Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Businesses Encryption Media Media (Apple) Security Apple

Apple To Grant All Labels DRM-Free Distribution 410

SexCaptain writes "MacRumors.com reveals a letter circulated by Apple to all producers of content for the iTunes Store, announcing that from May onward they can sell their music at higher quality and free of DRM. Hopefully this opens the doors for labels like Netwerk. This is a big step in the right direction, although it's unclear exactly what Apple means by 'higher quality,' and there is no mention of price changes. (Apple charges $0.30 more per song for DRM-free content from EMI and encodes it at 256K.) Quoting from the letter: 'Many of you have reached out to iTunes to find out how you can make your songs available higher quality and DRM-free," Apple wrote in the communication. "Starting next month, iTunes will begin offering higher-quality, DRM-free music and DRM-free music videos to all customers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple To Grant All Labels DRM-Free Distribution

Comments Filter:
  • by vakuona ( 788200 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:09PM (#18934627)
    This could get really interesting. Of course emusic uses the more ubiquitous mp3, bt I bet eveyr 'mp3' player will now come playing unprotected aac as standard now Apple is making things interesting.
    • by Mr Jazzizle ( 896331 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:15PM (#18934699)
      Of course, at 1.30 per song, iTunes' DRM-free AAC cost about 6 times as much as eMusic DRM-free MP3, but for all those people looking for DRM-free top-40-type music, dream come true, eh? (how big is that overlap, anyway?)
      • by vakuona ( 788200 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:19PM (#18934723)
        But smaller publishers might also price their music lower. Isn't it conventional slashdot wisdom that they are less greedy than the average big four label?
      • by Ahnteis ( 746045 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:20PM (#18934749)
        Agreed. It's now significantly more expensive to buy music from Apple compared to Wal-mart. This is progress?
        • by vought ( 160908 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:45PM (#18934991)
          Agreed. It's now significantly more expensive to buy music from Apple compared to Wal-mart. This is progress?

          It's also considerably more convenient. And not that much more expensive. Apple doesn't censor the music or movies they carry. You can buy one song at a time or the entire album. And there's no wasteful packaging.

          Yeah, I'd call that progress.

          • by DaleGlass ( 1068434 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:58PM (#18935661) Homepage
            Yay for Apple fan logic.

            Generally I would expect that not needing packaging, delivery trucks, shelf space, etc, would result in the end product being cheaper due to the lack of need to pay for all that stuff... but no, somehow delivering less is a "feature" that makes sense to pay extra money for.

            Don't get me wrong, I don't care much for the packaging either, but calling it progress to pay extra for the lack of something is quite bizarre.

            • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Monday April 30, 2007 @10:11PM (#18936241) Homepage Journal
              I am not really a fan of the iTMS -- I've bought maybe a half-dozen songs from there since it opened, and most of those in the first few weeks it was running, on a lark -- but after going down to Target to buy a CD a few days ago (on the assumption -- proved hideously incorrect -- that it would be a little less of a shitshow than WalMart), I would gladly pay 60% extra to not have to fight with the dregs of humanity in order to buy some data.

              (And yes, I'm aware there are still real "music stores" around, but I've never been in one where I felt particularly comfortable, or that had ample parking. And if I'm going to give someone my money I figure I should at least get those just as a given.)
              • by Macka ( 9388 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @01:24AM (#18937401)

                And don't forget that by buying off iTunes you're also saving the planet. Just think of all those dirty emissions you avoided creating by staying at home instead of driving. Add to that the emissions saved by by using 1 less CDs worth of plastic, packaging and transport to the store of your choice.

                You just got greener .. be happy :)

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Yay for Apple fan logic.

              Generally I would expect that not needing packaging, delivery trucks, shelf space, etc, would result in the end product being cheaper due to the lack of need to pay for all that stuff...

              Yay for a complete lack of understanding of economics.

              The price Apple charges has nothing to do with the cost of delivering it. It is simply the highest price that users will pay, such that Apple maximises their profits.
            • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @12:27AM (#18937133) Homepage
              calling it progress to pay extra for the lack of something is quite bizarre.

              Not when you can have soup for $1, or bodily-fluid free soup for $5.
            • Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ZxCv ( 6138 )
              Don't get me wrong, I don't care much for the packaging either, but calling it progress to pay extra for the lack of something is quite bizarre.

              Really?

              There seem to be many people willing to pay extra for the lack of something.

              Like those willing to pay for satellite radio, because it lacks stupid DJ's and excessive ads.

              Or those willing to pay more for their steak, because it lacks the fat and toughness of a cheaper steak.

              Or those willing to pay more for their new car, because it lacks the mechanical problem
              • by asninn ( 1071320 )
                There is a difference between selecting for quality (high-quality/high-price steaks, for example) or removing something that's naturally there (boneless fish [wikipedia.org] comes to mind) on one hand and ceasing to add something YOU YOURSELF added in the first place.

                So, for example, it makes sense to charge more for lactose-free milk since lactose occurs naturally in milk and has to be removed in a process that costs both time and money. If, on the other hand, lactose was only added in the manufacturing process and did NO
        • by wall0159 ( 881759 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:47PM (#18935019)

          What you're missing is that anyone can now release DRM-free 256kbit/s music. This means that small labels will have advantages against RIAA labels (EMI aside) who might be reluctant to release DRM-free music.

          The policy of iTunes has always been (AFAIK) to have a fixed price for individual songs, but a varied price for albums. Hence an indie band can release a DRM-free 256kbit/s album for $8 if they want to... This might mean we see some real competition in the commercial music scene... finally!

          Also, allow me to plug eMusic (www.emusic.com) - You can't beat it for discovering great new music. No personal affiliation, just a satisfied customer. Magnatune seems good too.
        • by onepower ( 513216 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:51PM (#18935067) Homepage
          The album price is the same for DRM free, higher quality... $9.99 for most albums. That makes the convenience and lack of censorship worth every penny. It isn't like you can buy a single DRM free track from Walmart either.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by e. boaz ( 67350 )

          It's now significantly more expensive to buy music from Apple compared to Wal-mart.


          Except that you don't have to burn fossil fuels to get your music to your house. Nor is there any fossil fuel expended in transporting the disk to the store. Nor do you have to listen to the limited previews through headphones used by 90% of the people in your area. You can shop naked if you wish.

          Yes, this is an improvement.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Paul Jakma ( 2677 )
            Except that you don't have to burn fossil fuels to get your music to your house. Nor is there any fossil fuel expended in transporting the disk to the store.

            Uh, yes you did have to burn fossil fuels..

            It takes electrical energy to power all those computers, disks, routers, repeaters and cables. Energy which is in the main generated by burning stuff (Unless you live in France, where 80% odd of the electric grid is powered by nuclear plants).

      • Top 40??? (Score:4, Informative)

        by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:16PM (#18935803) Homepage Journal
        but for all those people looking for DRM-free top-40-type music, dream come true, eh?

        Mmm, no. Not just top 40. Apple carries all manner of classic rock, hard rock, symphonic, blues, and more. beat them up for DRM (OS or other) all you like, but let's not just lie about things, ok?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:15PM (#18934689)
    They used to like 128kbps AAC uploaded to them, but now they want lossless - so it's been on the cards for a while (not the DRM free, but higher quality). Anyway, means they can encode to anything they want for all the new stuff without having to transcode. Hasn't helped with their congested servers though.

    Apropo of nothing I suppose, but thought it might be interesting.
    • Anyway, means they can encode to anything they want for all the new stuff without having to transcode. Hasn't helped with their congested servers though.

      Doesn't really mean that at all. They need to encode for their targeted music players. MP3 would be best, since it's ubiquitous. Other formats, less so. They could, however, sell to the rest of the market of MP3 players with the non-DRM stuff -- provided that Apple wants to be in the music sales business, instead of the music hardware business.

      • by Zaknafein500 ( 303608 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:26PM (#18935377) Homepage
        And the answer is, they don't want to be in the music business, at least no more than they have to be. The only reason they are curently is because the music business provides content for their hardware business, which is where the real money is made. The iTunes Store is effectively a loss-leader to sell iPods. Jobs has said as much already.
        • by PapayaSF ( 721268 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @02:17AM (#18937599) Journal

          they don't want to be in the music business, at least no more than they have to be.

          Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but I wonder about this. That is Jobs' pitch to the record companies: "We're not your competition, we just want to sell iPods." But is it really true? Jobs thinks long-term. Maybe he's just lying low, trying not to spook his prey until it's too late. With iTunes becoming huge, what young musician wouldn't be tempted to sign up with iTunes as a label? Particularly if, instead of the artists getting a small slice of the record companies' cut of an iTunes sale, they got most or all of it? Wouldn't that increase the artists' income from digital sales by something like 400%?

          The major labels would excrete bricks if this happened, but if iTunes gets much larger, it may be inevitable. At that point Jobs will have the major record companies over a barrel, and could make them obsolete while getting cheers from everyone else by vastly increasing what musicians make for digital sales and giving the fans what they want.

          Imagine the PR coup that would be. I see it as a "One more thing..." item at a future MacWorld Expo keynote.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            That is Jobs' pitch to the record companies: "We're not your competition, we just want to sell iPods." But is it really true?

            Well, I think it is true, but at the same time he is trying to mislead the record companies about the future of the music industry, as Apple envisions it. Apple benefits from their cartel being undermined, but at the same time I don't think Apple wants to become the sole gatekeeper for a number of reasons.

            With iTunes becoming huge, what young musician wouldn't be tempted to sign up with iTunes as a label? Particularly if, instead of the artists getting a small slice of the record companies' cut of an iTunes sale, they got most or all of it? Wouldn't that increase the artists' income from digital sales by something like 400%?

            Labels manage multiple items, not just iTunes. They manage advertising and they manage hardcopy to store sales and in many cases live performances. Those needs aren't going away and it is so far outsi

    • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
      FLAC > Apple Lossless.

      Nuff said.
  • Obvious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:17PM (#18934707) Homepage

    This is a big step in the right direction, although it's unclear exactly what Apple means by 'higher quality,' and there is no mention of price changes.

    It seems pretty clear to me-- they're offering the same pricing scheme that they've announced with EMI. They will continue to sell 128 kbps DRM-wrapped AACs for $0.99, but will additionally offer 256kbps DRM-free AACs for $1.29. Anyone familiar with Apple's tactics will tell you that they'll want to keep it simple. They'll offer the same pricing for the same product across the board.

    I'd guess that this is all transitional anyway. Apple will continue to try to pressure labels to drop prices and remove DRM on everything. In the mean time, this is a step in the right direction.

    • It's interesting that as the cost of distribution is rapidly going down to 0, the price per song keeps going up. In an age where you needed a large industrial plant to form and press vinyl, then ship to local stores, and then pay for rent and workers to sell the things, I would understand the current music prices. On the other hand, when it costs <$5000 for a session at a luxuriously-equipped studio, maybe another $20'000-50'000 for the services of a good sound engineer to master then thing, and then vir
      • by shmlco ( 594907 )
        Actually, I read somewhere that about a quarter of all of the artists on iTMS were independent, or signed with "independent" labels that handle negotiations with Apple for them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vought ( 160908 )
        But no, this is breaking one of the key laws of consumer marketing - once prices go up, they will not come down, regardless of the expenses.

        Convenience has gone up. That's what you are paying extra for.

        Pizza delivery proves that people will pay more for convenience, especially in a culture that is moving toward cocooning at home in front of the TV and computer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto ( 415985 )
        I suspect that prices will begin to come down once two things happen:

        1) iTMS gets some actual competition at the same ease-of-use level, yet maintain complete interoperability with it. It wouldn't take much technically to rig up a competing app that runs across platforms and make it sync tunes in and out of the iPod (gtkpod can almost do this now in Linux, I think?) - the interoperability part is the kicker, however... I don't see Apple making that easy by any stretch.

        2) DRM finally dies in music firmw

    • Perfect quality! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rmdyer ( 267137 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:27PM (#18935391)
      I'll give them $2.00 a song if they will give up on this compressed stuff and sell me lossless. I'd like to have the same music that comes on the real CD. That way I can compare a checksum with a "global public" value, and make sure they haven't watermarked the song. They could even go to $3.00 a song for people who are aficionados and release the 24 bit stuff.

      So we have...

                $0.99 = DRM'ed AAC at 128kbps
                $1.30 = Non-DRM'ed AAC at 256kbps
                $2.00 = Non-DRM'ed, lossless.
                $3.00 = Non-DRM'ed, 96KHz-24bit per Channel.

      Still dreaming.
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:49PM (#18936091) Homepage Journal
        $3? $3?!!

        For $3 per song I want the band to come play live in my drinking establishment.

        $3.

  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:20PM (#18934737)
    Hopefully Apple will eventually allow labels to set their own prices. There are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of old songs languishing at barely measurable sales numbers-I think that a hell of a lot of those could sell pretty well at $.25 or $.50. We could see back-catalog price wars! It would also allow smaller labels labels and independent musicians to compete by leveraging their lower overheads--one can sell for less when a album was self-produced in a week with no advance and no A&R guys to feed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by osviews.com ( 955101 )
      If they do this... they open the Pandora's box of also making new songs higher priced.

      Personally... I prefer the consistency approach.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by supabeast! ( 84658 )
        If they do this... they open the Pandora's box of also making new songs higher priced.

        So what if they do? It's just new music; nobody needs it to survive, and nobody is being forced to buy it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aztracker1 ( 702135 )
          Agreed, people are willing to pay a lot more for the latest from (insert pop star of the week) on their cell phone, for a fraction of the song, at a fraction of the quality.

          I don't care if they charge $3 for whatever the #1 pop single is... more power to them.. that's what a free market is about... If I can get the new Bionic Jive album from iTMS for
          I think the price lock really sucks... it would be easy enough to give the big labels, and independents a control panel to set their own pricing. If peopl
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, letting the labels set their own prices WON'T result in lower prices. Here major label logic for you:

      Popular Tracks: Need to cost more to cover the demand for them
      Unpopular: Need to cost more to cover the cost of making them available.

      If anything 99 cents will be the 'base' cost and things will just go up for there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hes Nikke ( 237581 )
        Yes, letting the labels set their own prices WILL result in lower prices. Here [sic] Indy label logic for you:

        RIAA Tracks: prices just went up, and customers aren't happy with that
        Indy Tracks: 25 - 99, we'll make it up in volume! :D
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      There are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of old songs languishing at barely measurable sales numbers-I think that a hell of a lot of those could sell pretty well at $.25 or $.50.

      Or at least $.05, if allofmp3.com proved anything. Whatever the price point is there's a lot of money being left on the table because the labels aren't smart enough to go after it.

      • by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:54PM (#18935093) Homepage
        Yes, its amazing if you steal something how cheaply you can then sell it for.

        Less flippantly: an item is worth what the market will pay for it.
        • Not really. Just because you can convince one person to buy something at X cost, doesn't mean it's worth X. If nobody else buys it, you can't really say "well, Joe paid X for it, so that's what it's worth". In this scenario, Joe is the entire market for your product. But more exactly, he's the entire market for your product "at that price".
      • by natrius ( 642724 )

        Or at least $.05, if allofmp3.com proved anything. Whatever the price point is there's a lot of money being left on the table because the labels aren't smart enough to go after it.
        To suggest that allofmp3's price point is the optimal one is pretty unreasonable. At $.05 a song, the labels would likely make less off of their back catalog than they do now for $1 a song. Lower price points would definitely help a lot of songs, but allofmp3 isn't proof of that.
        • What's the optimal price for intellectual property? I'm sure the record labels would like to charge each person based on their willingness to pay.
    • There's the rub (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:45PM (#18934987) Homepage Journal
      It would also allow smaller labels labels and independent musicians to compete by leveraging their lower overheads--one can sell for less when a album was self-produced in a week with no advance and no A&R guys to feed.

      This is exactly why I'd expect the RIAA to pull out of iTunes if they allow this. No matter what, they don't want an efficient market - not when they're selling artificial scarcity.

      It's interesting to see Apple as the potentate with the ability to change the music industry with small changes in policy. I think they're doing a good job as benovolent dictator, but there's some deeper meaning, I'm sure, to the fact that iTunes is only 5 years old and we're talking about things this way. The power of the Internet to change markets, demonstrated, perhaps.
    • "Hopefully Apple will eventually allow labels to set their own prices."

      Yeah. They're be MUCH more expensive. Apple has led the fight in keeping music prices low.
  • Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:20PM (#18934745)
    "Many of you have reached out to iTunes to find out how you can make your songs available higher quality and DRM-free. Starting next month, iTunes will begin offering higher-quality, DRM-free music and DRM-free music videos to all customers."

    Translation from Jobs-esque:

    "People asked for DRM-free content, and EMI said fine, but we'll charge more. So we said, ok, we'll up the bitrate and justify the higher price with that."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      Translation from Jobs-esque:

      "People asked for DRM-free content, and EMI said fine, but we'll charge more. So we said, ok, we'll up the bitrate and justify the higher price with that."


      Actually here's an even better translation:

      "EU asked for DRM-free content, and EMI wanted higher prices. So we said fine, we give you higher prices (we'll justify with bumping up the bitrate), you give us DRM-free tracks & we got a deal."
      • "EU asked for DRM-free content, and EMI wanted higher prices. So we said fine, we give you higher prices (we'll justify with bumping up the bitrate), you give us DRM-free tracks & we got a deal."

        Your translation is well-done, and likely accurate. Here's my take on it:

        "Awesome - who cares if a track costs $1 or $1.3 if it's DRM-free?"

        I plan on upgrading all of my iTunes guilty pleasures ASAP. If this is the battle that's going to turn the tide on DRM, I'm all in.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Just wondering.. Is the price hike with higher bitrate a similiar justification to the older change in format from cassette tapes to cd. Didn't the record labels do that? Claiming its new technology! so it'll cost ya. But is it apple doing this now?
      • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
        Just wondering.. Is the price hike with higher bitrate a similiar justification to the older change in format from cassette tapes to cd. Didn't the record labels do that? Claiming its new technology! so it'll cost ya. But is it apple doing this now?

        You could draw some parallels I guess. Everyone does that.

        I'm, for example, now under the dilemma whether to pony up the upgrade price on Photoshop CS3, given they added almost nothing of value to me as a web dev except a new intimidating interface and few obscur
        • I'm, for example, now under the dilemma whether to pony up the upgrade price on Photoshop CS3, given they added almost nothing of value to me as a web dev except a new intimidating interface and few obscure photo editing tools.

          Why the heck is that a dilemma? Do you owe something to Adobe?

          If you want to spend money on stuff that has no value to you, send it to me and I'll find some crap out in the shed to mail you.
          • by cdrguru ( 88047 )
            Probably it is the lack of support, future upgrades and bug fixes. If you fall behind too much you lose all of this and get to pay more for the same upgrade later.

            Alternatively, you can hope you never need any of the above (esp. support and bug fixes) and stick with the old product.

            Even simpler - give your money to the Russian Mob and buy an "OEM Disc" that is really just a pirated version pre-downloaded for you. Force Adobe to compete with the folks selling their $700 product for $29.99.
    • What, and there's a problem with that? Albums are still the same price as before, so this is still very competitive with CD's. Prices do change ocasionally, and I'm glad to see the additional quality (recall - this will mean twice as much storage and bandwidth for Apple to deliver to you). Or did you think that songs will still be $0.99 in 20 years, regardless of changes in technology?
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )
      I think it's important in so many ways, most of them political. It has perfect deniability every which way you want it. Sales go booming? RIAA: "Consumers want higher quality music." Sales flop? RIAA: "See? It's not DRM locking customers in" even though the flop might be because of the 30% price hike and halved capacity of their iPods for music they can't hear the difference on, at least not on the run. Apple gets to point at it and say "Hey, we are offering a DRM-free version, blame the studios" without ac
  • Why Pay more? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fermion ( 181285 )
    The $10 per album on itunes is cheaper than most CDs, so the reduction in quality, and the inconvenience to remove the DRM, can well be justified.

    However, $13 per album is on the order of a CD. So, for the same money I can get a bad copy with no DRM, or a good copy with DRM, the only hassle is the 3 minutes that it takes to rip, and the need to physically purchase the product. Though iTunes is still a reasonably good deal, it is no longer the great deal it once was.

    I will admit for single track purcha

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think you misunderstood something-- Apple is offering HIGHER quality AAC's w/ NO DRM for $1.29. The $.99 deal still applies for the DRM'd version, which is the same quality it always has been (or at least, as far back as I remember).
    • Re:Why Pay more? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kenshin ( 43036 ) <kenshin@lunarwo r k s.ca> on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:41PM (#18934943) Homepage
      The price of DRM-free albums remains unchanged. It's only DRM-free singles that go up in price to $1.29.

    • It doesn't say it in the friendly article, but I read somewhere that the price of albums will stay the same, and they will be DRM-free, 256kbit/s.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      and the need to physically purchase the product.

      Don't discount *that* - that's the argument in a nutshell. I have to spend $10 in mileage costs to go buy a physical CD. If I was billing the round-trip time to a client instead of driving to go get it that CD probably costs well over a hundred dollars (not that I work 24/7/365 - I sleep too, but you get the point).

      I will admit for single track purchases the money for the DRM free is compelling.

      Yeah, especially if you don't have to give up the sound quality
      • by Mr2001 ( 90979 )

        I have to spend $10 in mileage costs to go buy a physical CD.
        At $3/gallon for gas, you're using more than 3 gallons to drive to the music store and back? Do you live at the center of a giant labyrinth, or do you drive a stretch Hummer?
        • At $3/gallon for gas, you're using more than 3 gallons to drive to the music store and back? Do you live at the center of a giant labyrinth, or do you drive a stretch Hummer?

          IRS mileage costs for 2007 are about 49 cents a mile. It's not just the cost of gas.

          The CD store is 10 miles away.
  • by Richard McBeef ( 1092673 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:35PM (#18934877)
    How am I supposed to manage my digital rights now?
  • This sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catbutt ( 469582 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:06PM (#18935197)
    When Jobs came out with his "Thoughts on Music", I made all kinds of cynical comments saying that he was being disingenious for this or that reason. After all, Job's in incredibly successful and people all over the world laud him and his company's products, so he NEEDS to be brought down a notch.

    Well now he's making me look like an ass.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TPIRman ( 142895 )
      You're hardly an ass, as you're one of few skeptics to admit that your original (hardly outlandish) accusations turned out to be wrong, which makes you more intellectually honest than many self-appointed DRM wonks. That group includes, most notably, Cory Doctorow, who blasted Jobs [salon.com] in a Salon article after "Thoughts on Music" was first posted on Apple's web site. When Jobs came through on his pledge, Doctorow was pleased [boingboing.net] but never saw fit to mention, "Hey, I probably went a bit overboard with that screed in
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:10PM (#18935231) Homepage Journal

    To sum up the list of objections to this move by Apple:

    • Apple is still not offering something for nothing, which pisses me off.
    • This is just a big PR stunt. Apple isn't really doing this for the right reasons, so it's still wrong.
    • This should have been done a long time ago, so the fact that they're doing it now makes it evil.
    • Apple is just trying to make their EVIL, proprietary AAC (Apple Audio Compression) dominate the free, open, wonderful MP3 format!
    • I don't like iTunes, therefore this move toward the elimination of DRM in music doesn't help me. This is Apple's fault. They're evil.
    • Steve Jobs wears sweaters. I hate sweaters. Sweaters are evil. Therefore, Jobs is evil, and so is Apple.
    • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:13PM (#18935251) Homepage Journal
      He wears turtleneck sweaters ok? If that aint Dr Fuckin' Evil, I don't know what is.


    • You forgot:

      -iTunes doesn't run on Linux

      (I'd love a Linux iTunes client tho... I plan to actually shop there when they ditch DRM)
  • The article mentions "DRM-free music videos". That's nice but what about the TV shows and movies also offered on iTunes? Will we burning DVDs from those anytime soon?
  • Zunior.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by leoc ( 4746 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:24PM (#18935365) Homepage
    For the regular price ($8.88 CDN per album) you get 192kbps non-DRM'd MP3's. For $2.00 CDN extra, you get the same album in FLAC format. Their entire catalog [zunior.com] is in non-DRM format and they have been doing it this way for a lot longer than Apple. As an added benefit, they a support all platforms equally, so you can use Windows, OS X or even Linux to browse and buy music.
    • Re:Zunior.com (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mblase ( 200735 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:08PM (#18935737)
      Their entire catalog [zunior.com] is in non-DRM format and they have been doing it this way for a lot longer than Apple.

      Your argument is significantly undermined by the fact that their entire catalog consists of artists and labels I've never heard of before in my life.

      They could price their albums at $1.25 apiece, and most people still wouldn't be interested.
  • Who gets the money (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nutty_Irishman ( 729030 ) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:57PM (#18935653)
    Out of curiosity, who gets the $0.30 for the songs, Apple, the producer, the musician? A quick search didn't turn up anything.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!

Working...