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Print 14 comment(s) - last by kelmon.. on Jan 9 at 2:36 AM

Another nail in DRM's coffin

Less than a year after the death of Sony BMG’s ill-fated and DRM-laden CONNECT service, an anonymous Sony official in Tokyo leaked word of a new Sony music store, called Platinum MusicPass.

Speaking to the Associated Press, the official said that the new store is set to open on January 15 in the United States, and later in January for Canada. Interestingly, Sony BMG has no plans to open similar stores in other countries, including Japan.

Sony traditionally resisted DRM-free music, due to fears of widespread piracy and the influence of its music and movie publishing arms. For the CONNECT music store, Sony combined DRM with its proprietary ATRAC compression format, of which it has phased out. The move to DRM-free MP3 files will allow Sony to access the overwhelmingly large iPod userbase, which less than a year ago was almost exclusively limited to iTunes for most music.

Meanwhile, an official press release was posted to www.musicpass.com, and it provides a detailed description of how Platinum MusicPass will work: retail stores will offer “a series of digital album cards” that will unlock a “high-quality” MP3 download of the album at the MusicPass web site. The suggested retail price of these cards is set at $12.99, and includes the full album as well as bonus material, if available. In the United States, digital album cards will be available on the January 15 launch date at Best Buy, Target, and Fred’s stores.

“We see MusicPass as a great way to bring digital music to the physical retail space,” said Thomas Hesse, president of Sony BMG’s Global Digital Business & U.S. Sales division. “We believe it will have strong appeal for a broad range of consumers, and that it will ultimately expand both the digital and physical markets for music.”

The initial MusicPass launch includes 37 different albums, including music from Elvis Presley, Britney Spears, Bob Dylan, and Celine Dion. Two of the launch albums will also be available in a $20 Extended MusicPass card, which will allow consumers to “receive the complete album and bonus material, plus the choice of one additional album from that same artist's rich catalog of recordings.”

With all of the different DRM-free music stores either open or on the way, it appears that the reign of copy-protected music is drawing to a close.



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By h0kiez on 1/8/2008 8:32:47 AM , Rating: 3
Lol...imagine if iTMS or the Zune Marketplace launched with 37 albums. Good luck with that Sony.




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