Print 110 comment(s) - last by Setsunayaki.. on Apr 9 at 6:22 AM

Jobs gets his DRM-free wish
Over 50% of iTunes music to be DRM-free by year's end according to Steve Jobs

EMI has taken a huge step forward in the fight against digital rights management (DRM). The company announced today that its entire digital music library will be available with higher quality audio and will also be free of DRM.

The company first began tinkering with DRM-free music files in early December. At that time, EMI offered DRM-free music tracks by Lily Allen, Norah Jones and Relient K though Yahoo! Music.

Soon after Apple CEO Steve Jobs made his bid for a DRM-free music world, EMI once again batted around the idea of expanding its use of DRM-free music. Anonymous executives revealed that EMI was in talks with Apple, Microsoft, Real Networks and Yahoo! to provide unprotected music files.

Today's announcement could set the ball rolling for other companies to jump on the DRM-free bandwagon. "Our goal is to give consumers the best possible digital music experience. By providing DRM-free downloads, we aim to address the lack of interoperability which is frustrating for many music fans. We believe that offering consumers the opportunity to buy higher quality tracks and listen to them on the device or platform of their choice will boost sales of digital music," said EMI Group CEO Eric Nicoli.

Seeing as how Steve Jobs has been one of the champions of DRM-free music, it's no surprise that he also had commentary on EMI's decision. "Selling digital music DRM-free is the right step forward for the music industry," said Jobs. "EMI has been a great partner for iTunes and is once again leading the industry as the first major music company to offer its entire digital catalogue DRM-free."

iTunes users will be able to purchase unprotected AAC format music files at 256 kbps (current music files are encoded at 128 kbps) for $1.29 a track in May from iTunes. Complete albums will also be available DRM-free, but will not feature higher price tags. Customers who have already purchased DRM-enabled music tracks from iTunes will be able to upgrade to the higher-quality, DRM-free versions for $0.30 per track. Tracks which still feature DRM will continue to be made available at $0.99 each.

In addition, EMI will make its music videos available on iTunes free of DRM. The prices remain unchanged for these files.

“We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year,” said Jobs.

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Good Start
By OrSin on 4/2/2007 10:39:23 AM , Rating: 2
Very nice start. The $.30 more is worth it just for the better bit rate.

RE: Good Start
By ahkey on 4/2/2007 10:42:18 AM , Rating: 1
Fantastic. Now do videos!

RE: Good Start
By mikecel79 on 4/2/2007 10:57:23 AM , Rating: 5
Right from the article:

In addition, EMI will make its music videos available on iTunes free of DRM. The prices remain unchanged for these files.

RE: Good Start
By ahkey on 4/3/2007 8:27:43 AM , Rating: 2
My fault, I should've been more specific. I was referring to the enhanced quality, not DRM.

RE: Good Start
By gus6464 on 4/2/2007 10:45:55 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah also considering that full album prices are still going to be $9.99 after the no drm switch things are really starting to look great. I might just start buying music from the itunes store now.

RE: Good Start
By Lazarus Dark on 4/2/2007 12:44:58 PM , Rating: 3
I hate to say it but, yeah, I might finally be interested in itms after this announcement. In the past, I have only dl'd a couple of songs off limewire, mostly either out of print or live or unreleased stuff from my favorite bands, but a few have been one offs from movie soundtracks that I simply refuse to pay for the full soundtrack just for one song. I'll have to look around and see what is offered on itunes as I mostly listen to small metal bands, but I'd love to have legal copies of some old 80's stuff and some classic rock that I just don't care to buy the full albums.

We should declare this an international holiday, this is a huge victory for consumers everywhere. I look forward to seeing this snowball across the board. I would rather be legit, and I think hollywood and the music industry should realize that I won't buy drm that limits my ability to use the product, so in fact drm-free legal downloads could ONLY increase sales and in fact decrease piracy at least partially. I know it sounds naive, but the honor system gets more happy customers than having big brother stare over your shoulder watching what your doing with that mp3.

RE: Good Start
By SunAngel on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good Start
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 12:55:06 PM , Rating: 3
In a few months when Apple reports a huge surge in buying, I'll be sure to laugh at you.

RE: Good Start
By alifbaa on 4/2/2007 1:04:43 PM , Rating: 3
Which is exactly why DRM is a complete waste of time.

How much impact did DRM have on people's ability to use the media? Lots. How much did it stifle advancement of entertainment related technology? Lots. How much piracy was prevented by DRM? None. Everyone continued to rip from CDs and download from the internet.

IMO, the prices are still way to high to jump in on full scale. Filling a player will still cost an astronomical amount of money using all legal sources. My understanding is that this is caused by the outrageous licensing fees the record companies are charging the stores, often accounting for over 90% of the final price.

RE: Good Start
By AlexWade on 4/2/2007 1:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
SunAngel must work for Sony or one of the other big labels, because they all assume we are criminals just waiting to pirate. What other solution exists since the real pirates always break DRM and the only ones who are punished are the honest ones?

RE: Good Start
By MonkeyPaw on 4/2/2007 2:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
Just so you know, I buy all my music and think this idea is great. DRM is frustrating for people (like me) who actually pay for thier collection, yet still want to be able to play it how they want, when they want. I was pretty upset when I upgraded to Vista, only to find that Walmart's music service would not transfer my licenses. Fortunately, I had backed up all my downloaded music by ripping them to CDs, but as a consequense I had to re-rip everything and label it myself. The thought of that whole process is a huge turn-off for me, and if DRM protection goes away, I WILL be purchasing more music this way, because I know I can easily back everything up as well as transfer it to my favorite devices. It also means I can upgrade to a new OS or computer when the time comes without issue.

I'm all for paying, just take away the hassle!

Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By mlittl3 on 4/2/2007 11:43:09 AM , Rating: 5
I posted some comments for the story here at dailytech about a month ago when Steve Jobs wrote a little article about his impressions of the music industry. In this article Steve Jobs said he would drop DRM in a heartbeat if the labels let him. About 50% of the posts claim Steve is a lying shill. I commented that Steve Jobs has done a lot for the consumer (negotiated $0.99 per song instead of just selling albums like the labels wanted to) and we should take him at his word and let his actions speak louder than Apple bashers.

Today, I can proudly say that Steve Jobs has acted true to his word. Good job Steve Jobs and Apple.

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By Bonrock on 4/2/2007 12:27:30 PM , Rating: 3
Let's get one thing straight--Steve Jobs is a corporate executive, not a public servant. He doesn't do things that benefit consumers unless those things benefit Apple too.

It's just how capitalism works. You can say the same thing for pretty much any other for-profit company.

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By UNCjigga on 4/2/2007 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well, keep your eyes peeled buddy. If Apple's competitors in the digital audio world have any clue, they will immediately add DRM-free .m4a compatibility with their next firmware update if they don't support it already.

Then we'll see if Steve allows iTunes to support syncing DRM-free music on other devices.

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By plinden on 4/2/2007 2:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
Apple will never allow iTunes syncing with other players, but with DRM-free music, it would be simple to get them onto other players.

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By Pirks on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By Questar on 4/2/2007 4:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
There is so much wrong with your post I hardly know where to start.

So, you've got tons of cheapo 120GB hard drives that are small enough to fit in a Zen? How big is that beast?

What, exactly would the point be of converting a 256k file to a 320k file? You don't actually think you would increase the quality, do you?

And BTW, iTMS IS the number one online music store. And number four period.

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 4:57:50 PM , Rating: 1
you've got tons of cheapo 120GB hard drives that are small enough to fit in a Zen?
you bet
How big is that beast?
3" x 4.4" 0.86"
What would the point be of converting a 256k file to a 320k file?
MP3 320kbit is the closest I can get quality-wise to AAC 256kbit, anything lower than 320kbit and I lose even more. Hence 320kbit is the best fit for me.
iTMS IS the number one online music store
nah, it's not the number one music store, it's a number one iPodded DRM shit store (until they convert it to DRM-free AAC). _real_ number one DRM-free music store so far has been :P

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By cjc1103 on 4/2/2007 5:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
I can't image why you think re-encoding a lossy audio format (AC, MP3, WMA) into another lossy format is going to sound good. A lossy format is not equivalent to the original CD track; audio definition is lost during compression, and you cannot restore the original file. If you re-encode it to another lossy format, you are taking a double hit. Even re-encoding at the highest bitrate you can find, the result is going to be lower quality than the original file.

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 5:24:10 PM , Rating: 1
I can't image why you think re-encoding a lossy audio format (AC, MP3, WMA) into another lossy format is going to sound good
it will definitely sound good for my ears, and given choice between buying new expensive Zune or other AAC capable player, and reencoding AAC into 320kbit MP3, I choose the latter

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By Hare on 4/2/2007 4:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
Apple will never allow iTunes syncing with other players, but with DRM-free music, it would be simple to get them onto other players.
Third party apps/plug-ins already enable that.

RE: Steve Jobs sticks to his word.
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 4:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Third party apps/plug-ins already enable that
besides, Zune and maybe other non-Apple players support AAC, hence this shouldn't be an issue at all

By plinden on 4/3/2007 12:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
I know, but I was replying to:
Then we'll see if Steve allows iTunes to support syncing DRM-free music on other devices.

but the iTunes progam itself will never allow direct syncing with non-Apple players.

Ok, perhaps s/he meant allowing the downloaded songs to be copied to other devices, but that's not what s/he said.

Anyway, at the press conference, Jobs said specifically that this was allowing interoperability.

I guess they DO want by business
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 11:10:54 AM , Rating: 2
$1.29 is a little steep, but $9.99 for albums is a good deal for the rare full album that's worth buying. Congratulations, EMI. You are now a company I will do business with.

RE: I guess they DO want by business
By Bonrock on 4/2/2007 12:33:20 PM , Rating: 5
As much as I support the move to make digital music DRM-free, I do feel compelled to point out that most complete albums are available in CD form on for between $10 and $15. For such a small difference in price, I'd take the CD any day--you get a physical backup, and you can rip at any bitrate you want.

But maybe that's just me. Is there some advantage to buying complete albums on iTunes that I'm unaware of?

RE: I guess they DO want by business
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 12:43:41 PM , Rating: 3
Convenience. I don't have to wait for shipping or go to a store, and I don't have to rip it myself. If I want a physical backup, I'll burn my entire collection on a DVD or two.

RE: I guess they DO want by business
By MonkeyPaw on 4/2/2007 3:33:59 PM , Rating: 5
Not to mention figuring out what to do with your CD collection. As weak as that may sound, I own about 50 CDs and don't know what to do with them all. I could care less about impressing people with 5 racks of CDs. Once I rip them to my PC and look at the album art/lyrics a couple times, I put the CDs on a shelf and never really look at them again. Starts to seem like a waste of materials to me when I know I could just download the content and backup the entire collection onto 1 or 2 DVDs. Music downloads save quite a few resources that don't really need to be consumed, so I don't mind not having a real CD copy, even if I don't get to pocket the savings.

RE: I guess they DO want by business
By plinden on 4/3/2007 12:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention figuring out what to do with your CD collection. As weak as that may sound, I own about 50 CDs and don't know what to do with them all.

Take them to a second hand CD store and get maybe $150 for them. Or use LaLa.

RE: I guess they DO want by business
By oTAL on 4/3/2007 12:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
By reselling the CDs he would loose the ability to legally listen to his ripped content.... which validates his point... he must have the CDs just for the implied license he bought when he acquired them.

RE: I guess they DO want by business
By vdig on 4/2/2007 1:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well, for me, the reason I would want to download these tracks online without DRM is so that I can get the tracks I want, and not the other, less important tracks from the album, should they not be anything near the caliber of the hit tracks, while still being able to do whatever the heck I want with it.

Furthermore, with the option of buying these non-DRM tracks, I can now make arrangements to my liking, whether it be on CD redbook, mp3 on iRiver, mp4, DVD, phone ringtone, or whatnot. Using a blank CD or DVD, I can archive all the tracks I buy for the physical backup, in the arrangement of my choosing. If I buy an entire album, for physical archival I will burn my own label straight onto the disc after backing up the tracks. The only caveat is the cost for the blank media and cases. In Canada, there is an extra tax on blank media. Thus, I buy in bulk.

Finally, not all store brought music is safe from DRM technology. Sony put a rootkit on their music discs that automatically installed itself onto computers a while back, if you recall. There was quite the backlash.

The only bit I'm not sure about is the CD bit rate comparison with the new format being offered without DRM. If anyone with knowledge on the issue knows how the two will compare (theoretically or ears-on), please respond.

OK, I'm retarded
By MrBungle123 on 4/2/2007 12:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
What exactly is the difference between an AAC file and an mp3 file? Is the AAC format better?

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By Zapp Brannigan on 4/2/2007 1:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
AAC is just apple's version of MP3, like WMA is Microsoft's version of MP3. Basically, MP3 files can't really have any DRM so Microsoft & Apple developed their own versions which can have DRM.

Both are fine, but you can only play AAC on ipods and you can only play WMA's on any mp3 player but an ipod.

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By Ralph The Magician on 4/2/2007 4:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
AAC is NOT, "Just Apple's version of MP3." It's essentially MPEG-4 for audio, and it's part of the MPEG-4 standard. Apple just chooses to use it. It's superior to MP3 in a number of ways. Apple didn't "invent" AAC or MP4. AAC was developed primarly by Dolby, AT&T and Sony.

Benefits over MP3:
Sample rates up to 96kHz (opposed to MP3's 48kHz)
Up two 48 channels
Vastly better compression

An AAC encoded MP4 @ 128Kbps is going to sound better than a 192Kbps MP3. A 256Kbps AAC encoded MP4 is better than a 320Kbps MP3. For all intents and purposes on standard equipment, it will be indistinguishable from lossless. Only on extremely high end equipment would you be able to tell the difference between a CD recording and a 256Kbps MP4.

WMA, on the other hand, isn't Microsoft's version of MP3 either. It's Microsoft's version of the MP4 standard for audio.

MP3 is old. People need to get over it. Everything is going HD, yet on the internet people love them some ancient MP3s and craptastic 15FPS 320x240 @ 400Kbps On2 VP6 encoded Flash Videos from YouTube & Co.

MP4 has solutions for both audio and video. AAC encoded MP4s for audio and H.264 encoded MP4s for video. Wake up.

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By Spivonious on 4/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: OK, I'm retarded
By scud133 on 4/2/2007 1:15:29 PM , Rating: 4
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
that's not right....

AAC = Advanced Audio Coding

It's a format developed by companies including Dolby, Fraunhofer (FhG), AT&T, Sony and Nokia. It became an international standard in 1997.

Apple uses it, but they did not create it. It generally has better quality than mp3 at the same bit rates.

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By MrBungle123 on 4/2/2007 2:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
will winamp play them?

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 2:44:26 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, I routinely play Apple AAC stuff with my Winamp (files with extension .m4a). Just make sure you get the latest version, it was not in Winamp from the very beginning, I guess it appeared there only a year ago or maybe less..

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By MrBungle123 on 4/2/2007 3:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
sweet, thanks

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By AlexWade on 4/2/2007 1:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
All things being equal, audio encoded in AAC at the same bitrate will sound better than anything else except Ogg Vorbis encoded audio. Sound quality goes AAC,OGG > WMA > MP3.

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By Zoomer on 4/2/2007 1:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
Short ans: Yes, it is. Roughly 2x quality than mp3, particularly at lower bit rates.

RE: OK, I'm retarded
By Ralph The Magician on 4/2/2007 4:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
Everything else equal, more like 1.5x the quality.

By kristof007 on 4/2/2007 1:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
So will the unlocked tracks still be in .AAC format or will they convert to MP3 since they are unlocked of DRM and all?

RE: Unlocked?
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 2:59:37 PM , Rating: 1
I wish they were selling MP3s as well as AAC, but I doubt Jobs will let his iPod monopoly go that easy. He's also a business man, don't forget this. He defends iPod monopoly as fiercely as Ballmer defends Windows monopoly. You don't expect Ballmer & Co suddenly switching from WMA to MP3 now do ya? It's the same for Jobs, my friend ;)

RE: Unlocked?
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 3:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ignore my post above - there are players like Zune (maybe other non-iPod ones too?) that support AAC

RE: Unlocked?
By Ralph The Magician on 4/2/2007 4:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you want to convert a high quality, DRM free, AAC encoded MP4 into a low quality MP3?

RE: Unlocked?
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 4:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you want to convert a high quality, DRM free, AAC encoded MP4 into a low quality MP3?
because my Creative Zen Xtra does not support AAC and I'm too lazy to replace it with newer model like Zune. if I'm not going to hear any difference between 256kbit AAC and 320kbit MP3, then why bother?

RE: Unlocked?
By kristof007 on 4/2/2007 6:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you want to convert a high quality, DRM free, AAC encoded MP4 into a low quality MP3?

My question was specifically for this. I asked if the AAC files get replaced with MP3 files if you download the high quality DRM-free version. I did not know that the AAC files have better encoding. Personally, my music collection is in MP3, ripped by CDex with VBR between 192k and 256k and it completely satisfies my musical cravings.

RE: Unlocked?
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 10:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
I asked if the AAC files get replaced with MP3 files if you download the high quality DRM-free version
No. What you get is DRM-free AAC file, usually with extension ".m4a"

wow, legal mp3's ;)
By Samus on 4/2/2007 1:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
thought i'd never see this happen in my lifetime. i'll leave my sexually explicit remarks about job's taking care of those purposely anonymous EMI exec's to myself.

RE: wow, legal mp3's ;)
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 3:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
replace "legal MP3s" with "legal iPod-only AACs", that's more like the real picture

RE: wow, legal mp3's ;)
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 3:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
Explain how Apple is going to stop you from playing their AACs on a Zune or anything else that supports AAC?

RE: wow, legal mp3's ;)
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 3:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected, Zune supports AAC. Thanks for correcting me, I didn't know that.

Probably Gigabeat supports it too, anything else you know? Anything from Creative? My Zen Xtra does not support it, and neither my wife's Sansa e200

RE: wow, legal mp3's ;)
By Questar on 4/2/2007 4:50:05 PM , Rating: 1
That's what you get for buying the cheapo players.

RE: wow, legal mp3's ;)
By Pirks on 4/2/07, Rating: 0
I''ll be paying the 30 cents to upgrade my songs
By Staples on 4/2/2007 11:16:37 AM , Rating: 2
I have a ton of iTunes songs and I will gladly pay 30 cents to upgrade each of them to the new bit rate. This move was pretty unexpected, even less so than DRM free. Good move.

Now I hope other devices will start supporting AAC or once again the iPod will still be one of the only devices that can play these DRM free tracks.

By kelmon on 4/2/2007 11:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't have thought that converting an unprotected AAC track to a different format will be difficult to do (definitely not on a Mac, not sure about a PC). Either way it looks like I'll finally be able to listen to some of my purchased music on my in-car MP3 CD player so I'm having a big hurrah here.

By s12033722 on 4/2/2007 1:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. I have ~400 songs on itunes at the moment, and I will be upgrading as many as are available.

By Pirks on 4/2/2007 4:50:06 PM , Rating: 2
I hope other devices will start supporting AAC
Zune supports AAC, probably Gigabeat supports it as well

By Mitch101 on 4/2/2007 11:17:10 AM , Rating: 3
Congrats to those who have them already and hope you generate enough sales of DRM free to make the other companies take note.

Here is to a DRM free world.

A good start
By Mudvillager on 4/2/2007 11:19:13 AM , Rating: 3
Please let this be a sign to the other labels that DRM-free is the way to go.

By neothe0ne on 4/2/2007 11:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
100% of my iTunes Music Store "purchases" were free downloads from codes. Will I be able to unlock them and get them at 256kbps instead of 128kbps for $.30 each?

Good Deal
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 11:44:04 AM , Rating: 2
This might be a good time to point out:

Buy 3 $15 iTunes gift cards from BestBuy, get one free ($60 worth for $45.)

By Urbanos on 4/2/2007 1:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
for me personally, i don't buy music on itunes simply because of the quality. when it hits 256k that is a different story, and no more silly licensing quabbles, great news!

What a lot of you are missing...
By Homerboy on 4/2/2007 1:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
this is JUST EMI music, not the entire iTunes catalog.
Great step though no question. Hope other labels follow.

Easier vs. Harder
By aliasfox on 4/4/2007 11:31:42 AM , Rating: 2
The company that makes it easier for consumers to get what they want will always win out over companies that make it harder to get what they want.

In this case, Apple and EMI are making it *easier* to get non-DRMed, near-CD quality music. I have a small handful of tracks off of the iTunes Music Store, and I only did it because it was fast and easy. I don't generally care to wait six hours for that Torrent to download that album with two songs I want on it, nor do I care to look through all the trash that's on a lot of other P2P networks.

If I want three songs, here's my $4 and let me buy each one with one click, without having to spend thirty minutes searching for them. If my time is worth more than $8/hour, then it's worth it.

Congrats Apple + EMI. I for one will try and support them.

You're kidding aren't you?
By Setsunayaki on 4/9/2007 6:22:39 AM , Rating: 2
Aside from being a computer science student. I am also a musician and went through a music major in the past as well.

The DRM-Free music is nice, but deceptive in the sense that one person would think "Should I buy this, or download it, because everyone else does it" and I encourage people to download music for free considering that in every ISP advertisement you see some guy saying...

"Upgrade to (Insert connection ISP Name here) and download music and games faster"

If you calculate the sheer amount of people who upgrade computers and build them each year...along with the amount of money spent on internet connection......YOU DESERVE TO HAVE ANY SONG FOR FREE....

The internet is the worlds best ticket seller and musicians make the most money through touring and the least through record sales. This is a fact as I have dealt with studio time myself and a company takes around 90 - 95% of the profits from selling an album for themselves.

When a person goes to a concert, they tend to first learn about it on the Internet.....and buy the tickets online. The bands they go to see are indebted to the Internet which is not free.......For high speed connections its between 40 - 75 a month, meaning its 480 to 900 a year....Then its around 1000 for a computer that is decent to be built with 400 - 700 worth of updates every few years.

Now the Music industry is saying "You have been spared from DRM by us removing it from now you should feel better about paying for it" when in truth....if you spend $480 - $900 a year for a connection along with 1000s of dollars a year on computers as well as software, storage space and the have the right to download music for free regardless what they all tell you...

...if they want to complain. Let can always copy the TV commercial these ISPs release and sue them for false advertising. The purpose of a high speed internet connection is to DOWNLOAD FILES and now you see every company out there outside of ISPs try to force you to use a high speed connection to just browse the web and use email.

I remember asking 30 people in the computer science club im part of "Would you return to dial up or entry level broadband if it was illegal to download?"

Everyone including myself said "we would build the cheapest computer possible since we no longer need 200GB + HDD to store our files since downloading is illegal....and pay around $300 to build computers and simply focus on browsing with our free adware dial up ISPs or a 10 - 20 a month connection service plan....etc.

Translation.....30 students that each have between $1500 to $2500 computer systems and $50 - $100 a month connection amounting to $111,000 (2500 x 30 and 100 x 12 x 30 as a MAX RANGE, would change towards 15,000 being spent on their comps and connection for the year. These are just the numbers for 30 students....Imagine how millions would be effected.

Sure, I'll pay for music......under one condition:

The music must be 16 bits @ 44.1khz and the bitrate must be 1411kbps....Sorry but if I pay for a SONG, it has to be at CD quality which is what I just wrote in the above...not at 1/11th the quality like most are fooled into believing that is true CD quality....the 1411kbps bitrate will prove that I paid for the song and didn't just download it from somewhere.

Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Scabies on 4/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/2007 12:07:04 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, small artists like myself love to make music for the fun of it. No. Sorry.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Hare on 4/2/2007 12:13:13 PM , Rating: 5
The problem is that DRM doesn't prevent piratism. It never has, it never will.

a) Burn a song with drm to cd and rip it back. DRM is gone.
b) Audio output -> audio input. Press play, press record. DRM is gone.

One person doing the above and sharing the song in P2P networks makes the DRM scheme obsolete. DRM does nothing but piss of legitimate customers. Why would anyone want to buy content that doesn't play well when they can dl the same song for free in a format that can be played on any device?

Removing DRM might actually increase sales and decrease piratism. Hooray for EMI and Apple for actually thinking what the customer appreciates.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Houdani on 4/2/2007 12:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Ahem. I would think that the artists making the sucky music would be to blame, not the consumers who desire flexible music files (for legal & benign personal use).

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Scabies on 4/2/2007 1:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
not to impugn Brown's music, but I would assume that smaller artists face a smaller threat of piracy. Even so, piracy does mean exposure and getting your name around, as illegal or unethical as it may be. That aside...

Who google's his band right now?
Who would google his band after being on iTunes for a couple of weeks? (specifically after all of us nerds decide that its time to start using the DRM free iTunes.)

Who looks for their CD at Best Buy?
Who might stumble across their name on iTunes?

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/2007 1:19:22 PM , Rating: 1
Smaller artists face a BIGGER threat of piracy. The only way to GET a lot of smaller artist's music is through file sharing. That's another problem in itself but the fact is, smaller artists suffer a great deal from piracy.

Music stores are great, but I'd definitely like to make sure people pay to have a song. Isn't that fair?

DRM done right > no DRM. For everyone.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 3:21:23 PM , Rating: 3
brown, you can't have DRM done right - everything is eventually hacked, they broke even into "unhackable" Xbox 360 with its complex hardware encryption and shit like that - music DRM is a piece of cake for these guys. I'll tell ya what - I've always got an option of buying a legal DRMed music and getting same music from P2P for free. 99% of the time I went to P2P like emule, NOT because DRM music is expensive, I paid like $50 US for some of my rare Japanese CDs (why the heck they do nice extended releases only in Japan??) of Trent Reznor, Tarja Turunen, Inna Zhelannaya, Morgoth, many other much less known artists (Sha'aban Yahya anyone?) - I paid these huge sums of money (yes, $50 per CD is huuge) just because CD is so convenient - no DRM hassle, rip it once into 320kbit MP3 and play forever and wherever, ZERO hassle. with DRM - no shit man, I'm not going there with those crappy licenses, move your licenses from here to Vista, it breaks, Microsoft doesn't know its own ass and starts making its own Zune after years of Plays for Sure... this shit stinks unbelieveably. the second I read about DRM-free iTunes I thought "YESSS!!! NO. HASSLE. MUSIC. ONLINE!!! GOD! AT _LAST_ THEY MADE IT" - so now there is NO need for me to jump to emule every freakin time I wanna download something - of course I'd go to iTunes now and get my CD there, and it'll cost only $10 instead of $50, and licenses and shit, IT'S CONVENIENT MAN! you don't understand this, 'cause you're musician, and we are not, we are just consumers. but listen to what consumers tell you - it's INCONVENIENT to pay for licenses and DRM, and it is convenient to pay $10 and get your CD from iTunes. do you undestand the word CONVENIENT? talk whatever you want about piracy, it's your own lunacy that everyone is a pirate - that's not true. the people who'd NEVER pay for music - they will NEVER switch to DRM-free iTunes. the NORMAL customers, however, might jump to iTunes now in droves, just because a MAJOR roadblock on the read to CONVENIENT access to legal music download has just been removed by Steve Jobs - the roadblock called "DRM" - got it, Mr. Artist? we want to pay you because otherwise you won't produce any music, okay? but we don't want this process to be PITA. you wanna get our money - just help Jobs to make the process easier - go and publish your music in iTunes DRM-free, and see what you got. just try it, okay? I'm sure you'll change your mind after trying it

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By plinden on 4/2/2007 1:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, well, that's DRM right now. Give it a while, and it'd eliminate piracy.

DRM is doomed to failure. Why? Because to be able to play DRM-ed music and video, I need to have in my possession a process that unlocks the DRM. It may not be a trivial task to reverse-engineer, but it's always going to be possible, and if the content is valuable enough, people are going to put the effort into breaking the DRM.

So DRM hurts no one but the customer. Why shouldn't I be able to play my iTunes purchases on my Linux computer at work? Or if someone actually produces something that beats the pants off my iPod why shouldn't I be able to transfer my music to it? (Incidentally, I only about 20 songs bought from the iTunes store, so I'm not really locked into staying with Apple, apart from the great product).

What's more, DRM means I buy less music than I would if it was DRM-free. I don't actually download music from the iTune Store because of the DRM. I buy and rip CDs. Oh, wait, that's DRM-free isn't it? But that's a lot less convenient - in the past I've heard songs and noted the artist and album, but forgot about them by the time I got to a CD store. But if I walk to my Mac, look up online, and fail to buy because I don't want either 128kbs or DRMed music, who's losing out again?

So this is great news. I'll gladly pay 30c more for higher quality and DRM free music ... if only they had some artists I would actually like to listen to.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By SunAngel on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By s12033722 on 4/2/2007 1:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. You have an amazing view of the world. I too am looking forward to DRM-less music on itunes so that I can put my 400ish songs purchased on itunes onto a non-ipod player. Is it so hard to concieve of an honest consumer that appreciates convienence and is willing to pay a slight premium for it? Seems to me that 7-11 has done pretty well with those consumers. How about pizza delivery?

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 2:11:35 PM , Rating: 3
If I took that DVD over to my friend's house and got a message that said I had to buy a new copy to play my own DVD in a different player, I would have certainly noticed.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By plinden on 4/2/2007 1:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
Hunh? So why would I be against DRMed music downloads then? Since anyone right now can buy a CD and upload the music?

Wouldn't being able to buy DRM-free music just remove another self-delusional justification?

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 1:57:43 PM , Rating: 3
If he intended to pirate the music, why would he care in the least what ITMS does? The music would be out there unprotected, anyway. If you want to pirate any of EMI's music, you can do it just as easily now as when this rolls out.

This can only mean more people go legit, as nobody who was downloading legally before will suddenly start pirating due to a more convenient legal format.

DRM only hurts non-pirates.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Pirks on 4/2/2007 3:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! You know who's gonna be hurt the most from iTunes going 100% DRM-free? :)))))))) heheheheee

Jobs is delivering, I kind of start to like this guy... now only if he opened his precious little white Macs a little... ;) Let Mac hardware and Mac OS X go DRM-free, please pretty please, with sugar on top, Mr. Jobs! :)

By NoSoftwarePatents on 4/2/2007 4:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
Amazing you even know how to spell after that one message you posted a few days ago...

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By FastLaneTX on 4/2/2007 4:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has shown that make piracy a big enough PITA, and people won't do it anymore.

What are you smoking? Every version of Microsoft's "Activation" has been cracked before it even hit the store shelves. WMA DRM was cracked again less than a week after they patched the last crack, and the guy who did it says he has more vulnerabilities ready to release when they fix that one. DRM will never succeed, and there's no such thing as "DRM done right", because the labels' wet dreams about DRM are (were?) all about screwing the consumer into buying the same thing over and over, not protecting artists. Even MS has admitted the goal with Windows licensing is to force people into paying for their software again every year, but they can't even manage to make half the planet pay the first time!

I have no problem giving money to artists. What I do have a problem with is giving $1 to a record label to download a file I can only play on one device and even then only until my next OS upgrade, and of that $11 only $0.10 makes it to the artist. Sorry, but DRM-free music is not going to make me pirate stuff -- I was happily pirating everything I wanted back when it was "DRM only". Maybe artists will start figuring out that in the online world, they don't need labels at all and start selling tracks directly from their web sites -- and keep 100% of the profits.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By AmbroseAthan on 4/4/2007 11:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
Vista Crack:

Not sure it still works, not even sure why you asked. I do pay for my music via ITunes, but I was annoyed I had trouble using it on my old Zen and on my old Winamp (which I love much more then ITunes). So bring on the DRM-Free Itunes, I for one will be upgrading my songs that are eligible.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 12:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
How does EMI's decision to sell a more desirable, higher quality product hurt you as a small artist?

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 12:33:35 PM , Rating: 5
What's this "appear to" doing in there. A DRMed product IS less desirable. It offers no benefit and great inconvenience to the customer.

That would be like if I wrote software that only came on a set of 20 floppy disks, then complained that others use CDs.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Scabies on 4/2/2007 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think his point is that open music (or music without DRM) is a less appealing method for distributing from the artist's perspective

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By vdig on 4/2/2007 1:20:45 PM , Rating: 3
Furthermore, while DRM inconveniences customers, it does not inconvenience the pirates. They are tenacious, and will break DRM in any shape and form.

Consumers want a product that works with no hassle and provides the experience that is expected of it. DRM introduces problems which the consumer wants no part of. The customer WILL PAY for a product that does not bring headaches to them. Therefore, in my opinion it is actually counter productive to have DRM, as it makes products less attractive.

Focusing on DRM to hamper the pirates is less effective in earning you money than making product more appealing and easy to use for legitimate customers. I would focus my attention on where the money is.

Paying a small premium for non-DRM music? Sounds like an offer customers would not want to refuse.

All you need to do is advertise your music in a manner that will get you attention from the people with the wallets....

By NoSoftwarePatents on 4/2/2007 4:30:23 PM , Rating: 2
I've bought lots of MP3's-more than 100, but I refuse to buy ANY DRM'ed audio file. There are several good sources that sell MP3's, like Lavamus(.com) and a few others for starters.

Choose your own fate...but DRM will not solve the piracy problem, period.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By FastLaneTX on 4/2/2007 5:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
that makes people that use DRM appear to have a less desirable product.

Um, wake up and listen to what your potential customers are telling you. Anything with DRM is an inferior product, end of discussion. All it does is convince the people who might want to give you money to instead go to P2P to get versions they can listen to whenever, wherever, and however they want.

Study after study shows that the people who pirate the most music also spend the most money buying music legitimately. Why do they keep pirating? To get non-DRMed copies, or to get music that sucks and isn't worth paying for. The first half can be solved by dropping DRM, and the second can be solved by not making crap. The people who would pirate your non-DRMed music will pirate your DRMed music too; it's not tough to do.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Enoch2001 on 4/2/2007 1:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
Music is art. Music should not be money (especially when most of the money never meets the artist)

I'm not sure what fantasy planet you're living on, but any musician worth their weight in salt would prefer to be paid for the fruits of their labor. Art, and to be more specific, music, is just as much a consumer product as the players it is played on.

And don't let any musician tell you that they do it "for the art" and not money. They are lying through their teeth, as no one likes to work for free. I think that's called slavery, actually. ;-)

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/2/2007 2:07:02 PM , Rating: 1
QFT. Nobody likes to work for free.

I personally can tell you, I'm programming for a living instead of writing music, because it's MUCH easier to make money with. I'd rather write music.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Questar on 4/2/2007 4:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, there a are many, many more rich musicians than rich programmers.

Perhaps the quality of your music just isn't in that league.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By BMFPitt on 4/2/2007 5:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt that there are more millionaire musicians than millionaire coders. But I know that there are more coders making six figures than there are musicians. And I've seen very few programmers working at Taco Bell to support their dream of writing the one hit DLL that will make it big.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Clienthes on 4/3/2007 9:14:31 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen very few programmers working at Taco Bell to support their dream of writing the one hit DLL that will make it big.


RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By thebrown13 on 4/3/2007 10:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it's just hard to get music out as a startup musician.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Scabies on 4/3/2007 11:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
Hence my exposure theory.
I was just at a concert last night, and was not looking forward to the "local talent" openers, the first group was a no-name suck, but the second, which no one knew, got everyone on their feet by the second song and drove me to buying their CD (which came out today, $15 to them.) It was funny to watch everyone herd to the merch stand after this second band as compared to the first.
So to the small timers with talent, I wish you luck, and maintain my theory that your strongest bet is what appeals to the audience the most.
(for your information, these guys are on iTunes, but I didnt check who their label was [hence whether or not it was hi-q DRMless])

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Clienthes on 4/2/2007 3:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
Very eloquent. I'm sure I'd love the music you write. Anyone know where I can download it?

thebrown13, I think you have a poor understanding of economics, marketing, customer service, etc., and so does the rest of the DRM using world.

Anyway, good job Apple (As much as I hate to compliment Apple). Now if we can get the music industry to understand that low prices = volume sales, we'll be in business.

RE: Way to go Steve Jobs!
By Jack Ripoff on 4/2/2007 4:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
By Lord 666 on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: Retro-Active?
By Tegeril on 4/2/2007 11:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
They announced that users can redownload higher bitrate, non-DRM songs for the difference in price between the original track and the new track.

RE: Retro-Active?
By neothe0ne on 4/2/2007 11:08:22 AM , Rating: 5

RE: Retro-Active?
By Lord 666 on 4/2/2007 11:20:28 AM , Rating: 1
I first read it on CNN which makes no mention of it.

But do the math, its going to cost even more at .30 for each SONG if I purchased an album containing 15 songs for 9.99.

RE: Retro-Active?
By Tegeril on 4/2/2007 11:08:24 AM , Rating: 2
In fact, it was even in the DailyTech article...

RE: Retro-Active?
By PJMODOS on 4/2/2007 11:09:00 AM , Rating: 2
You might want to read whole article before asking such question - "Customers who have already purchased DRM-enabled music tracks from iTunes will be able to upgrade to the higher-quality, DRM-free versions for $0.30 per track"

RE: Retro-Active?
By Lord 666 on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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