EDT: Claburn has revised his article with various strikethroughs and the statement, “As has been pointed out, EMI says DRM-free albums will be available for $9.99. That’s reasonable.”]

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  1. The $1.29 price is a ~30% price increase. While you get better fidelity for it, that won’t be apparent if you listen primarily via your iPod’s “buds”. Those things max out at maybe 64kbps, never mind the DRM’d 128 or the DRM-free 256. OK, $50+ PC speakers may need the 128, and good ones are better still. But for iPods, it’s a price rip-off.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  2. You know.. before the internet.. before it took.. 30 seconds.. or lets say his browser is slow.. 1 minute to look up information.. I could see missing somehting like this… but posting something dum like this and NOT EVEN BOTHERING TO READ THE WHOLE PRESS RELEASE..

    Amazing people can breathe.. I mean that takes effort too..

  3. i stick to ripping DRM-free CDs…unless the CD is out of print and only available as a digital download. a 30% more expensive, significantly improved quality download is very welcome. especially on my surround sound system.

    MW: “types,” as in: “types like Claburn who don’t bother to actually get their info straight have no business writing articles.”

  4. Information Week blows so much here latlely they should change their name to ‘Whore Magazine”

    Could the extra charge be for the added storage needed for the larger files? To offset the ones who WILL pirate, simply because they can (even if it were free…)

    “Look, dude, I totally f*cked them. Why should I have to pay?. Those guys are already rich. Blah blah blah”

  5. DLMeyer:

    It is NOT a price increase since the 99c version is STILL available – it is a NEW product.

    I don’t want or care for 256K songs because I don’t want my songs to take up more space on my iPod so for me nothing will change. But for the audiophiles who spent thousands on, they now have a legal alternative.

  6. no tax at all. different value, different prices, different products

    if you think you can hear or value the diff, you pay, otherwise you don’t. and if you buy the entire album, there is no price diff at all…..and you get the higher quality.

    what could possibly be wrong with that?

    I have yet to find any cd that I have that I couldn’t do anything I want with or play on any player I want it to play it on.

    I have yet to find any itunes song I bought that I couldn’t do anything I want with or play on any player I want it to play it on.

  7. vendetta |venˈdetə| noun • a prolonged bitter quarrel with or campaign against someone : he has accused the British media of pursuing a vendetta against him.

    Seems like Information Week has a vendetta against Apple for some unknown reason. How many negative/incorrect stories have we seen from them just this week on Apple?

  8. Right. So it makes sense to pay more for better quality downloads, but it doesn’t make sense to pay more for even better quality uncompressed CDs that come with artwork and extra information and that can be sold on second hand in the future and may even increase in value if the pressing is limited or rare ?

    The EMI announcement is a huge step forward, but there’s nothing wrong with rejecting iTunes as a route to buying music in favour of superior CDs. Not everything this dick says is wrong.

  9. FudWeek has always been a bunch of biased, chimpanzees. They have way too much interests in there Windows centric ad revenue to tell it like it really is. Want your information without the FUD on a daily basis? Look elsewhere.

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