ERA launches "MP3 Compatible" scheme

ERA launches "MP3 Compatible" scheme

The Entertainment Retailers Association is hoping to see its "MP3 Compatible" logo on both download sites and hardware.

If you want to be sure that your digital downloads aren't going to time out on you thanks to overly restrictive digital rights management, you might want to keep an eye out for the logo on the right.

First reported in BetaNews, the Entertainment Retailers Association has launched a new campaign designed to highlight music download services that offer songs in the cross-platform DRM-free MP3 format via the use of an “MP3 Compatible” logo.

Companies signed up to the scheme include,,, and the digital download services offered by highstreet names HMV, Tesco, and Woolworths. Each of the companies has agreed to offer songs in MP3 format – and will display the logo to reassure customers that the content they buy is fully compatible with every MP3 player under the sun.

The download sites themselves are only half the story, of course: the Association is hoping to convince manufacturers to include the logo on their MP3-compatible devices to drive home the point to consumers eager to spend their hard-earned on digital music downloads for their portable devices.

As BetaNews points out, the logo is perhaps a little hard to spot on most sites: this is perhaps due to the scheme being a relatively new initiative. Given time, it's likely that the labelling system will be as commonplace as “HD Ready” logos are on our TV sets.

With more and more consumers becoming switched on to the dangers of ill-considered DRM schemes that actively restrict their rights, the scheme is likely to see a rapid take up – especially from download services wishing to differentiate themselves from the locked-down and yet still incredibly popular iTunes service from Apple.

Will you be keeping an eye out for the logo next time you buy a digital download or music playback gadget, or have you already moved on to something a bit better? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Lazarus Dark 6th November 2008, 13:35 Quote
Scheme indeed.
I always worry that the mp3 I download may not be mp3-compatible. /sarcasm

Um, it's pretty easy to tell. Itunes plus is DRM-free, and if you're downloading a wma, it probably has drm. Nice scheme to make money for nothing though, I'm sure a lot of people will buy into it.

Still, call me when you've got FLAC. Till then I'll stick to cd's.
ChaosDefinesOrder 6th November 2008, 13:38 Quote
surely a "DRM-free" logo would have made more sense?
Bauul 6th November 2008, 13:46 Quote
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
surely a "DRM-free" logo would have made more sense?

And then you'll have to explain what DRM is.

This is more to do with file type than DRM. I know my Creative Zen won't play iTune files, but does Six-pack Joe (ooh, modern lingo!)? Nope.
Fod 6th November 2008, 18:15 Quote
:( lossless store please.
Vash-HT 6th November 2008, 20:45 Quote
Originally Posted by Fod
:( lossless store please.

ZERO <ibis> 7th November 2008, 02:59 Quote

Also it would be nice to maybe have a DRM free sort of logo for computer games so that I know that I can buy the game without researching to see if a root kit will force an unexpected reformat for my beloved HDD.

I want a FLAC compatible logo!
notatoad 7th November 2008, 03:48 Quote
Originally Posted by Bauul
...Six-pack Joe (ooh, modern lingo!)...

it's joe six pack. get it right. and i fourth the lossless store - really, how hard can it be?
Fod 7th November 2008, 09:10 Quote
Originally Posted by supertoad
it's joe six pack. get it right. and i fourth the lossless store - really, how hard can it be?

not hard at all. they must already store a CD quality version of their catalog to allow for easy bit-rate switching (ala itunes plus).
Bauul 7th November 2008, 11:17 Quote
Originally Posted by supertoad
it's joe six pack. get it right.

Ah go swivel. ;)
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