Amazon to sell DRM-free music from EMI

Apple iTunes“ 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.


  1. Crabapple, while I admire your passion, and I’d love to see 1 billion iPods sold, the actual number is 100M, you’re off by a factor of 10, buddy.

    I agree with you on the principle that iTS + iPod is more than just a file format but rather a level of integration and seamless ease of use that no one else has been able to copy, thus no one else has been able to be successful on a similar level.

    Also it does not help that other online stores are trying to peddle MS “PlaysForSure” format which is a dud.

  2. TheConfuzed1,

    Yes, AAC is smaller than MP3 at the same bit rate. 128K refers to the sample rate used. This rate has no bearing on file size when comparing different compression techniques. A 128K WMA file will be a different size than MP3 and AAC.

    The idea that different compression techniques will produce the exact same file sizes at the same sample rates is incorrect.

    If you have iTunes, you can easily prove this to yourself.

  3. @ twilightmoon Thank You! I stand corrected!! In my haste to put a stop to the dissemination of misinformation I overrun the numbers by an impressive factor of ten.

    Still the point is clear.

    Meanwhile @MPC Guy. Apple is Apple’s biggest retailer. While once upon a time Apple may have needed Amazon, Amazon needed Apple when they realised that the tide had turned against their beloved MP3 players and biege boxes.

    I recon Amazon are Apple’s biggest reseller of reconditioned Macs. Am I right? No doubt someone will tell me.

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