Amazon to sell DRM-free music from EMI

Apple iTunes“Amazon.com said on Wednesday the company will launch a digital music store later in 2007 with millions of songs, free of copy protection technology that limits where consumers can play their music,” Reuters reports.

MacDailyNews Note: Amazon says in their press release that they’ll use the old MP3 format. Apple’s iTunes store uses the AAC format which provides audio encoding that compresses much more efficiently than older formats like MP3. AAC offers many advantages over MP3 including improved compression provides higher-quality results with smaller file sizes, support for multichannel audio, providing up to 48 full frequency channels, higher resolution audio, yielding sampling rates up to 96 kHz, and improved decoding efficiency, requiring less processing power for decoding.

Reuters continues, “The Seattle-based company said music company EMI, home to artists ranging from Coldplay to Norah Jones to Joss Stone to Pink Floyd, has licensed its digital catalog to Amazon, the second such deal in a month.”

“Early last month, EMI said it would make its music available online without a key anti-piracy measure, becoming the first major music group to take the risk in a bid to grow digital sales,” Reuters reports. “With all music companies struggling from a drop in the sale of physical albums, EMI, announced its first deal with Apple and the iTunes online music store in April.”

Reuters reports, “Warner Music Group has said it sees no logic to dropping DRM but is still testing music without it, while Vivendi’s Universal Music has said it, too, is still testing tracks without DRM.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “bizarro ballmer” for the heads up.]
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos should thank Steve Jobs profusely. And Warner will eventually capitulate.

26 Comments

  1. YOU SEE!!

    I just knew this was going to happen.

    MP3 DRM free music means the Labels can do what the fsck they please. Set up their own websites etc., etc.

    Basically this move by EMI gives the Labels a lot of bargining power against Apple.

    They will grow bold, confident that they, with DRM free MP3 files, can do it all themselves. No need for SJ’s mandatory 99¢ price model.

    After all iTunes will manage Mp3 files just the same.

    With SJ’s announcement of “DRM free music” he’s essentially kissing his iTMS goodbye.

    What’s wrong with this?

    Simple, if a person is using EMI’s store because that’s the only place to get EMI music, then the users can be pitched for hardware OTHER THAN WHAT APPLE SELLS.

    The iPod becomes “old” out of sight and mind.

  2. So when is iTunes selling these DRM free tracks? I still haven’t seen them yet. I haven’t even heard a date for them being available other then “May” and it’s half way through May.

  3. Just a thought here. Microsoft was sued and lost to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars for using mp3 patented stuff. Apple uses AAC as the default.

    Does this mean that Amazon could be sued for infringing on the patent???? Wouldn’t that be a hoot??? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Mp3 ends up dying and so AAC becomes the default minumim player. ????

    You never know. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    en

  4. @SmartOldAppleUser

    The whole point of the iTunes store is to bolster iPod sales. For ages, its been the best online music store, giving iPod purchasers a tangible benefit over competing players. Just one of many…

    So what if you can buy DRM-fee music elsewhere? You always could with CDs anyways! iPod users still have access to the best hardware, the best music manager application, and the best online store. Having another way for us to purchase tunes changes nothing.

  5. Good observation en, as for SOD APU (SmartOlDAPpleUser) your name belies your so called smartness. And here is why…

    One Billion ipods sold!

    I suppose you and your smart cohorts think that those ipod owners will start downloading from Amazon just because it is Amazon?

    You also think that EMI have an exclusive outlet for their music that ipods have no access to? & that is why they were the first to come to an agreement with Apple to allow Apple to sell its music without DRM?

    And one more thing, you seem to think that when MsDos users tried NEW Windows boxes for the first time they were more than willing to get rid of their Windows Boxes and buy a NEWER box with MsDos re-installed because the makers of PacMan had released a new version of the game for MsDos only! and because of that, the NEW Windows boxes will look old unused and out of sight!!!

    Please display your ignoramous bile elsewhere! Just look at en’s post if you think I am being unreasonable.

  6. Anyone elses store, and anyone elses player….. mmmmm that sounds familiar, oh yeah, only everyone else besides the iTS. Doesn’t matter how unprotected the files are, if the player interface and the connection to the software isn’t seamless/ flawless, iTS will continue to dominate.

    And what if another store/software/player combo does equal the quality of iTunes? So what, Apple will have to do better to compete. Everybody wins.

    MW=moving as in ‘moving on’

  7. Can someone at Apple explain that AAC = MP4? So to the consumer, it seems like a “newer model” which to him/her translates to better. AAC just confuses people and the media has done a good job into making people think AAC is Apple’s “proprietary” format.

  8. ” AAC offers many advantages over MP3 including improved compression provides higher-quality results with smaller file sizes…” —MDN

    Everyone says that AAC files are smaller than mp3 files (at the same sampling rate), but my iTunes music library does not support that conclusion. My AAC files are exactly the same size as mp3 files of the same songs. Anyone care to comment?

  9. So what if you can buy DRM-fee music elsewhere? You always could with CDs anyways! iPod users still have access to the best hardware, the best music manager application, and the best online store. Having another way for us to purchase tunes changes nothing.

    What’s the use of having the best online store if you don’t have any content to sell?

    Look at what ABC did, they began showing their TV shows online for free. At first LOST was the number one purchased TV show on iTMS, now it’s not because now everyone knows it can be had for free at ABC.com.

    All the Labels have to do is make lucrative deals with other high volume websites, start their own even and then start delaying new releases on iTMS, eventually crippling iTMS pernamently.

    With DRM free music, the Labels can do what they want and certainly don’t need iTMS, althought it would be suicide to go cold turkey right away before they had a chance to condition folks to look elsewhere except iTMS for their purchased content.

  10. MarketWatch ran this same story, but they sure got some facts twisted (what else is new?).

    They say, “Typically, digital music arrives with software that limits it to being played on just one computer or type of device or from being copied onto a compact disc.”

    I guess they have been locked up with Plays-For-Sure crap and they have yet to experience anything from iTMS, where you can play on up to FIVE computers and burn anything you buy there to a CD (without the DRM).

    It kinda ticks me off a little that sites like that have no reader feedback. What safer way to spread misinformation.

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