Music industry, Microsoft once again being herded into the direction of Apple’s choosing

Apple iTunes“Apple has plunged into uncharted waters by stripping security software off some of its music,” Greg Sandoval reports for CNET News.

“Never before has Apple sold songs without attaching antipiracy software–the digital rights management systems that prevent file sharing and are hated by many music fans. If successful, Apple’s bold gamble to do away with digital rights management, or DRM, could act as a whirlpool that sucks the rest of the music industry into DRM-free music, say analysts,” Sandoval reports.

“Apple on Wednesday began selling unprotected MP3s from record label EMI. Shoppers have the option to purchase either a 256kbps AAC-encoded DRM-free song for $1.29 via iTunes Plus, or the usual 128kbps AAC-encoded DRM version for 99 cents,” Sandoval reports.

Sandoval reports, “The move is important on many levels… For the record industry, it once again may find itself being herded into a direction of Apple’s choosing… Even Microsoft is following Apple’s lead. Immediately after CEO Steve Jobs issued his February letter calling for an end to DRM, Microsoft said the total abolition of such protections would be irresponsible since they are needed for subscription music and other new business models. But the company reversed itself in April and announced plans to offer DRM-free music from EMI and others.”

Full article here.

19 Comments

  1. “Even Microsoft is following Apple’s lead. Immediately after CEO Steve Jobs issued his February letter calling for an end to DRM, Microsoft said the total abolition of such protections would be irresponsible since they are needed for subscription music and other new business models. But the company reversed itself in April and announced plans to offer DRM-free music from EMI and others.”

    Lemmings

  2. Conor MacBook –

    It is a wonderful thing to participate in not only the use of Apple products, but the benefit of AAPL stock rise.

    When Wall Street reopened for trading after 9/11, I took the only money I had – $400 – in my 401k, beat down from the market crash, and bought AAPL. Split adjusted, the cost basis was $7.90 for 50 shares ($395). Today, those same 50 shares are worth $6,000, more than 15 times the original purchase price less than 6 years ago!

  3. I suppose we’ve not got to wait and see if they turn up a glut of tracks on filesharing services that have come from iTunes. If they do then it proves DRM is required, if not then it shows it isn’t and other companies should hopefully jump on board and strip it from their tracks.

  4. me: good for you! I’m glad not everyone was as short-sighted as me.

    I was looking to invest a couple of years later than you, and would have bought $A3000 worth – which would be over $A50,000 now. I didn’t go ahead because I didn’t want to borrow the money. More fool me…

    Even when it was at $50 a few months back, I shoulda jumped on.

    MW: “Thinking” about it only makes it worse!

  5. Internet radio helps, but isn’t sufficient. For one it is harder to take with you on your daily commute. I suppose I could find a podcasted radio station, but it’s still passive waiting for them to feed me something I like. I’m talking about active exploration where I can pick certain artists and listen to their album has a whole.

  6. “I’m talking about active exploration where I can pick certain artists and listen to their album as a whole.”

    Before the age of digital music, you could sample artists at the library, by listening to friends’ records, at a music store, or on the radio.

    Nothing has changed. Those options are still available, and you have the vast illegal content that’s on the internet. When you find an artist you like, buy their stuff.

  7. Connor MacBook
    you have a choice mate,
    borrow money now so when it hit 200 you can say you finally woke up and took advantage of it. What do you think $50 a share looked back then like? Just like $120 does now. and like $200 will look like next January

  8. The only problem using internet radio to preview music is that for the most part, iTunes will not allow the downloading of foreign artists whose music is not available on your particular country-based iTunes store.

    If it isn’t there, maybe because of limited distribution outside of the artists’ home country, you are SOL. (at least that applies to the US)

    Open up iTunes!!

  9. Chris: Things may not have changed, but they have expanded. One of the fundamental differences of online distribution/itms is that you can cater to a narrow vertical market. I can now explore deep, not wide. It costs you next to nothing to keep obscure titles on the shelves. The places you describe are fine, but generally stock what is popular for economical reasons. I’ve looked in the library, they have a plethora of stuff like Yanni, Sinatra and Striesand… but very limited in selction of Sludge metal, Tuva music, or the dozens of Tom Waits albums available. (Granted ITMS might not either, I haven’t checked, but it is more likely) And unfortunately as I get older, I have less time to visit places like that and wish to do it on-the-go.

    MW: “Radio” (of all things)

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