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Amazon unveils DRM-free music store

Amazon unveils DRM-free music store

Amazon has announced a DRM-free online music store, prompted by massive anti-DRM movements

Amazon announced it would launching itself into the MP3 market later this year, something that has long been rumoured but never made official until now.

The Amazon music store, or whatever they decide to finally name it, will offer millions of songs from in excess of 12,000 record labels, including EMI. EMI famously announced last month that they would begin to sell music without Digital Rights Management (DRM, which could also stand for Digital Rights Massacre or Digital Restrictions Management) software included, making them the first major record label to open themselves up in such a manner.

While EMI originally reached this deal with iTunes, they made it clear at the time that they were not committing exclusively to Steve Jobs' musical behemoth.

"Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. "We’re excited to have EMI joining us in this effort and look forward to offering our customers MP3s from amazing artists like Coldplay, Norah Jones and Joss Stone."

Sounds good then, if only for the Norah Jones part.

The store, which will be opening at an unconfirmed date later in the year, will not feature content from the three other major labels who still wish to exclusively use DRM technologies to protect 'their' music - i.e. the music written by the bands and then sold to us for our own use. Steve Jobs' Apple iTunes has appeared to try to pressure these other labels to forego the much hated DRM 'solution', but as yet nothing has come of it.

Is DRM justified? Is piracy killing genuine buyers DRM-free wishes? Or are all record labels evil, overgloryfied PR companies? Tell us what you think in the forums.

12 Comments

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BioSniper 17th May 2007, 18:13 Quote
But one thing they have to do is get the price right. It'd ideally want to be cheaper than iTunes as most of the purchasing public don't know/care about what DRM even is and will just say "well, iTunes is cheaper".
pendragon 17th May 2007, 18:20 Quote
emusic.com is DRM-free as well.. i wonder how this will compare.. bigger selection?
DarkLord7854 17th May 2007, 18:50 Quote
Quote:
the music written by the bands and then sold to us for our own use.

I think you mean "for our own limited use" :p
Breach 17th May 2007, 19:20 Quote
You mean, the music industry is actually going to start giving us what we want? Not sure if I can handle not feeling like a criminal if I go legal or download... :D
Phil Rhodes 17th May 2007, 21:26 Quote
Outstanding, great news.

Now let's see a little transatlantic price parity.

Not relevant to the subject at hand, but Adobe's digital video production bundle is either £1500 or $1500.

Not right.

Phil
Constructacon 18th May 2007, 01:56 Quote
With iTunes saying "We want no DRM" and AmazonTunes saying "We won't stock DRM" I think it wont be long before we see the end of it. Amazon has enough market power to get what they want on this one I feel.
Tyinsar 18th May 2007, 03:45 Quote

Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
But one thing they have to do is get the price right. It'd ideally want to be cheaper than iTunes as most of the purchasing public don't know/care about what DRM even is and will just say "well, iTunes is cheaper".
^^ what he said.

Though for me if it even matches the price of iTunes DRMed stuff, has decent quality (as good as MP3 gets anyway), and is available in Canada, I'd be interested.
cebla 18th May 2007, 04:09 Quote
This sounds good. All I hope is that it won't be limited to the US. It will kind of suck if its not available in Australia.
r4tch3t 18th May 2007, 07:08 Quote
I will never buy any music that is infected with DRM. I agree with the price issue though, cheaper = we win, more expensive = iTunes wins.
Paradigm Shifter 18th May 2007, 10:27 Quote
Even if it's the same price as iTunes, I think it'll be we win, as well. :) I think those people who buy stuff on iTunes probably also shop on Amazon. It'll just be the Apple mindshare that Amazon has to compete with. Which I must admit is a significant hurdle...
DXR_13KE 18th May 2007, 13:36 Quote
i bet it will be more expensive and will only be available in the USA.

edit: but i hope i am wrong.
Kipman725 19th May 2007, 20:15 Quote
I don't want mp3's EMI I want wave files encoded at stupid quality! some of us have expensive hi-fi gear and mp3's even at 320kbs are NASTY compared to what the mixing desk is putting out. I mean SACD is the best one can get in disk format (easily) so I would expect at least that in download format (sans DRM which has killed SACD in the hi-fi scene as SACD players have no digital outs). Video quality has increased massivly in the past few years (although it looks like the new formats are flopping due to DRM and lack of interest in blowing a huge sum of money on them) why has audio quality decreased in the mainstream?

at this rate I'm going to have to build a home studio and record the bands myself to get the quality I crave! :O
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