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Puretracks Music Store Drops DRM

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the apple-could-do-this dept.

Music 236

khendron writes "The Canadian online music store Puretracks (a store I have generally avoided because of their Microsoft-specific solutions) has announced that it will immediately start selling part of its catalog as DRM-free MP3 files. The site's unprotected catalog, which includes artists such as The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan, will initially feature only 50,000 of its 1.3 million tracks, but their number will grow weekly. The Globe and Mail says the move will likely profit Puretracks because its DRM-free-music will be playable on iPods. It quotes one industry watcher saying 'We're seeing the death of DRM.'" Essentially Puretracks is relaxing the major-label mandated DRM rules that it had initially applied to all labels, even the indies that wanted no part of DRM.

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Yes, Apple "could do this"... (5, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109474)

...as the from the apple-could-do-this dept. statement opines, but only for the artists and/or labels with direct legal standing to make such a request with Apple. Hint: it's not anywhere near the number people think it is. Even some artists who sell or provide DRM-free music via other channels may not actually have such a (legal) capability with Apple, for example, because their label's contract with Apple (or other stipulations) doesn't currently allow it.

And while we're at it, let's fix the title of this submission:

Puretracks drops DRM from less than 4% of its tracks; even less when you consider well known commercial artists on major labels; changes format and delivery mechanism for such songs

Let's face it: like it or not, that's important.

I do agree that Apple should aggressively work toward this, and they should absolutely drop the "all-or-nothing" mentality with DRM on the iTunes store, because dropping all DRM at once won't work. They definitely need to start somewhere, even if it's with relatively unknown artists and/or labels. Consider, too, that some of Apple's existing contracts may have stipulations that all other music sold on the same store or via the same mechanisms have the same protections.

The article notes:

Essentially Puretracks is relaxing the major-label mandated DRM rules that it had initially applied to all labels, even the indies that wanted no part of DRM.

What if Apple isn't currently in a legal, technical, business, and/or support position to do that? What if it is, in fact, planning to do just that, but can't move quite as quickly as people seem to think it should be able to. This isn't a "2-3 day" operation as some people think it should be. It may be months before any fruits of this are seen on the iTunes Store.

Consider further that Apple may not want to sell, e.g., MP3 format specifically, for a variety of reasons. If a label (like EMI, which is talking to everyone BUT Apple about its possible no-DRM experiment - perhaps some ulterior motives of their own?), specifically wants "unprotected MP3", what if Apple's format of choice is "unprotected AAC"? Should Apple start selling multiple formats as well as multiple protection levels? How much of the years-proven consistency of operation and ease of use should Apple sacrifice on the iTunes Store?

There are a lot of unknowns here that don't automatically mean that Apple "doesn't really want to drop DRM."[1] Yes, actions speak louder than words, but Jobs' landmark statement on DRM, concisely shredding any arguments in favor of DRM, is, in fact, a pretty big action in itself. But Apple has a lot invested in the iTunes Store ecosystem, and they're not going to make rash decisions, screw things up, break support models, confuse customers, or do anything that would cause them to lose one or more large commercial content providers.

So while other fringe and marginally known stores may be able to make moves in this direction, it's a delicate situation for Apple. Hopefully Jobs' strong words, which have already caused a firestorm of circling wagons among some pro-DRM entities, and other stores with the luxury of being able to move more quickly into experimental areas, will push the balance toward "no-DRM". Regardless of what the bloggers and pundits think, who instantly came out with all of these "Apple doesn't really want to get rid of DRM" arguments believing this was a carefully crafted PR play, Jobs' DRM statement is the strongest stance from anyone at such a high level in music and media, and that's exactly what it will take to move the industry forward.

[1] Also, Apple doesn't use "DRM" or trusted computing/TPM on Mac OS X, in any way [osxbook.com] . The restriction is a manifestly a licensing one, and any technical difficulties of running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware are incidental (even if intended to make it non-trivial).

Time to put your money where your mouth is (1, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109660)

Okay all you folks who said, "I'd pay for music rather than steal it" if they would just remove the DRM now's the time to go visit puretracks. In the future I want to see every post complaining about Apple DRM or MS DRM state an oath at the bottom that they have actually bought music from puretrack. Otherwise you will be condsidered a hypocrit and ignored.

And to everyton else please make sure you reply to all such posters with a question" How many puretracks recordings do you own"?

Even if their selection is small you are obliged to buy something to support the movement and show the world this giant latent market of people who really dont want to steal music and would really pay but are currently rightteously protesting DRM and thus are forced to steal. Show them the market for righteous people like yourself exists. This is the first one to put major bands on it's free list in quatitity. If you dont' support them no then there wont be more...

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109816)

Otherwise you will be condsidered a hypocrit and ignored.

EMusic [emusic.com] has been around for years. Everything on the site is MP3.

They don't seem to be having any business difficulties. And for the record, I've been a subscriber for years.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (2, Insightful)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109860)

I still only buy used CDs, they are cheaper and still let me make DRM free MP3s.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (5, Insightful)

snarlydwarf (532865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109866)

Why on earth should I buy from Puretracks when I already buy from other sites that offer DRM-free downloads (emusic and dgmlive mostly) and physical CD's for things not available DRM-free.

That makes me a hypocrite because I am not buying from one specific store? Do I have to buy milk at every store in town to prove I believe in a free market?

They are not the first: Emusic was first to sell (mostly) indy music in a large-scale DRM-free way.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110824)

You're not a hypocrite if you like the indie music. Indie musicians are generally desperately in need of exposure, and so are not much hurt by free downloading and copying. (It's hard to get somebody to download you if they've never heard of you. You literally can't give it away, much less get paid for it.)

The grandparent post is complaining about the people who want the major-label music and use DRM as an excuse for not paying for it. Those major artists have plenty of exposure; their labels paid for it. They want to sell the music instead; you're not doing Britney Spears any favors in spreading the gospel of her music by giving it away.

Some people are content to let the labels and Clear Channel force-feed them their tastes, and don't want to go looking for anything more interesting among the indies. But it's hypocritical of them to then demand to download the music for free and claim that it's only the DRM that's preventing them from paying for it legally.

The grandparent isn't challenging users of eMusic. He's challenging users of P2P clients and, I suspect, allofmp3.com, whose legality is doubtful. Would they rather pay for genuinely legal music, or are they content to take technological and legal loopholes to get the same music for free?

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109880)

And what if the music you want to listen to is not available from them in this form?
I will be investigating puretracks, and if they are selling songs i want to listen to in an unencumbered format i will buy from them.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109908)

What about everybody that thinks it's still too expensive?

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110004)

Judge: Son, why did you steal this Ferrari?
Me: I think Ferraris are too expensive.
Judge: Ah, case dismissed.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110124)

Ah, another enlightened analogy between real property and intellectual property.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110368)

No no no. You mean "Warner Executive".

WE: Son why did you copy all these songs we didn't buy?
Son: I wanted them dad.
WE: Well son, you need to apologize and get rid of them and we'll call things square even tho we are suing dead people, people that don't own computers, and computer novices every day. It's an important lesson son- the rules don't apply to you because your in a "better" class of people.
Son: Ah dad, I get it! (Goes off to secretly download songs but now nows to do it more discretely).

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110560)

More accurate version

Judge: Why did you make a car for yourself that is an exact copy of a Ferrari?
Me: Because Ferraris are too expensive for me.
Judge: ?

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110668)

Even more accurate version

Judge: Why did you make a car for yourself that is an exact copy of a Ferrari?
Me: Because Ferraris are too expensive for me.
Judge: The Ferrari look and design is still property of Ferrari, charges are not dismissed.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110796)

I assume you mean, "Even more strained analogy"

If I copied everything about the Ferrari except the actual emblem, that would be okay, because it's legal to reverse engineer engines and shocks and transmissions...Just not software. and if I copied the emblem, it still wouldn't be a copyright issue. It'd be a trademark violation.

Downloading music isn't theft. It's not a trademark violation. It's not a patent infringement. It's copyright violation. Very simple.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (4, Informative)

richlv (778496) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109910)

there are a lot of other online stores that not only sell non-drm, music they also provide oggs, flacs, ability to re-download...

actually, one of them - magnatune - was recently integrated in amarok.
after that, there have been several interested parties in such integration, all of them providing unencumbered tracks in free formats.
an amarok developer is working on a generic music store interface, so it should be even easier to purchase such music and increase music available.
of course, this unified interface is still some time away, but until that everybody can go to magnatune or any other shop that is not only selling non-drm stuff, but also providing it in open an high-quality formats :)

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109952)

Simple. I don't want to pay. I have speent years getting music for free and I don't really remember buying a CD... ever. Tapes and stuff were old before I was shopping for music.

The Internet is all about eliminating the cost of distribution and it makes it possible to turn everyone into a publisher. So, I publish music for everyone else to download. Now, everyone can have music for free. If they know where to get it.

This means that some people are going to have to pay, becuase they don't know where to get it without paying. This is the way it has always been, with knowledge being power and money.

DRM? As long as there is one source, somewhere on the planet, that has it unprotected then DRM has no impact on me.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (3, Insightful)

CurtisAutery (1034668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110882)

I don't really remember buying a CD... ever.
Tapes and stuff were old before I was shopping for music.
Which is the lie? Or are you referring to window-shopping?

As long as there is one source, somewhere on the planet, that has it unprotected then DRM has no impact on me.
Assumedly it would be harder to find the unprotected version if there were only one source that had it, somewhere on the planet. Making more work for you to find the song would be the impact DRM would be having on you. The fear of people who, like yourself, flaunt their sense of entitlement by serving files they have no legal right to is one of the reasons labels mandate DRM. So you, young man, are your own problem.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109982)

I just went to the puretracks site. It said:

We apologize, but www.puretracks.com is not available for Mac OS.
I didn't buy anything.

is not available for Mac OS. (3, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110154)

...and not only that, available only to canucs? Seems to limit who can claim to be honoring a promise to support non-DRM'ed content. Yep, this is really going to make a splash in the music world.

What's the point, other than some site smaller than Balmer's nuts trying to gain more exposure...?

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

ketsugi (930099) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110602)

This is the image that shows up when trying to access PureTracks using a Mac browser: http://www.puretracks.com/res/img/macsplash.gif [puretracks.com]

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110666)

Puretracks is super-lame.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (2, Insightful)

diggum (769740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110022)

Will AllOfMp3.com do? No DRM, bitrate and format of my choosing, lots of metadata and a huge selection. What's that? The RIAA isn't getting money from any sales there? Oh, it's because of their own thuggishness and refusal to accept payments because by doing so, they'd be agreeing to the compulsory licensing and definition of broadcast media according to Russian Law? Well, that sounds like it's their own damn fault. Weird that the Russians would manage to put together such an amazing business model and service while the major American corporations can't get beyond the starting gate. Oh well, off to go listen to the Sigue Sigue Sputnick greatest hits album I just downloaded from there. All I have to do now is decide which device I want to listen to it on.. My iPod? My iRiver U10? My TiVO's music streaming tool? Maybe my mac laptop or my windows system down in the basement. I guess that's up to me.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (0, Flamebait)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110354)

Weird that the Russians would manage to put together such an amazing business model and service

Why is that weird? They had almost 75 years of experience under a regime that believed in taking property from the "evil capitalists" who owned it and redistributing it to the masses. It's not that weird that they'd figure out how to apply that to "intellectual property" as well.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110042)

I would put my $$$ where my mouth is if they would let me - I went to www.puretracks.com this morning to buy some DRM-free Sarah McLaghlin, but lo and behold the page says, "We apologize, but www.puretracks.com is not available for Mac OS." WTF?!

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110046)

"We apologize, but www.puretracks.com is only available to US residents. If you are a resident of the Canada, please click here to access our Canadian store."

No go for Europeans, anyway. Call me back when you can actually buy the music as MP3, in Europe.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (2, Informative)

straterpatrick (594954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110410)

I just did! I bought my first mp3 album online! (Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked Ladies Are Men)

It was less than $8 bucks Canadian and sounds great. And I can put it only any mp3 player I want legally and without any worries about compatibility!

Re:Time to put your brain where your keyboard is (1)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110536)

Okay... Apparently somebody hasn't figured out the "I want it" portion of the equation. Yes, I would rather buy music than pirate it, if DRM didn't stop me from using it after I buy it, AND if the music available is something that's actually desirable. You seem to think every anti-DRM person in the world should now go buy this music even if they don't like it, just because it has no DRM. That is stupid to the extreme, and I have no idea how in the world you actually got modded up for saying such a stupid thing. I put my money where my mouth was with emusic.com and was a memeber there for several month before I decided their scheme (monthly rate, rather than per track), selection (very, very little that wasn't dirt old and/or obscure), and shady billing practices (cleared up quickly when I complained, but still...) just weren't right for me. Now I will check out this new place, and if I can find some BNL (or other worthwhile music) that I don't already own, and if the price is reasonable, I will become a customer. But simple lack of DRM does not instantly make an MP3 desirable. There's lots of stuff out there that isn't even worth free.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110588)

Well, once they un-DRM some music I want to hear, I will consider paying the $1 per track for it. In fact, they HAVE some music that I've been thinking of re-obtaining...

Cake's Fashion Nugget cd has some tracks that I miss. (A friend had the CD.) But they haven't MP3'd it yet.
Queen, same deal... (My father's CDs)
They don't even have Nightwish... (AllOfMP3.com had them.)
No Dirk Freymuth..
Shaggy isn't MP3...

Yeah, I'm already sick of searching. And nothing on the mp3 page caught my eye. I'd -love- to put my money where my mouth is, if only they'd help me just a bit here.

Re:Time to put your money where your mouth is (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110620)

Even if their selection is small you are obliged to buy something to support the movement and show the world this giant latent market of people who really dont want to steal music and would really pay but are currently rightteously protesting DRM and thus are forced to steal.

Just because you state it is so does not make it true. Should I have to buy a Prius before stating that I like hybrids? I can't search by format on the site (or if so, it is hidden) and I typed in the names of a few things I would like, if they have them, and got only DRMd WMAs in search responses. If the MP3s are the same price as the WMAs, then I would buy a lot of music from them, if they make available songs that are on my list. Otherwise, I'm making a donation to a for-profit corporation. When I make donations, I prefer them to go to places that I think will make better use of them, like the large number of needy non-profits.

But go ahead and feel free to rant about your "put up or shut up" ultimatums. I'll continue to ignore irrational zealots like yourself until someone actually provides mainstream music for download without DRM. Oh, and I checked the top 100, and all but 2 were listed as WMA. The other two had a blank field for file type, so I don't know what they were. There were zero listed on the top 100 that are in MP3 format. That doesn't sound very "available" to me.

Re:Yes, Apple "could do this"... (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110530)

...as the from the apple-could-do-this dept. statement opines, but only for the artists and/or labels with direct legal standing to make such a request with Apple. Hint: it's not anywhere near the number people think it is. Even some artists who sell or provide DRM-free music via other channels may not actually have such a (legal) capability with Apple, for example, because their label's contract with Apple (or other stipulations) doesn't currently allow it.

I'd say the chances are about 80% that one of Apple's agreements with the RIAA stipulates that all music sold from the iTMS will have DRM on it regardless who it is from. It is likely Apple is contractually obligated to not provide DRM free tracks of any music, regardless of that label's wishes. I don't know why everyone seems to assume this is not the case in light of other contracts the RIAA has put such stipulations in.

Dave Schroeder - The Apple fanboi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110556)

How could anyone believe anything this guy says? Every single post of his defends Apple, no matter what the subject. If Daves Schroeder lived in the real world he'd realize this. Unfortunately, he's too busy staring at his giant poster of Steve Jobs to notice. Apple fanbois - mod this troll, as you mod everything Schroder says insightful. It just furthers my point.

Hmm (0)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109568)

I bet it grows weakly too.

Setting up a strawman (5, Interesting)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109584)

I wonder if this is just a variation on a theme we've seen before:

1. Drop DRM on a bunch of music that nobody cares about
2. Collect sales figures for 6 months
3. Issue a report saying that sales did not increase for non-DRM'd music - "See, removing DRM doesn't make people want to buy more music!"

Re:Setting up a strawman (1)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110210)

"See, removing DRM doesn't make people want to buy more music!"

Probably not, but it won't make people buy less, and it surely will reduce production/distribution costs (no DRM-related development/soft/licenses/etc). So even if sales stay the same, they're better off without DRM.

The only case where they will want to keep DRM is if they're right and drm-free mp3s induce piracy to such an extent that they start loosing more money on that than what they save on avoiding DRM-related costs.

And I honestly doubt that is the case.

This old dog may actually now try something new (5, Interesting)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109596)

I was a very early adopter of MP3s. I converted much of my collection in the mid to late 90s when conversion took place at 0.5x real time on standard home PC. That said, I have never bought one track online. Why? DRM. Funny thing is, I hardly buy CDs anymore either.

DRM-free music may actually motivate me to get excited about buying music again. It may also, however, hasten the death of CD-based commercial music sales. Ability to rip from a CD and yield DRM-free content seems to be one of the few remaining advantages of this format. Why the heck would I drop $14.99 for a CD now if I can just grab the one or two tracks that I like for a fraction of that price? Sure, I may not discover deep tracks that do not enjoy radio play, but this still does sound like a major advantage to me. How many of us have CDs that seem like a collection of marginal tracks surrounding the one or two that we actually like?

Re:This old dog may actually now try something new (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109710)

I've been into mp3s for so long I can remember when PLAYBACK occurred at 0.5x real time on my standard IBM mainframe.

Re:This old dog may actually now try something new (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110090)

was a very early adopter of MP3s. I converted much of my collection in the mid to late 90s when conversion took place at 0.5x real time on standard home PC.

Ahhh, yes, the good old days of mp3. Back when Audioactive was a decent player. Back when the Shockwave export plugin was the ONLY way to encode an mp3 on a Mac (although it ended up in a .swa wrapper). And back when it cost far more to store your mp3s than it did to just go out and buy the actual CDs...

*sniff* You're making me all teary-eyed...

Re:This old dog may actually now try something new (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110428)

I'm actually hoping those $14.99 CDs will drop in price to something like $9.99 or less because I still like being able to rip my own mp3s and have a physical backup without having to make it myself. Well, that last part may be a little lazy, but I do like having the physical artwork and occasional lyrics and liner notes. I guess I'm saying there is still a place for physical CDs, but only if the price drops considerably.

Don't believe the hype (5, Informative)

sulli (195030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109598)

Boing Boing [boingboing.net] debunks this story. In brief: stay the hell away.

Re:Don't believe the hype (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109690)

The page for Barenaked Ladies [puretracks.com] lists WMA as the only available format.

Re:Don't believe the hype (2, Informative)

Merlynnus (209292) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109862)

Funny, this page: http://www.puretracks.com/catalog/details.aspx?pid =indy_624284002354_mp3&mod=1 [puretracks.com] lists 7 albums available as MP3, with one only available as MP3.

Re:Don't believe the hype (3, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109922)

And that one redirects me to "only available in Canada" [puretracks.com] .

Re:Don't believe the hype (1)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109938)

That's the USA version of the store. Try (if you can) going to the Canadian version [puretracks.com] of the same page.

Re:Don't believe the hype (5, Informative)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110174)

Unfortunately the DRM-free tracks are only available in Canada. If you try to see them from a US IP address you get a page saying those albums are only available to Canadian residents.

Re:Don't believe the hype (1)

kenaaker (774785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109876)

I've bought flac files of Sarah McClachlan's work from werkshop.com. They also have Barenaked Ladies available in different formats. I've also found flac files of Loreena McKennitt's work at quinlanroad.com. Just in case someone is interested.

Re:Don't believe the hype (2, Insightful)

Eatingdogs (698538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110148)

The PARENT is total bullshit. The website specifically states that "MP3 files have no Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions and cost the same as the Windows Media Audio (WMA) files that we sell." THough you still can't buy tracks on a Mac, but they are "definitely working on it."

Re:Don't believe the hype (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110460)

The Mac restriction confuses me. There is a Windows Media Player for Mac OS X, so .wma files should be playable, even if they're not hassle-free. When I have the time, I may try browsing the site through a Canada-based proxy and see if it works.

Re:Don't believe the hype (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110744)

The Windows Media Player is no longer available for download, and never offered DRM compatibility anyway.

I'm also puzzled by the "We apologize, but www.puretracks.com is not available for Mac OS." message.

Not True (2, Informative)

govtpiggy (978532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109602)

This article is completely wrong. This store actually uses standard Windows PlaysForSure DRM on all it's tracks. The friggin' PlaysForSure logo is on their homepage. http://www.puretracks.com/ [puretracks.com]

Re:Not True (1)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109702)

Might it not be the case that this error page is a hangover from the days when it was a 100% DRM shop?

Re:Not True (5, Informative)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110322)

As said earlier by myself and a few others, you can only buy DRM-free tracks if you live in Canada, or at the very least if you are not coming from a US IP address.

There's nothing to see here... Move along.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109604)

They are NOT making their entire offering DRM free. If they did, then I would care. This is simply being done to make them look like "leaders" in this industry.

Re:There's nothing to see here... Move along.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109706)

It's a lot more than many companies are doing. Slashdot went wild when Jobs released a PR piece that was obviously only released in an attempt to appease the Europeans. Unlike Apple, this company is actually trying to do something about it instead of just trying to place the blame on others and continuing to ignore the problem completely. It seems perfectly deserving of an article to me...

Re:There's nothing to see here... Move along.... (3, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109958)

The easiest way to become a leader is to find out which way the crowd is going and jump in front.

Re:There's nothing to see here... Move along.... (1)

happysonic (818140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110444)

The site won't even let me in on a Mac - I really hate when Windows-only services do this! As I DO have a PC running Windows, and even a Play For Sure compatible MP3 player, I just happen to be on the Mac right now but still might be interested in browsing their catalog. But instead get a MacOSNotAllowed' page...

Re:There's nothing to see here... Move along.... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110894)

The worst part is, I also can't access the "Contact Us" page to let them know I can't access their DRM-free catalog.

Now, I know this DRM-free thing is new, but they should have planned for Mac OS and Linux/BSD users too before starting their "now selling regular MP3s" thing.

Not so fast (2, Informative)

Wubby (56755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109642)

It looks like some users over at BoingBoing have already debunked this one Link [boingboing.net] . According to them, all the track on the site, including the supposedly "DRM Free" are Windows crippled WMA.

Either they aren't doing this "immediately" or someone screwed up. I can't find a single BNL song that is available in anything other than WMA from Puretracks.

Re:Not so fast (5, Informative)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109764)

All tracks on the US site.

If you go to the Canadian site and you're not in Canada it moves you on to the US site.

So we need someone in Canada to verify the story.

Re:Not so fast (1)

ThrasherTT (87841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110866)

I was able to see the Canadian version of the site from a US location, but I couldn't buy anything . It appeared that there were 50+ artists that had one or more albums available as MP3 as well as WMA.

This might not work: MP3s for an artist [puretracks.com] ...

Re:Not so fast (2, Informative)

Merlynnus (209292) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109788)

Didn't try too hard did you? From the main page, click "MP3". Next, click a BNL album, like this one: http://www.puretracks.com/catalog/details.aspx?pid =indy_624284002354_mp3 [puretracks.com]

Two clicks is too much to expect from the average Slashdot bandwagoner, I guess.

Re:Not so fast (4, Informative)

saforrest (184929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109996)

Two clicks is too much to expect from the average Slashdot bandwagoner, I guess.

I followed your link, and got this error page [puretracks.com] .

I suppose it might be the case that this system for auto-redirecting all Mac users to an error page dates from the time when all their songs were DRMed, and hasn't been updated. But it certainly doesn't convey the impression that they've changed anything.

I am in Canada, btw.

Re:Not so fast (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110030)

There is no "MP3" link when I go to the main page. The MP3s are only available to Canadians. US residents get only WMA files.

Re:Not so fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110040)

From their FAQ: [puretracks.com]

Can I download MP3s from Puretracks? Puretracks and its affiliates utilize Microsoft's DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology to provide secure licensing for our track downloads. The MS DRM technology supports the .wma (Windows Media Audio) file format and has not yet been developed by Microsoft to be compatible with the MP3 file format.
So you're above quote is indeed a troll

There are two online shops, parent is not a troll (3, Informative)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110280)

The Canadian one, available only to people in Canada, sells WMAs and the new MP3s. The US one (which everyone else outside Canada gets, because I'm in Spain) sells only WMAs.

If you see a Mac error page it makes sense because you're not in Canada and can only download WMAs.

If you checked the links to MP3s that posters have given and you get told you're being sent to the US shop, now you know why.

Finally, it might be useful to bear in mind that the world doesn't revolve around the US. Not completely, anyway.

Re:Not so fast (1)

straterpatrick (594954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110570)

I just bought a whole mp3 album. They are real mp3 and not anything shady. Maybe they were looking at the American version of the site. (I'm Canadian!)

Re:Not so fast (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110580)

Shrug.. I went to www.puretracks.ca (same as .com) and right on the front page, under "New Releases", you can see the new album by BNL and two little buttons, "WMA" and "MP3". So, in my humble opinion, you can buy tracks without Windows-media crippleware. I did notice, however, that the MP3 versions of the songs are $0.20 more expensive than the WMA versions.

Maybe its just because I'm IN Canada.. I don't know, but I certainly do see a (relatively) wide selection of music available in MP3. Not surprisingly, a lot of the artists available in MP3 seem to be on the Canadian Music Creators Coalition [musiccreators.ca]

Aikon-

No DRM iPods? etc. (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109644)

Now this seems like a step in the right direction.


I was given an iPod shuffle at a company party last year, and am probably in the minority because I haven't gone hog wild downloading my favorite music from iTunes -- specifically because of the DRM restrictions. Now then, let's say that eventually Puretracks offers me those same tunes without DRM, and I can put them on my iPod for when I am out walking/jogging/etc., or convert the songs I paid for into one copy of a CD that I can play in my PC at work, or at home, etc. On my WinXX system or my Linux system or my car stereo. Let's even say that I put together my greatest hits anthology on CDs that I paid for the tracks for, but get tired of them and give my collection to my kid, or sell it at a yard sale, and then I delete all my copies. Still legal, still one paid for copy -- vs. DRM restricted usage.


Guess who gets my money?

Re:No DRM iPods? etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110216)

Money? Why would anyone get money for this. Nobody I know is using iTunes. They charge for downloads. There are lots of places that you can get music, without any restrictions for free.

Why aren't you using those services?

Re:No DRM iPods? etc. (2, Insightful)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110422)

Because the music I have downloaded is copyrighted, and I don't believe in music piracy.

Re:No DRM iPods? etc. (1)

DustyMac (1067286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110488)

The iTunes Store already allows you to legally make an unlimited number of CDs containing a song you purchase there as well as copy it onto an unlimited number of iPod and play it on up to 5 computers simultaneously if you so desire.

DRM is a stopgap against obsalesence (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109650)

DRM is the 'media industry' trying to hold on to the idea that information is a finite resource, that you buy.

It's just not true any more. You can still go and buy a CD with the lastest stuff on it, but ... well, MP3s are infinitely replicatable at minimal cost to the distributor.

DRM is giving a locked box and the keys to it. You can make the key and box as complicated as you like (and lets face it, they probably have) and it's _still_ not going to work, as long as I can point a camera at my display screen, or sit a mic next to my loudspeaker.

iPOD (And their ilk) have demonstrated that there _is_ a market for easily accessible music, with a pricetag. What the 'media thugs' _should_ be doing is concentrating on implementing a new model for distribution of media, rather than trying to enforce the unenforcible. I'd be prepared to bet they'd get a _lot_ more sales if 'everything' was distributed as a function of bandwith needed to transfer + a small license fee. Price per unit down, but with negligable manufacturing and shipping costs, free publicity and 'easy access' I'd be of the opinion that it'd pay for itself.

Of course, it'd be nigh on impossible to turn back the tide once the floodgates open, so they probably never will.

Re:DRM is a stopgap against obsalesence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109804)

OK, let's be clear here. I want music for free. I will put up with filtering through P2P stuff to weed out the crap and take 24 hours before I get what I want. Because when I do, it is free. If I ever had a music emergency I might consider the idea of purchasing something - and the put it somewhere where the rest of the world could then download it for free.

Nobody, ever, is going to get me to pay. I have all I want for free today and I believe it is my right to always have it that way. If some people pay, they are fools or do not know the same places to get free stuff that i do.

People are going to do this. Anyone that believes there is money of any sort to be made in selling access to music is wrong. There can be no money because there is zero respect for copyright and other distribution restrictions. It is going to be redistributed for free. Once purchased, it is then freely passed around. Not just to my friends, but to the entire planet.

There are no deterrents to this. Nobody is going to come and fine me or put me in jail. There are no social consequences to this any more.

Re:DRM is a stopgap against obsalesence (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110054)

If some people pay, they are fools or do not know the same places to get free stuff that i do.

Those "fools" are the people who get to decide which artists keep working and which ones hang the guitar on the wall and go into accounting. The only people who won't pay for music are those who don't care about it.

I was an anime fan back in the day when you couldn't buy it in the US for love or money. Real fans still spent as much as they could on merchandise, wherever they could get it. Now the stuff is everywhere, because people chose to help finance it -- not because they signed online petitions.

This isn't a feudal system or a monarchy. We don't have some aristocracy somewhere that decides which arts will be done and which artists will be sponsored. If you abstain from that decision, then please be silent when you don't like the results.

Re:DRM is a stopgap against obsalesence (2, Interesting)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110632)

Nobody, ever, is going to get me to pay. I have all I want for free today and I believe it is my right to always have it that way. If some people pay, they are fools or do not know the same places to get free stuff that i do.

And it is the artist's right to not produce the music you believe you have the right too. How will you feel if there isn't any new music being produced by full-time musical artists because they have to take other full time jobs to pay the bills?

I don't believe in DRM, and I think the whole idea of a "product" breaks down when you try to sell digital content. However, I don't think people should believe it's their right to have things for free.

The fact is the major music corporations are simply trying to make as much money as possible, and trying to find more ways of doing that. If they had it their way, they'd charge you everytime you sang in the shower. I think the ultimate solution to the DRM debate will be to have some kind of subscription service where you pay a flat monthly fee and get unlimited (or limited, however they want to work the price points) downloading of mp3's or other content. These would be DRM-free files. Will some people redistribute them to their friends? Probably. My friends had "burn parties" where we'd bring our collection of cd's and a pack of cd-r's to share. Before cd's we did this with cassette tapes. Music sharing has been around as long as there has been music, it's just that with today's technology its a lot easier to do.

I'm wondering when the RIAA will start to realize that their music has been being copied well before the mp3. And I'm also wondering when they will realize that the reason people don't buy as many cd's anymore is because no one wants the over-produced generic crap they call music.

Re:DRM is a stopgap against obsalesence (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110392)

If you go to (I believe this is right) werkshop.com they do basically that. The unencumbered MP3 tracks and albums are slightly less expensive than the unencumbered FLAC recordings, presumably because the FLAC files cost them more bandwidth to transfer to the buyer.

Microsoft-specific solutions? (1, Informative)

nganju (821034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109672)

(a store I have generally avoided because of their Microsoft-specific solutions)

Do you mean Microsoft-specific DRM solutions? Because if you're avoiding them simply because they've chosen to build their website/infrastructure with ASP and .NET, you've gone off the deep end with your Microsoft-hating.

Cool - but I hear nothing on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109692)

when I try to check out the albums songs. Any ideas?

My wife tried puretracks. (3, Interesting)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109708)

When I bought my wife her Sony Network Walkman [sony.co.uk] she decided to try Puretracks so that she could get digital music legally. After a week and the realization that "we won't let you copy the songs *you bought* off your computer", she dropped them like a hot rock.

"I'd rather get my music illegally, and have them work on my MP3 player," she said.

From The F'in Web Site (2, Informative)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109712)

Is this what's meant by "immediately" ???

FTFWS:

http://www.puretracks.com/res/img/macsplash.gif [puretracks.com]

Ah, you're on a Mac. Here's the thing about that.

Thanks for visiting.

Our current music sotre uses Windows Media technology to play our music files. Unfortunately that means our songs are incompatible with your operating system. Furthermore, Aple's iTunes FairPlay system is currently not available to us for use with iPods.

We'd love to offer our music to Mac users, and we are currently working to offer content in new formats.

Ah, comme ça vous êtes sur Mac. Sauf que...

Merci de votre visite.

Notre magasin de musique utilise présentement la technologie Windows Media pour jouer nos fichiers musicaux. Malheureusement, cela signifie [sic] que nos fichiers musicaux sont incompatibles avec votre système d'exploitation. De plus, le système iTunes FairPlay de Apple [sic] ne nous est présentement pas [sic] disponible pour fins d'utilisation avec des [sic] iPods.

Nous aimerions offrir notre musique aux utilisateurs [des] Mac[s], et nous sommes en train de travailler sur la possibilité d'offrir notre nouveau contenu sous de nouveaux formats.

...And From The F'in FAQ (1)

clgoh (106162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110740)

Q: Does this mean I can buy songs from Puretracks on a Mac?
A: Not yet. But we are definitely working on it.

This is nearly worthless unless... (2, Insightful)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109718)

I can search for only DRM free songs. I've just checked out the website, and found no way to look only for non-DRM music.

Even if 90% of their music was DRM free, if I don't find out until I get to the song in question, it's going to be a very aggravating browsing and shopping experience. Imagine finding a song you want to here, only to discover you can't use it. Unless they offer a way to filter out the stuff I can't use, why should I waste my time looking through their stuff? It would be bad enough if it was mostly DRM-free - but given that it's mostly stuff I can't listen to, why would I waste my time?

Re:This is nearly worthless unless... (3, Informative)

Merlynnus (209292) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109824)

I've just checked out the website, and found no way to look only for non-DRM music.


Wrong. Click the "MP3" link (4th item on the menu bar at the top of the page). Although I suppose I have to take into consideration that you may not be aware that MP3s contain no DRM.

Or, if that's too much work, click here: http://www.puretracks.com/content/viewer.aspx?cid= GlobalNav_MP3 [puretracks.com]

Doesn't work Re:This is nearly worthless unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110024)

I tried your link, and I just get the anti-mac splash page that others have reported.

Come off it (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109740)

I have my doubts that this article can possibly be true. Remember that the music is only being sold because the big labels of this world - the RIAA (do they cover Canada as well?) say that it may be.

As soon as any of the music stores start selling RIAA-covered music without DRM, expect the RIAA to come down on them like a ton of lawyers.

Re:Come off it (4, Informative)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109924)

The RIAA specifically does not exist in Canada. That's a U.S.-only cartel for American-based record labels. In Canada, there's the CRIA, which is made up of the Canadian branches of those major labels, plus whatever Canadian-based indies have decided to join. So it's basically the same thing, but specific to each country.

Re:Come off it (1)

DustyMac (1067286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110670)

In Canada it's the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)

This isn't Slashdot's Fault (0)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109778)

the CBC reported this wrong. Completely wrong. Why this even got to the internet as a news story I have yet to understand.

Re:This isn't Slashdot's Fault (3, Informative)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109912)

CBC is a Canadian broadcaster. You are not Canadian. CBC sees the MP3 tracks on the site when they access it. You don't, you are redirected to the US shop where there are no MP3 tracks.

Remind me again... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110026)

...what did 'DRM' stand for, exactly...?

Re:Remind me again... (1)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110610)

...what did 'DRM' stand for, exactly...?

Doesn't
Replay
Music

DRM or mp3 makes no difference (0)

2TecTom (311314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110288)

I won't pay for compressed, overprocessed, overpriced downloads, what I will pay for is flac files at a dime a pop, indeed, when it's cheaper and easier to download than to share or rip, then, and only then, will music "sales" reach their true porential levels.

The way I see it, artists need to dump the middlemen and sell directly to the public. Neither artists, nor audiences need anything to be between them at all, in fact.

Re:DRM or mp3 makes no difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110430)

Have fun living in total silence, buying CDs at inflated prices, or ripping off music files because your ridiculous demand for ten cent uncompressed files will most likely never happen.

Canadians only, the story is NOT bogus (5, Informative)

Magorak (85788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110348)

After reading a lot of people from the USA claiming this was bullshit and making a big fuss about it (something you do a lot of) I went to the site myself, and sure enough, there's PLENTY of albums available in MP3 format.

I live in Canada and we're seeing the links. I suspect that since the RIAA rules your dominion, you guys are stuck living in a DRM world for Puretracks but for Canadians, we're finally seeing some MP3's on this site.

You guys gotta stop flaming other people and claiming the story is bullshit until you do a little research. Just because you live in the US doesn't mean that you can get to it. It's the same thing that pisses me off about American websites that advertise the ability to stream TV shows but the moment I try it, no luck because I live in Canada.

BTW, since I have bought stuff from Puretracks in the past, I received an email from them just prior to reading the post on Slashdot. Here's a copy of the letter.

----
Thank you for being a Puretracks customer. We are very excited to announce that as of today Puretracks will be offering MP3 files for sale on our site at Puretracks.com: http://www.puretracks.com/content/viewer.aspx?cid= GlobalNav_MP3 [puretracks.com] .
And as the first North American digital service provider to launch 'a la carte' MP3 music downloads, we're happy to offer you a free MP3 track from the popular Canadian band The Barenaked Ladies.
The track, called 'The Sound of Your Voice,' will be delivered along with the February 27th Puretracks newsletter. You will need to be a registered newsletter subscriber to be eligible to download this track.
If you don't currently receive our newsletter (filled with weekly free tracks and exclusive content), click here to register.
MP3s at Puretracks
MP3 tracks are easy to download (no licenses required) and can be played on all digital audio devices. Puretracks currently offers over 50,000 tracks in French and English from popular artists such as: Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene, Feist, The Barenaked Ladies, Jean Leloup and Richard Seguin. Track prices starting at $ 0.79 each.
Be sure to register now for the Puretracks newsletter to get your free MP3 track from The Barenaked Ladies! Click here to register. If you are already registered, watch for your February 27th Puretracks newsletter to get your free track.
Regards,

Alistair Mitchell,
CEO

so what happens to vista (1)

Skridge (1053362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110398)

once drm is dead? will there be a ms patch to remove the 30 checks per second, etc and make it not suck? personally, i hope ms fights it till the end, and keeps vista the piece of crap it is. just the thought that drm might be dead before vista really start shipping gives me great joy.

Can't go there with a Mac. (1)

customizedmischief (692916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110702)

Interestingly, I still can't even go to their site with my Mac. When I go to puretracks.com in Safari on my Mac, I get the following unfriendly message:

We apologize, but www.puretracks.com is not available for Mac OS.
I am thinking that they might want to rethink their strategy for breaking into the iPod market...

MS PlayUnsure still there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18110814)

I'll buy when the mention MP3 on the front page and not MS PlayUnsure.

Ding, dong.. (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110820)

the witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead...

Not the Only One (2, Informative)

phyjcowl (309329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18110830)

Though puretracks may have just dropped DRM, they're not the only company in Canada to offer that. Another company called Zunior (zunior.com [zunior.com] ) is doing the same but they take it a step further and offer downloads in FLAC format. They also include album images and such in the download. That's the way to do it. I wish every company would treat their music downloads this way. People have high-speed connections now, why not offer high-quality audio? I don't want to pay $8-10 for MP3s when I can get the CD for nearly the same price but I'll pay it for a guarantee of high audio quality and liner notes, with the ease of an immediate download.
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