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EMI Experiments With DRM-free MP3's

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the music-wants-to-be-free dept.

Music 271

trifster writes "Ars Technica has an article about EMI selling DRM-free MP3's through Yahoo Music's US online store. It should be noted that this trial is an attempt to increase sales and competition with online music that is not necessarilary available on iTunes." From the article: "Why the sudden interest in non-DRMed formats? It appears that the record labels are slowly beginning to realize that they can't have DRMed music and complete control over the online music market at the same time.... There are signs that consumers might be growing irritated by the Balkanization of the online music scene. Nielsen SoundScan reports that online music sales dropped during the second and third quarters of the year."

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Or are they? (-1, Offtopic)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147550)

When I clicked on this... "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

It's a conspiracy!

Flied Lice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17147632)

DRM-free is just a marketing stunt, its the latest version of playsForSure.

Psych!

W00t - not. (-1, Troll)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147576)

Selling a couple xian tunes w/o drm isn't going to exactly cause a wave of common sense to break out. Does anyone actually listen to this crap?

Re:W00t - not. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147686)

Err, my uncle does. not sure of any other people. I'm a Christian, but most Christian music is admittedly awful! There are a couple of okay Christian bands, I haven't heard these guys. One of Snow Patrols last few singles played a lot like a Christian worship song, I was surprised it ranked anywhere in the charts.. so boring musically, but that's pop music for you..

Never seen 'Xian' used before, I thought it was some kind of oriental thing :p

Re:W00t - not. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17147708)

Rugs are oriental, people are Asian.

Re:W00t - not. (1, Informative)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147934)

Oriental \O`ri*en"tal\, n. 1. A native or inhabitant of the Orient or some Eastern part of the world; an Asiatic. [1913 Webster]

Just because someone may prefer one name over another doesn't negate the definition.

Re:W00t - not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148040)

Well, despite your clinging to, ehmm, 93 year old definitions, here's a fun usage note from The American Heritage Dictionary (printed in the year 2000, no less):

Usage Note: Asian is now strongly preferred in place of Oriental for persons native to Asia or descended from an Asian people. The usual objection to Oriental meaning "eastern"is that it identifies Asian countries and peoples in terms of their location relative to Europe. However, this objection is not generally made of other Eurocentric terms such as Near and Middle Eastern. The real problem with Oriental is more likely its connotations stemming from an earlier era when Europeans viewed the regions east of the Mediterranean as exotic lands full of romance and intrigue, the home of despotic empires and inscrutable customs. At the least these associations can give Oriental a dated feel, and as a noun in contemporary contexts (as in the first Oriental to be elected from the district) it is now widely taken to be offensive.

Re:W00t - not. (1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148188)

Yeah, well I'm loading up my car..filling it up with a whole bunch of retarded crippled negro midget orientals...and we're gonna march right down to Websters and DEMAND A FUCKING CHANGE!

-Eric

Re:W00t - not. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148214)

As I said before, I've been reading the Bourne Supremacy, I think it was written in the 70s, and it references Singapore and China quite regularly. I didn't mean it to be offensive, and I don't see what's wrong with the word oriental, it does sound cooler than Asian, and is less gneric.. Asian to me conjures up a different imagine than oriental, but neither is derogatory. I would have thought Oriental was a word more centred on China than Asia in general. And Xian seems to me like a Chinese word.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148562)

This was actually answered above you. The reason that it is seen as offensive is because it is defining them in relation to where they are from Europe. Thus, it is the definition of a Eurocentric term for describing someone else. This is one of those things where you wouldn't necessarily see anything wrong with it, but from a cultural standpoint, hopefully you can sort of see why Asians wouldn't specifically like to be called by a name that just defines them relative to their position on the map compared to Europe.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148752)

Do americans mind being called 'westerners'? Do I mind being called a westerner? Not really.. (I do get your point but I think it's taking PC too far - well most 'political correctness' is a load of horsecrap anyway)

Do they use different maps over in 'eastern' countries? I mean the pacific is a pretty good place to cut off a map, being a mostly empty space. The only other thing you could use usefully would be the atlantic, I guess that could put asia in a more central location. If you wanted you could turn the map upside down, but the way north is already defined, it seems a bit pointless. It's just geography. East is no worse than west (well apart from in Germany maybe.. ahem..), and east/west are no worse or better than the 'centre'.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148120)

And so Buddhism or Tai Chi, or a type of music will always be 'asian' rather than 'oriental'? I wasn't referring to a person. And I've been reading The Bourne Supremacy recently, and it's pretty old, so maybe I'm using outdated terminology *shrug*

Re:W00t - not. (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148050)

Never seen 'Xian' used before

Heh. I used that as a note-taking shortcut throughout Bible school. It's not common, but it is used.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148194)

Never seen 'Xian' used before, I thought it was some kind of oriental thing


??? The "X" stands for Christ. It comes from the Greek letter Xi. If you see some churches, there is a Xi and a Rho in stained glass along with a picture of Jesus, since the Xi and Rho are the first two letters in Christ (in Greek, of course). As to the person who responded to you saying that only rugs are oriental: "Oriental" is opposed to "Occidential", or basically anything that is not Western. "Asian" is simply more specific since "Oriental" can denote not only Asians, but Indians (the real ones, not Native Americans), and the various Middle Eastern peoples. I'm not really sure why "Oriental" became so un-PC. Perhaps it has to do with ignorant people's usage of it to denote Asians? I don't know.

Re:W00t - not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148538)

India and the Middle East are also in Asia, so Asian is no more specific a term than Oriental.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148608)

That's weird, I kind of thought of it as Oriental as basically Chinese, maybe with Thailand and Singapore (no, I don't know the geography round that area too well!). Asian would mean more just anyone from anywhere in Asia. I guess if I thought of Samurais I'd consider them 'oriental' even though they're Japanese.. meh, it's not a very well specific word, hence why I used it to describe a word that sounded like it originated in the east somewhere.. I hope I don't sound racist anyway, maybe ignorant. Japan is one of the few places in the world that I think I'd actually like to live in one day - the other one was Canada (even before I started going out with a Canadian girl :D ), and I'm from the UK. Will bear in mind that 'oriental' apparently isn't very PC in american culture. Over here you'd hear it a lot in the names of Chinese/Thai food/restaurants, I wouldn't consider it derogatory at all..

Re:W00t - not. (1)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148530)

Same here. "Contemporary Christian", especially, sucks pretty hard IMHO. My mom and aunt love it though.

As for Christian bands, there are some good ones such as Norma Jean, Demon Hunter, and Underoath (a little emo, but still good).

Re:W00t - not. (5, Interesting)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147696)

"Selling a couple xian tunes w/o drm isn't going to exactly cause a wave of common sense to break out. Does anyone actually listen to this crap?"

Norah Jones has had a couple of multi-platinum albums in the past five years. She's a bona fide star. Relient K are one of those "crossover" Christian bands that have managed to release three consecutive gold albums. By the way, I found this data with about two minutes of Googling.

Per Ars Technica, these artists were picked because their audience skews older. P2P usage skews younger. The Slashdot demographic is also younger, so most people reading this see the world as one where everybody uses P2P to get their music and nobody listens to lame artists like Norah Jones, but EMI is apparently looking at the big picture.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148182)

IIRC, Jobs was able to get the labels to buy into the iTunes Music Store because the market at the time was limited to just Mac users, and therefore the impact on the wild success (NOT!) the other online music ventures backed by the RIAA wouldn't be significantly impacted.

Well, we know how that one ended.

This a trial balloon, and a very big deal.

Re:W00t - not. (4, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147810)

Selling a couple xian tunes w/o drm isn't going to exactly cause a wave of common sense to break out. Does anyone actually listen to this crap?

They're doing exactly the same thing they did with DRM on CDs; they're releasing them in very limited quantities so they can guage the public reaction.

This is a big deal. It's not big because the numbers are big, but because they're actually looking at the format at all. At one point (yesterday?) we were forced to use quasi-legal tools and we were treated like criminals if we wanted to have cross-platform music. Now at least there's hope.

My suggestion is run, don't walk, to your computer and buy these tracks, even if you hate the artists involved. The music industry is quite predictible in that they always seem to go in the direction that they think will make them more money. We want to encourage this behavior.

TW

Re:W00t - not. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148146)

My suggestion is run, don't walk, to your computer and buy these tracks,

Exactly what I was planning to do... Not at home right now, but I'll do it as soon as I'm there. The only thing that is not clear is, if it's also available to Europeans. iTunes didn't accept European credit cards in the beginning either.

Re:W00t - not. (1, Flamebait)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148494)

My suggestion is run, don't walk, to your computer and buy these tracks, even if you hate the artists involved.

I would disagree. Not only should these artists not be supported but I have qualms giving my money to companies who promote the RIAA system.

RIAA as a group should be removed. They are the problem. Not just the DRM. They destroy art and ruin independent music.

Maybe I'm just bitter, but if you want to support non-drm music then buy it from non RIAA groups like www.emusic.com

Exactly! (2, Interesting)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148518)

As much as I hate the RIAA (and the tracks in question), I'll be buying these tracks and encouraging everyone I know to buy them as well! I'll probably even send an e-mail to Yahoo customer service and to the label as well thanking them. The bottom line is that we need to reward those labels that will release DRM free music to try and send them the message that we want DRM free music. Vote with your dollars on this one. If there is success here they might try it with other tracks.

Re:W00t - not. (2, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148002)

Well I like some Christian music, but there is very little good Christian rock, and I've never heard any that could be classified as progressive rock. Nor have I heard any Christian jazz. So, if I don't buy, does this mean that EMI will mark it down as a failure? Try offering some rock and some jazz, EMI, in either OGG or 320kbps+ MP3 format, then I'll buy.

How many MP3s do they expect to sell from that offering - 100 tracks worldwide? I think their selected offering is a maneuver to "prove" that DRM-free music sales from the labels won't work.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

bdonalds (989355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148028)

"Does anyone actually listen to this crap?"
What about Creed? Personally, I think they are a shite band, but their millions of fans who didn't realize that they were a Xtian rock band seemed to like them...

BTW...whatever happened to Stryper? :)

Re:W00t - not. (4, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148290)

BTW...whatever happened to Stryper? :)


AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! [runs quickly out, slamming door behind]
[unlocks door, comes back in jabbing pointy stick] [sits shakingly back down at computer]
ahem, sorry. I believe God smote them.

Re:W00t - not. (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148064)

Fast food, apparel, cars, music.. regardless of the product; Build a good product, people buy the product.
  Build a bad product and, no matter how you cripple your product, no matter how many Weasels in Suits(tm) you hire to sue the consumers of your product, no matter how much you spend in popular media to use the Goebbels Big Lie technique for re-defining words like "steal" to then morally brow beat people into buying your product, the bottom line is still: you built a bad product. People will not buy a bad product.

Great! (4, Funny)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147586)

So I can get 3 songs from artists I would pay not to hear without DRM.

Nothing new (5, Funny)

MatrixCubed (583402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147602)

I've been "experimenting" with DRM-free MP3s for years...

Re:Nothing new (-1, Flamebait)

AugustZephyr (989775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148160)

Read: I've been "stealing" DRM-free MP3s for years...
... you pirate you

Dupe. (-1, Redundant)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147638)

I've been experimenting with DRM free MP3 files for years.

Good job guys (5, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147684)

...for finally figuring out that controlling, say, 30% of a market with 50% piracy is better than controlling 2% of a market with 10% piracy.

Re:Good job guys (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147786)

I honestly don't think that everyone in the music industry is as greedy or stupid as we would assume. I am willing to bet that there are dozens of executives who (like the majority of slashdotters) believe that the recording industry would be far better off if it reduced the cost of downloaded music to make stealing music not worth the time involved; if you're spending $0.25 per song (to pick a number) most people aren't going to bother with looking for torrents of new albums. They also realize that there are people (like me) who would then pay for an album they normally wouldn't associate with if it was inexpensive enough; terrible dance music is pretty good to run to.

I suspect the problem is that people who see things the same way most of us do are the 20/early-30 something iPod owning executives who do not have that much weight with the companies; I expect that in 15 years most record companies will catch up to today's reality ...

Re:Good job guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148164)

to make stealing music not worth the time involved

It's not stealing. Please don't repeat the music industries propaganda.

Sheep (2, Insightful)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147740)

Honestly, if the sheep would stop buying crippled music, the crippled-music industry would die in less than 10 days. baa baa

Stop buying CDs altogether and the **AA suing everyone's grandmother would die in less than 30 days. baa baa

Re:Sheep (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147828)

Strangely enough, allofmp3 was selling DRM free music in multiple formats for years and look what happened to them.

Hmmm, guess it has little to do w/the sheep and more to do with the power of the conglomerates and their lawyers.

Re:Sheep (4, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148532)

I thought the main problem with allofmp3 was that they didn't have permission to sell what they were selling, not that it was drm free.

Re:Sheep (4, Insightful)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147886)

Stop buying CDs? And what? Buy only downloaded compressed formats? Whatever. Obviously you don't own a Squeezebox or nice hifi system. Maybe you listen to all your music through some crappy headphones that came with a portable music player. Maybe if they find a way to do DAE off Vinyl I'll switch to that. (no, not the scanner hoax posted on Slashdot before). I want the freedom to choose the format my music is compressed in if it is compressed at all.

Sales dropping (1)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147750)

Could we get more data on that? Is iTunes also falling or are the WMA based (napster et. al) skewing the statistics in general? Also how about emusic and allofmp3.com?

Re:Sales dropping (1)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147858)

AllofMP3 was directly cited as an example of an issue [betanews.com] that Russia has to address in order to join the WTO.

What is the OP talking about? (1)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147764)

"It should be noted that this trial is an attempt to increase sales and competition with online music that is not necessarilary available on iTunes."

I don't get how the OP infered that statement from the article. Both of the songs cited in the article (A single from Norah Jones and two tracks from Reliant K) should be on iTunes. Apple has an agreement with EMI, just as Yahoo Music/Musicnet has an agreement with EMI.

eMusic on the other hand, representing a much larger percentage of the independent labels out there, has a selection of music that can't be found on iTunes.

Does anyone have numbers on this? (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147770)

Does anyone know if Christian music lovers are in the demographic of illegal file downloaders?
Christians are supposed to be honest and pay for stuff anyway, right? Just how big a risk is this little online venture?

If these files start showing up on P2P lists, what does that say about us all?

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17147816)

Christians are supposed to be honest and pay for stuff anyway, right?
On the other hand if you do steal a Christian artist's music, aren't they supposed to forgive you for it?

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148506)

No, they damn you to hell. Let's see you talk your way out of THAT predicament.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148722)

Yeah, and then ya get to slap them *again* !

Um, it's *Relient K*... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17147878)

I don't know about your musical tastes, but my local listenable station plays Relient K right along with all their other stuff. It's somewhat surreal to have a juxtaposition of Christan music, emo-alternative-rock, and songs missing half the lyrics due to FCC rules.

(It's a non-Clear-Channel "new rock" station -- alternativish, but toward the rock end, but not so far toward rock as to need the "big stupid idiot guy who acts like he's Howard Stern on a drug cocktail" DJ. Where did the "boorish dolt guy" meme come from, and can we Gitmo that exec?)

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147972)

Christians do wrong things just like everyone else. Illegal file sharing is a problem; the only difference being is that they rationalize it as being OK for the purpose of evangelizing.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17147974)

I remember having visited a christian mp3 channel on efnet a few years ago. So yes, christians hve no moral qualms pirating.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148008)

If these files start showing up on P2P lists, what does that say about us all?


That we really don't practice what we preach? In other words, people aren't as religious as they claim themselves to be. Which isn't breaking news. Studying actual church attendance statistics will tell you as much.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148128)

As A Christan Music lover and a slashdot follower, I can tell you that honestly doesn't necessarily mean stupidity. I'll buy their CD if i want to support the band, or I'll go to the concert and feel fine about downloading their stuff. Not all laws are just.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (2, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148312)

Does anyone know if Christian music lovers are in the demographic of illegal file downloaders?

Ehh, don't read much into the Christian label. Theres nothing real specifically Christian about their music (same with MxPx). They basically just don't do drugs, drink to excess, sleep around and their music generally has positive overtones.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148744)

I was going to post this as well. Relient K is a very "positive" image type band, although a few of their songs have Christian themes. They are also pretty popular, I hear a few of their songs on the radio, and on MTV/VH1 (same with Switchfoot).

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (1)

Sesticulus (544932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148332)

My bible thumping evangelical step brother in law thought it was really cool he could download all that free music he wanted off of P2P. My devout Catholic sister in law asked me to bootleg a DVD for her at Thanksgiving (I refused).

Apparently they are all about following the letter of the law, the 10 commandments don't say anything about thou shall not copyright infringe. As an atheist, I think they missed the point.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148692)

About your sister: she isn't as devout as you think.

Re:Does anyone have numbers on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148394)

A true Christian composer or artist would be creating their work as a way of praising the Lord, not of becoming wealthy, and would dedicate all their work to the public domain as the best way to spread the Word.

It's the price, stupid (5, Insightful)

arniebuteft (1032530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147794)

Wake up RIAA and realize that the price of music drives piracy. People will always have an incentive to crack DRM if they can't get the music for a fair price legally. I imagine the music industry is scared to death of sliding music prices, even though that's where it's going to head eventually. There is some point between "overpriced" and "free" at which both consumers and most artists will be happy. Those artists who expect to become millionaires from a popular record (and who don't tour), are going to be sorely disappointed. Those artists who are happy making a decent living, and who actually produce good music, will prosper.

Re:It's the price, stupid (4, Interesting)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148270)

"Wake up RIAA and realize that the price of music drives piracy."

Pricing drives shoplifting, auto theft, and lots of other crimes. Businesses can take this into account, but no matter what industry you're in, there's always going to be a certain percentage of people who will try to help themselves to your product for free and use pricing as a rationalization.

"People will always have an incentive to crack DRM if they can't get the music for a fair price legally."

Agreed, but for many people, "fair price" has been sliding downward so that it's below whatever price the industry sets. Remember six years ago when CDs were $20 and online tracks were $3 and hard to come by? People justified P2P usage back then because CDs were so expensive and legit online tracks were expensive and offered little selection. Today, new CD releases are south of $15 and selection of online music is plentiful at $0.99 and below. Yet this price is still not "fair." For many people, it never will be. Those people likely aren't high on the record companies' target audience... unless you're counting lawsuits.

"I imagine the music industry is scared to death of sliding music prices, even though that's where it's going to head eventually. There is some point between "overpriced" and "free" at which both consumers and most artists will be happy."

...and the industry has found that at $0.99. The iTMS has been an overwhelming success, despite the fact that everybody on Slashdot hates it because the pricing isn't "fair" and because the product is DRM-laden.

You are not going to believe this, but if online music pricing dropped to $0.80, $0.70, or even $0.50, I would not buy more. I buy all the music I want online, and $0.99 is not a burden to me. It's conceivable that I'm the only consumer on the planet for whom there's no elasticity between $0.99 and $0.50, but that's highly unlikely. Pricing theory is all about finding that point on the curve that makes the most profit, even if it means that you're limiting your potential customer base.

"Those artists who expect to become millionaires from a popular record (and who don't tour), are going to be sorely disappointed. Those artists who are happy making a decent living, and who actually produce good music, will prosper."

This sounds a lot like many arguments I hear for lower music prices which end with some form of "artists will just need to accept their new place in society." Why should they want to do that? Many people would trade fame for money, but many would not. If I offered to make you more well-known but your salary would have to drop by $20K a year, would you do it? Do you think everybody would take me up on my offer?

No, not really. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148718)

"Remember six years ago when CDs were $20 and online tracks were $3 and hard to come by?"

No, not really. I mean, unless you shopped at Virgin. But I never remember online music selling for $3. Do you have a link or something?

CD prices have remained pretty constant at $13-18 for about 10 years now. I'm sure that makes record company exec nuts.

How is this FUD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17147824)

This is neither FUD nor BS!

I want my favorite editor back. Go and wake up that lazy Zonk and make him serve us our daily dose of "journalism".

Thanks!

It Will Not Be Long (3, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147832)

With the rise of iTunes and downloading music online, people are already getting upset about what they can and cant do with the music they OWN. These companies are looking to control how you can use the things you own and people do not like it. One iPod per iTunes, cant share music files, cant move music library - these are just some of the issues people are beginning to realize as they explore the world of digital music (Average User).

People want to do what they want with the things they own, period. Companies should not be deceiving consumers by giving the illusion of ownership when they purchase a song. Instead they should be prompted warned that buying said song from said service will result in the following restrictions. Well maybe they are better off telling them they are not allowed to do anything with the song besides X and X, just to save time and space :)

If the DRM was explained and the restrictions spelled out, as they should be, sales on iTunes and other services would begin to fall as soon as any alternative that allows people to do what they want with the songs comes out. Of course, seasoned digital music consumers have found an alternative already, but no money is being made off that yet... If no alternatives are allowed to hit the market then the average user, as they become more knowledgeable about the issue, will result to the same methods.

Re:It Will Not Be Long (2, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148056)

I don't know what you're talking about. One iTunes library can have an unlimited number of iPods synched to it, and there's nothing preventing one from moving a library from one computer to another. The only major restrictions found in iTunes are on burning audio CDs with protected tracks (5 times) and on sharing protected tracks between computers (5 computers). You may not like the concept of DRM, but iTunes DRM is reasonable. There's no need to spread misinformation.

Re:It Will Not Be Long (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148236)

"The only major restrictions found in iTunes are on burning audio CDs with protected tracks (5 times)..."

It is actually unlimited burning. But 5 times per a given playlist. So, you alter the playlist and alter it back and you're good to go again. The fact that we even have to clarify these things among ourselves is another problem with DRM.

Re:It Will Not Be Long (1)

evamedia (997482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148066)

1 iPod per iTunes, what are you talking about? You can use as many iPod's as you like from 1 copy of iTunes, including DRM'd tracks

Re:It Will Not Be Long (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148368)

Per iTunes library? I was not trying to say that if you own two devices you cannot use both on iTunes, I apologize for the lack of explanation. Rather, if you load music onto your iPod at home with iTunes, then go to work and you have a different copy of iTunes you cannot sync your iPod with that installation/library. Again, sorry for the confusion!

Three words.... (0, Offtopic)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147834)

IT'S A TRAP!

Re:Three words.... (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148200)

in what possible way could this be a trap?

Re:Three words.... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148286)

technically thats four words.

Re:Three words.... (1)

indigest (974861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148606)

I know you are probably joking, but this COULD actually be a trap.

EMI could put a unique inaudible watermark on every download and wait for the files to show up on P2P. Then, they could easily track down the person who originally leaked the file onto P2P by analyzing the watermark. Even worse, they would already have the name and address of the leaker and possibly a signed document promising not to share the downloaded files.

I would be very careful with any MP3 files downloaded from this service.

Quality / Bitrate..? (5, Interesting)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147836)

DRM free..? Well, okay... I'm listening (so to speak). But if the quality isn't 192kps and up then I'm not interested.

Personally I'd rather see a "more legal" version of allofmp3.com... Choice of format, bitrate, etc? Yes, please. I'd be very happy to part with my hard earned cash in that case.

Re:Quality / Bitrate..? (1)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147922)

I'd be very suprised if those tracks weren't released as 192kps MP3s. All of the PlayforSure music stores have switched over to 192kps WMAs in a "music quality" war.

Patent free? (1)

dmeranda (120061) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148282)

DRM-free maybe, but still not patent-free. When they distribute them in a truely free format then I'll definitely be interested and will be willing to pay for that freedom. If it's not free then why should I pay for it? But even though it is still not free enough for me, it is a very good sign that perhaps some lone sole in the industry is having an ah-ha moment.

Re:Quality / Bitrate..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148618)

Hehe, what I love is that the ppl clamoring for higher quality tracks are ppl who couldn't pass a double blind test between probably 96-128 kbps and 192. The truth of the matter is that double blind tests are rarely conducted by humans above 128kbps because it is so difficult(I've heard of a high bitrate test using some program to look for noise). In fact there is a 48 kbps test(Thats right, Forty Eight Kilo Bee Pee Ess ;) test in progress at the respected http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php [hydrogenaudio.org] I was looking for another thread about how "ABX killed my ego" but gave up. Basically, no one can tell the diff easily above 128 using modern encoders, its all the placebo effect. Download foobar2000 http://www.foobar2000.org/ [foobar2000.org] and try taking a double blind(ABX test) with FLAC vs 128 kbps lame. Have fun flipping a coin to decide which one is higher/lower quality.

Wow (3, Funny)

styryx (952942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147862)

Like, I'm so touched. Thank you EMI! No really, that's so amazing. It more than makes up for the destruction of countless peoples lives and the endless misery you have caused! Way to go!

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148010)

endless misery you have caused

I know you're trying to make a point, but Celine Dion isn't quite THAT bad.

Seriously, though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148704)

Seriously, though, isn't it interesting that it's the Christian bands who are apparently the most forward-thinking about copyright?

Perhaps because they value sharing?

I Tunes and Zen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17147880)

I buy all of my online music from apple. I installed it after the airlines started to give away 10 free songs with every ticket. I burn it to a cd and then rip it for my zen.

Allofmp3.com (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147936)

This one will bite the dust as soon as the other cartel members get wind of it.

This is the same cartel convicted of fixing the price of CD's. This is the same cartel has the ability to maintain an artificially high $10-$18 per new CD. Look at the demise of allofmp3.com. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AllOfMP3.com_legality [wikipedia.org]

The money to be made by eliminating your right to first sale is too powerful.

Balkanization of media download services clearly benefits the media cartels.

Consider this story another sad footnote in the history of your rights being taken away.

Re:Allofmp3.com (1)

testadicazzo (567430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148170)

I have 5 moderator points, and I was almost going to mod you up as insightful, since you are mostly correct. But I'm giving up my ability to mod this thread just to disagree with you on one point:

Consider this story another sad footnote in the history of your rights being taken away.

Look man, defeatism helps not at all. Cynicism is okay, but rally people to be active about something. Defeatism just helps the enemy.

I know, there's a hell of a lot of bad news out there, and it gets discouraging. But think for a moment about all of the positive social and economic changes that have occured in the U.S. within one human lifetime (let's say the last 75 years: there's people alive who remember that far back). If you're black your life is better than it would have been 1930-1960. if you're gay your life is better than it would have been pre 1990. If you're a single woman or a single mother, same thing goes. I can go on, but I hope you get my point.

All of these positive changes are the result of people working towards a goal in a determined way. Martin Luther King may be the guy we remembered, but all those faceless nobody's toiling in futility had just as much of an impact.

So don't consider them a sad footnote. Do what you can to make sure they don't become a sad footnote. Support them however you can!

Re:Allofmp3.com (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148680)

Balkanization of formats benifits only one entity, and that is Apple

the recording industry has lower sales numbers and higher piracy, as do the artists
fans have a smaller selection of music AND hardware lock-in if they go with Apple
Retailers have to deal with angry customers when their new MP3 player won't play the songs they just bought

Which song? (5, Insightful)

whoami-ky (246318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17147994)

OK. I am willing to spend $0.99 on a DRM free song by Norah Jones just to "cast my vote" that I am willing to buy DRM-free music. Could someone please tell me which song it is? I can't seem to find that information anywhere.

Re:Which song? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148358)

Ditto that. I've been unable to find hide nor hair of such a beast on Yahoo Music, though. I see where I can be forced to download their proprietary player and buy music through it, but I refuse to do that, even if the end result is an MP3.

Re:Which song? (4, Informative)

dlim (928138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148602)

The Norah Jones song is "Thinking About You" from the new album "Not Too Late" due January 30th, 2007 and it's nearly impossible to find on Yahoo Music's site. It's a 192 Kbps mp3. Here's a direct link to the promo landing page (don't ask my why it's at "amplified.com"):

http://www.amplified.com/thinkingaboutyou [amplified.com]

Oh yeah, FF users, ignore the message about "No Windows Media Player". You don't need it. Just click OK.

Re:Which song? (4, Informative)

whoami-ky (246318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148698)

Thanks. I found it. If you want to start at the Yahoo site, the link is http://music.yahoo.com/promos/norahjonesmp3/ [yahoo.com] . By the way, I did purchase the song. It's not too bad. I just wanted to let them (RIAA, EMI, etc.) that I'm willing to pay for non-DRM'd music.

Declining sales for 2nd & 3rd quarters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148052)

Is this perhaps because of the surge in online music purchases that will follow millions of people around the world getting music players for Christmas? It seems that 1st quarter sales would be higher for this reason.

Did CD sales have a similar trend in the 90s when they were still becoming dominant?

They want access to the iPod Market (3, Insightful)

matthaak (707485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148060)

I don't think this story is really very much about the record industry starting to recognize consumer frustration and so on. They simply want to distribute digital music through channels other than iTMS and still maintain access to the iPod market, which is enormous. This is the sensible explanation put forth by the WSJ (although they speculate consumer demand is a driver as well): In a Turnabout, Record Industry Releases MP3s [wsj.com]

From the article: Blue Note and other music companies are beginning to think they will have to sell some MP3-formatted music both to satisfy customer demand and to provide access to Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod for songs that are sold by online stores other than Apple's iTunes Store.

this is crap (1)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148088)

This is PR crap, and Yahoo along with EMI don't deserve the light of day for exposure about this stunt.

I went to the yahoo music web site, and nowhere on "page one" is there a hint about selling mp3s.

So, yahoo and EMI skate by getting a publicity tour out of this while not even really brushing up against what non-DRM music is all about? (I remember the last unencumbered debacle, they were selling a Jessica Simpson track, and they would customized the track to put your name in the song.... Sheesh)

I really wish these people would go away with their stunts or be ignored (I know, I'm not ignoring, huh?).

Re:this is crap (2)

zolaris (963926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148274)

While I don't disagree that this may be a publicity stunt, which "page one" are you looking at. At http://music.yahoo.com [yahoo.com] I see a link at the bottom to "Relient K's new MP3 single with bonus track!" [yahoo.com] . I think that qualifies as information on page one.

Re:this is crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148352)

I didn't have that the first time I visited "page one", but a refresh did show it.... However, I still hold if this were news it'd be more up front and center. (Considering even after seeing the Relient K reference there are no other references to the Nora Jones tracks...)

-Regards, yagu

Re:this is crap (1)

dlim (928138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148702)

I got the link for the Norah Jones one from a Google Cache of the yahoo music homepage.

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:Ijy8eya6sIkJ:m usic.yahoo.com/+yahoo+norah+jones+%22thinking+abou t+you%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a [72.14.253.104]

Ultimately it takes you to

http://www.amplified.com/thinkingaboutyou [amplified.com]

I guess they hid the link before the press release.

My favourite non-DRM MP3 source... (2, Informative)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148132)

http://www.Zunior.com [zunior.com]

I'm not affiliated, other than being a very happy customer.

No such signs (2, Insightful)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148196)

There are signs that consumers might be growing irritated by the Balkanization of the online music scene. Nielsen SoundScan reports that online music sales dropped during the second and third quarters of the year.

This bit of misinformation has been getting around lately, actually they claimed the same thing last year. Perhaps they're hoping that if they say it enough it will become true? (Paging Godwin)

Look 4Q is always the highest, think Thanksgiving and Christmas... followed by 1Q, think people using their iTunes gift cards or trying out the iTunes Store now that hey have a new iPod. I'm sure practically every consumer goods business has a similar sales graph where things drop off after Xmas. It's just interesting to me that analysts are using this to predict the death of the iPod ... oooops, perhaps I've just hit the nail on the head there, the anti-Apple folks need something to predict for the next 20 years. :-)

The model that would work for me. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148302)

You sell me the MP3.

You record that you sold a license to me.

If I need it again in the future, you will allow me to get another copy of it for a nominal charge such as 10% of the original purchase price. This will be reasonably limited to one replacement copy per year. However, if I'm brought up on charges and have a copy of that version of the song in my possession, the license cover it and protect me from prosecution. I am not authorized to offer the song for upload but I can transfer my license to another person by paying you a reasonable transfer fee.

You may offer me upgraded versions but they will be at a discount reflecting that I already paid you for a license.

You may charge me a reasonable fee ($20 to $30) per year to keep records of and track my licenses.

You charge a reasonable price for the songs. Roughly 20% of minimum wage for new songs and 5% of minimum wage for songs older than 5 years.

Re:The model that would work for me. (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148708)

There's no need for all that crap. Just sell the download for what it's worth, about 10 cents per song.

I don't have any problem buying music I've already bought over again on allofmp3. Hell sometimes it's easier to buy it again than to remember to burn a copy of it to listen to at work.

Exepecting a little more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17148326)

Wow, I am simply underwhelmed by the effort, 3 fuggin songs, c'mon! I've always thought that they had a reason other that piracy for DRM, like trying to protect their business models. No self respecting scene group would be caught dead using those releases and for anyone who does want to pirate something, there isn't exactly a dearth of bittorrent links to choose from, not even for flac versions. I've always thought DRM was stupid due to the fact that CDs have easily defeatable DRM making the whole thing utterly pointless, unless of course they are trying to protect an obsolete business model... 3 songs, what a grand expiremint. Seriously, anyone willing to pay for mp3s likely wouldn't copy em, because if they had wanted to, they would have just waited for a crappily encoded(Those mother frackers need to update their copies of lame.exe, btw :/ L.A.M.E. 3.98a7 http://rarewares.org/ [rarewares.org] FTW) scene release to show up in the waters.

Zune (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148476)

I wonder if the release of the Zune has anything to do with this. With MS turning it's back on play for sure, the DRM format war has pretty much fizzled. There is the Apple option, with the iPod, and then there are a few other DRM options that might eventually share 25% or so of the music. So how do you sell music, and not piss off customers who want to play it on their chosen device. Fairplay won't work on a zune, but an unencumbered MP3 will. it will also play on the iPod. And you don't have to be a slave to the Apple pricing scheme.

It could be that MS did us a favor by abandoning play for sure.

Digital music sales falling? (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148490)

I don't understand the spin they're putting on this. According to the graph in TFA, sales dipped slightly in Q3 of last year, then skyrocketed through Q4-Q1 of this year. Through Q2-3 of this year, sales have stayed steady, but still WELL above last year's sales. If they jump again in Q4 and next year, they're growing at a ridiculous rate. I think the article is bending the numbers just a little bit when they say digital song sales are stalled for the first time since the ITMS launched.

itunes (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17148682)

They are doing this out of desperation. Now that digital downloads are catching up, they have lost their power over the sales channel. They have to talk to apple as equals and cant impose their tiered pricing schemes to them. They have lost control.

The ipod is more and more entrenched in popular culture every day. They are trying to break apples grip on this market with the zune, but its not working.

So if they cant control the DRM used, they don't want anyone else having this kind of control. They know that the one controlling DRM will be the one controlling all of the market.
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