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Jobs to Labels- Lose the DRM & We'll Talk Price

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the ten-bucks-a-gig dept.

Music 459

eldavojohn writes "Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been talking smack about DRM and has recently issued a verbal offer to major music lables stating that if they are willing to lose the DRM, he'd be willing to raise his 99 cent price for those iTunes songs. These tracks (such as the recent EMI deal) would also have better sound quality & cost about 30 cents more."

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Are consumers that dumb? (5, Interesting)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022525)

While on the one hand it is nice to see this pressure to get rid of DRM for "purchased" tracks, it is pretty disappointing to see that the move will also come with an increase in price. They gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?

This is just a continuation of the trend towards higher prices for music, in spite of plummeting costs for media and distribution. Wax cylinders -> Lps -> tapes -> Cds -> downloads - it just gets easier to move the data, but the price never goes down!

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022547)

There's no such thing as a free lunch, sizzlechest. Of course, you probably think it should be free anyway so I'm not surprised this is the first complaint. Or should I say, the first whine.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (4, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022557)

actually, from TFS, not just TFA, the higher prices will also come with higher quality audio.

No DRM + higher quality audio = possibly worth a 30% increase in price

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022913)

No DRM + higher quality audio = possibly worth a 30% increase in price

And yet CDs, which are DRM free, have the highest quality audio and will cost about the same, offer a physical medium, and packaging as opposed to what will be available online.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022963)

CDs are not ALL drm free...or do you live under a rock?

Soundbite society (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023199)

Gotta like how someone participating in a soundbite-oriented society (/.) will criticize another for not writing a comprehensive tome detailing the limits and degrees of a statement which is, for 99% of purposes of discussion, true in just a few words.

OF COURSE some CDs have DRM. MOST DON'T. This in contrast to the subject at hand, being songs downloaded from iTunes, which practically all DO have DRM.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023245)

There is NO drm on the music on the Audio CD that can legally be called a Audio CD.

there are half-assed attempts to make a PC not read them, which are in fact NOT DRM.

So the OP is actually right, you are the one that is mistaken.

And I agree with him, I'll pay less for far higher quality on CD without paying anything to the RIAA.

I buy all Cd's used :-) and it upsets the RIAA more than the pirates.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023053)

as the other reply said - not all CDs are DRM free.

But also, I don't remember reading/hearing that the higher quality will not be CD quality. It is, in fact, possible, they could have higher quality.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023119)

But also, I don't remember reading/hearing that the higher quality will not be CD quality. It is, in fact, possible, they could have higher quality.
Sure, if they're using lossless compression, in whatever Apple's proprietary lossless codec is. I highly doubt this is the case, though.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023173)

even with lossey compression, it is possible to do better than a CD..

A CD starts with a certain bit rate and frequency sample rate (I think I'm using the right terms, but probably not in the case of the latter). As such, if you start with something much higher quality, and compress it lossey, same quality, then you in effect, and in certain regards, have better quality (and simultaneously worse quality as well!)

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (2, Insightful)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023205)

but the DRM CD's technically arent audio CDs, and the recent ones dont have the Comact Disc Digital Audio logo.

to my knowledge, there are no real audio CDs with DRM.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023217)

Better than uncompressed 44.1Khz 16-bit audio? (being what CD audio is stored at, which is roughly 10MB per minute of audio)

"Hey! this 3 minute song is 100MB!!"
"It's super better than CD quality - it's 99Khz 24bit audio!!! ONLY A $1.29!!"
"I miss the days of the 44.1Khz 16-bit audio.... then this file would only be 30MB :("

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (4, Insightful)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023131)

CDs force you to buy all 10/15/20 tracks though. I don't mind paying (CD price) / ( # of tracks) for an individual song assuming the other factors are constant or close to it. I like being able to pick these 6 songs and ignore the rest.

The physical medium is pretty worthless to me. Maybe even negative value since they create more waste and pollution than an additional file download does.

There are occasions where the packaging is nice, but not very often for me. Most of it's just sitting in the garbage or in a drawer where I'd tossed all my CD cases. How much more would you be willing to pay on every CD for the inserts and such? 50 cents? $1.50?

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (0)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023155)

CDs cost about the same only if you want the entire package they sell. $15 is a lot to pay for 1 song.

CDs have a higher audio quality only if the source was digitized at 41.1 kHz and not 48 kHz. Yes, CDs are uncompressed but they are also format limited to 16-bits and 41.1 kHz, regardless of the source audio, and conversion to that sampling format can also constitute a significant loss of quality.

I'm not saying there are never benefits to CDs over electronic delivery, but your opposing assertion is just as ridiculous. Like most things in life, it's about balance, not about picking the right side.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (4, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022569)

two things:

A) He needs to entice them to move forward with technology since the various RIAA labels are clearly run by dinosaurs.

B) Want to point out when in the past century you could buy a single song (without DRM) for $1.29 (keeping inflation in mind)?

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022849)

I could buy whole albums in the 99 cent bin at the local music store.


Not that they were worth listening to, but still...

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

pegr (46683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022573)

While on the one hand it is nice to see this pressure to get rid of DRM for "purchased" tracks, it is pretty disappointing to see that the move will also come with an increase in price. They gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?
 
Because they are worth more (arguably...)

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022619)

They gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?

They're giving you something you do want at a (higher) price they think it's worth. The lower price you never paid for something you didn't want is irrelevant.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022643)

Obviously Jobs has figured out the profit formula:

1. Sell broken product
2. Wait until customers get angry
3. Sell fixed product for more money
4. Profit!

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (2)

EntropyXP (956792) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022655)

Yes. Consumers are that dumb. If people are willing to pay $2.99 for a 30 second ring tone, don't you think they're willing to pay $1.29 for a whole song, that they can burn on a cd, flash to their iPod, upload to their phone, zap to their Xbox360, crochet into a quilt. I mean, not having DRM is like having sex without a condom. It feels so naughty but it feels so good too!

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (2, Insightful)

kroepoek (1078915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022669)

Although I agree with you, the comparison doesn't hold completely true. Dollars aren't worth as much today as when music was distributed on wax rolls. Back then, you needed to be more wealthy to be able to buy luxury like a pickup and wax rolls.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (5, Insightful)

Stamen (745223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022729)

Love or hate Apple, at least they are using their current power to apply pressure in the right direction; no DRM. I don't mind the increase in price as much, because eventually they will increase it anyways based on inflation; so the bone Jobs is throwing them isn't very valuable, but he'll sell it like it is.

I hate monopolies, personally, but in this case it takes Apple's virtual monopoly in this space to fight the other monopolies (I know they are really a group of companies controlling everything, but you understand what I'm saying) in the media space. So I'll stand next to Apple on this one; for the time being.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023215)

in this case it takes Apple's virtual monopoly in this space to fight the other monopolies (I know they are really a group of companies controlling everything, but you understand what I'm saying) in the media space.

You want the word "monopsony" rather than "monopoly", in the sense you used it (a single buyer, or in this case broker, exerting pressure on sellers).

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (2, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022801)

Some of this crap isn't even worth $0.99. I get the higher quality encoding and dumping the DRM, but why pay a higher price? It's been proven time and again that a high price simply drives people to piracy.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (5, Insightful)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022967)

Some of this crap isn't even worth $0.99. I get the higher quality encoding and dumping the DRM, but why pay a higher price?
Because, unlike when you buy a CD, you can just pick the good tracks and not pay for the crap.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022819)

Jobs is pushing them to give away something they're not really competing on (DRM) to something they really are competing on (price). I'm sure he's seen that with DRMless songs, the iTunes store will take more sales from regular CDs. That's his game, now looking to see if the big labels will bite.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022821)

"it just gets easier to move the data, but the price never goes down!"

Yeah, because the data is what costs the most. Sure.

I've worked in the industry off and on for most of my life in various capacities (of which, playing in a bar or recording your next door neighbors demo was not one of these roles). I know my rates have gone up, and I know my colleagues rates have gone up. And I know there are several more of us working on any specific project than every before.

Equipment prices have dropped precipitously, data requirements have dropped. Its the people that cost the money in this area...and by and far, most listeners want that overly slick pop sound that only comes from experience and having the right people. Personally, I could give or take it and just as happy listening to a three piece perform on a badly recorded bootleg. That isn't what most people are after, nor is it what the radio stations want to play (though it is argued that what the radio stations want to play is not what people want to hear...still, if they didn't, they wouldn't be listening would they).

Beyond all of this, prices are staying the same for ALBUMS. Buy a DRM free album at higher rates, it is still going to cost the same as it ever did. There has been a downward trend of buying albums towards single songs, and this is a HUGE factor in the reasons the recording industry isn't taking home what it use to. I know as a kid I bought 45s for like $1 each and personally that was my favorite means of pop drivel. This was a major reason these went away -- they could sell the same content as the whole. As an adult, I prefer music that benefits from a complete listening and rarely buy singles.

If you want to buy the albums, its $9.99. Singles $1.30 (with the option of upgrading to the full album for the difference in price at a later point...errr...within 6 months).

But back to the point, you are sooooo wrong for various reasons that it isn't even funny. I love when geeks try to distill work down to the ones and zeros as if this makes it all right...

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (2, Insightful)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022855)

Well, adjusting for inflation since the iTMS was introduced in 2003, 99 cents becomes about $1.11 in 2008 dollars. So the price for a better product (higher bitrate, larger filesize, higher bandwidth/hosting costs, no DRM) comes in at less than 20 cents. Apple needs some leverage, since there's no economic reason for the RIAA to switch over to non-DRM music witout an incentive. Welcome to economics.

Small moves, Ellie. Small moves. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023213)

Apple needs some leverage, since there's no economic reason for the RIAA to switch over to non-DRM music witout an incentive. Welcome to economics.

Right. Jobs can offer the buck thirty now, get the MAFIAA on board, and then next year or the year after convince them to lower the price for competitive reasons, say to $0.99. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Indy labels go to $0.99-nonDRM first.

For those who've been following iTunes since the beginning you'll notice that word-on-the-street (when the iPod was still "lame, no wireless") was that Apple was against DRM from the beginning but the labels wouldn't get on board without it. Jobs convinced them that online music would be big, but they still don't trust his judgment.

Here are some figures (2, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022927)

CD's average $15 right now. With DRM on iTunes, most albums cost $10 for the whole shebang, regardless of the number of songs. Add 30% and you are up to $13. Which means an album on itunes is less than a CD still.

Jobs is just using the store to promote his iPod and always has. He gets little profits from music sales. If you want music to cost less, break the RIAA first. That's your only choice.

Re:Here are some figures (5, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023139)

The "30%" only applies to song purchase. Album purchases haven't changed in price when buying 256kbps sans DRM.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022937)

They gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?

Do people read the articles? The 30 cent pricce increase is because of the higher quality encoding (thus larger file size requiring more storage space and bandwidth - the expenses the 30 cents is intended to offset). You aren't getting the same product without DRM. You are getting a better quality product without DRM. Better quality = higher price.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023105)

The storage costs are immaterial. Apple could put the whole iTunes catalogue in Apple Lossless format and not notice the cost increase, in terms of storing it on hard drives. Bandwidth is the only cost for higher bitrates of any consequence.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (0, Offtopic)

sanityfeactory (1085371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022971)

Yeah that's never happened before. They give us a war for oil and then use that to increase the price of gas. They over sell corn futures and starve central America. They sell you cable TV and riddle it with commercials. Pretty soon there will be a threshold tax and we'll all be living outside our houses so that we can afford to own them.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023181)

they gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?
Well, lots of sellers like to justify an increase in price, whether by touting better features or cost increases. What I like, if we ignore the quality issue of the pricing, is that the labels' allowing non-DRM'd songs to be sold for a higher price is admitting that DRM causes the product to be crippled.

This is just a continuation of the trend towards higher prices for music, in spite of plummeting costs for media and distribution. Wax cylinders -> Lps -> tapes -> Cds -> downloads - it just gets easier to move the data, but the price never goes down!
That's because pricing has nothing to do with production costs. Record companies don't exist to make $X profit per album -- they exist to maximize $X.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (3, Interesting)

oboeaaron (595536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023241)

This is just a continuation of the trend towards higher prices for music, in spite of plummeting costs for media and distribution. Wax cylinders -> Lps -> tapes -> Cds -> downloads - it just gets easier to move the data, but the price never goes down!

Wax cylinders were comparitively much more expensive than the modern equivalents. Two-minute Edison cylinders sold for $1 around 1900-1910, which was a good portion of a typical employee's weekly salary. Cylinders cannot be pressed like discs, so each one had to be inscribed by a pantograph from a master cylinder which wore out after only 20-100 copies had been made. Very labor intensive, and expensive.

I can't speak to more recent pricing schemes, but prices have certainly gone down since the cylinder days.

Re:Are consumers that dumb? (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023249)

Economic fallacy #1: Prices are driven by cost of production.

There is greater demand for higher quality tracks with no restrictions. Hence, higher prices. Why? Because people will pay for it. Specifically, 13 year old girls will pay for it.

You might think that the price increase isn't worth it, based on previous experience. That's your perogative. But the 13 year old girls that haven't ever purchased a CD, can't tell the difference between the sound quality between an MP3 and a CD, and who are largest target for pop music, see it differently.

Defeats the point (3, Interesting)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022567)

Thing is, if the price is raised above 99 cents, then you get into the $1+ range, at which point you might as well go out and buy the CD, defeating the point of iTunes if you want to buy entire albums/singles instead of just individual songs. Personally I'd rather pay 99 cents for a DRMed song and do the old burn/re-rip switcheroo and waste a 10 cent CD than pay extra for no DRM.

Album deal (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022731)

I'll start buying music via iTunes if (a) they lose the DRM and (b) offer a deal on buying entire albums. (Which I think would actually increase their bottom line, but I admit I'm not a marketer.)

Re:Album deal (2, Informative)

remahl (698283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022891)

They have always had a deal on buying an entire album. And it's even more advantageous now that the per-track price has increased.

Re:Defeats the point (1)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022739)

IIRC, with the EMI deal, they kept the price of the full album the same.

Re:Defeats the point (5, Informative)

Echnin (607099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022777)

...Except albums are still $9.99 without DRM and at the higher bitrate.

Re:Defeats the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022791)

That's if you want to buy entire albums/singles instead of just individual songs. I bet that the overwhelming majority of iTunes purchases are in fact individual songs, and therefore such a move makes sense.

Re:Defeats the point (1)

ArchdukeChocula (1096375) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022795)

Why not just use PlayFair or some other DRM cracking tool? If you've paid for the tracks it's certainly not a moral wrong and it's no more contra to the DMCA then any other means of circumventing DRM. Of course it doesn't the nifty backups that your method does, but you can still burn everything to a DVD after you're done.

Re:Defeats the point (1)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023007)

$1.29 for a new song with no DRM is fine with me, as long as the price goes down with the age/popularity of the song.

I don't buy much new stuff, and it kinda annoys me to have to shell out a buck for a song by a band that doesn't even exist anymore. Make this month's flavors $1.29, this year's hot bands 99c, and older stuff between 50c and free, and I'll use the iTunes music store a hell of a lot more, and not just for freebie stuff. And if somebody uses an old song in a movie or TV show and it gets popular again, start charging for it again.

Charge for the stuff you just made to recoup your expenses. That's fair. But a 20 year old song that maybe 10 people a year search for, just let me have the damn thing.

Re:Defeats the point (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023183)

I have thought the same kind of thing for years now. Some of the execs need to take some basic economics. Pricing based on demand.

Re:Defeats the point (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023065)

Thing is, if the price is raised above 99 cents, then you get into the $1+ range, at which point you might as well go out and buy the CD
Sure, the CD is cheaper than buying each track on the CD individually, but most people seem to just want a few tracks out of the ten to fifteen they have to pay for.
The combo meal may be a better deal than ordering each item separately, but all I want is the burger.

Re:Defeats the point (1)

Genady (27988) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023115)

While I agree that for things that are easily available at your local used CD place this logic makes sense... try buying an Adrian Legg CD in po-dunk-ville. Half.com isn't as friendly as clicking 'buy' on an album on iTunes, and certainly not delivered as quickly.

What you're saying makse sense for people that don't have eclectic tastes (or who have the same eclectic tastes as every other eclectic).

Re:Defeats the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19023299)

if the price is raised above 99 cents, then you get into the $1+ range


You think?

lbaels (0, Offtopic)

1019 (262204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022575)

"lables"?

Ach, the poor spelling... it hurts. Make it stop!

Re:lbaels (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022741)

1. Find scoop
2. Misspell major word in description submitted to slashdot
3. ?????
4. PRFOIT !!?

Loose? (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022585)

...if they are willing to loose the DRM, he'd be willing to...

loose? I don't normally point out spelling or grammar errors in comments, but come on, this is the article summary. Isn't an editor supposed to at least read these?

As for the rest of this, is this supposed to be something new? He already made statements that said he'd offer all comers the same deal as EMI. I'm pretty sure the price was implied to be part of that deal.

Re:Loose? (1)

Slarty (11126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022753)

Whatever happened to LoseNotLooseGuy? He'd have been all over this, but I haven't seen him around for a couple of years.

Re:Loose? (1)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022921)

Didn't Apple loose the DRM years ago? Isn't that how iTunes got started?

Re:Loose? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19023103)

Sorry, loose is still correct in this case. From m-w.com:

Main Entry: loose
Function: verb
...
5 : to make less rigid, tight, or strict : RELAX

'lose' not 'loose' (-1, Offtopic)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022599)

Slashdot editors are overpaid.

hmm (-1, Redundant)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022605)

loose the DRM
Typo or freudian-esque slip? Hmm...

obvious (3, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022607)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been talking smack about DRM

Of course he is. He doesn't want to be caught sideways when Amazon unveils their DRM-free music service (which should be coming out this spring/summer)

Raise it from 99 cents? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022609)

Why would anybody pay more than 99 cents for a song? You can get a DRM free CD for about $10-$15. Sure if you only want 1 or 2 songs, then you're still saving money, but I don't think that paying more than 99 cents is going to do it for most people. I'm on eMusic, and I pay about 30 cents for a song. I still think it's a little pricey, considering what you end up getting in the end.

Re:Raise it from 99 cents? (1)

SpeedyG5 (762403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022771)

And you pay 9.99 for the CD without the drm but the singles price goes up, to 1.29 for the drm free version that is also better quality. it gives incentive to buy the album.

Re:Raise it from 99 cents? (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022827)

Given the Sony rootkit fiasco, can you be certain that $15 CD is DRM free?

Re:Raise it from 99 cents? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023071)

As long as you make sure to check for the CD-Audio Logo when you buy the CD.

Re:Raise it from 99 cents? (2, Informative)

lurker5 (937330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022909)

But you are also paying a monthly fee which you must factor in. If you're like me, who buys at the most 10 tracks a month, $1.30 is not that bad. No matter what the others say, $1.30 for a high quality DRM-free download with no montly fee is still a great deal.

Re:Raise it from 99 cents? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023187)

There's no monthly fee per say with eMusic. You pay a flat rate like $10, and you get to download 30 songs in the month. Given the option of using iTunes and spending $10 on 10 songs, or eMusic, and spending $10 on 30 songs, I'd pick eMusic. Even if you only download 10 songs, you're still getting the music DRM free. However, it's kind of a bad argument, because eMusic doesn't carry all the popular bands, and has mostly indie stuff. However, there's enough stuff that I can find to download that my $15 a month for 50 songs account will always be completely used up at the end of every month for about the next 8 years. This is assuming they never add any new music (which they always do). So I could either spend $15 on iTunes for 12 songs (assuming $1.30 for DRM Free songs) or I can spend $15 on eMusic and get 50 songs. For me, it's a pretty easy choice.

loose/lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022651)

DRM has already been loosed upon an unwilling world. What we want is to lose it forever.

No DRM cool, higher price not so much. (5, Interesting)

dcskier (1039688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022665)

Can we still have the option of DRM w/ the lower price? I'm all for getting rid of the DRM on iTunes, but not for the expense of another $.30 a song. Plus the sound quality is fine for me right now, I'm not a audiophile and I'm sure those who are weren't using iTunes in the first place. This just kinda feels like when the cable company adds new features or channels and then feels free to raise your rates since they're making 'improvements' to your service that you didn't ask for.

I thank Jobs for a step in the right direction, but it still has strings attached. Why should I have to pay a premium to own my music, errrr sorry I meant the RIAA's music.

99 cent tracks continue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19023127)

Stated by Jobs in interview... too lazy to find it.

But but but .... (2, Funny)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022677)

But we like suing people who prefer high quality audio ... we would prefer if all online music was 24kbs and required a new DRM key for each play session.

We of the RIAA will resist this thing called "progress" until our lawsuits make us hated more than rush hour traffic. *cough* .. well we might already be there, but there are still 10-year-olds to sue.

All_your_base_are_belong_to_us (-1, Offtopic)

A Wise Guy (1006169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022685)

All_your_base_are_belong_to_us. hahaha........hahaha........hahaha!

Nice, but... (0, Troll)

ichthus (72442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022689)

Ok, so now when you purchase a whole album, you get:

)) Pay as much or more than you would for the CD
)) Lossy compression (maybe better quality, but still not as good)
)) No album art
)) Save the producers the cost of stamping CD/printing art/distribution

Why am I paying _more_ for this? Hmm. Buying/ripping CDs is starting to look like a good idea again.

Re:Nice, but... (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022955)

You do know Apple is still charging the same 9.99$ for the whole album right? They only increased the per song price. The songs also come with the album art embeded in the file. You aren't paying more, period. You also get the convieniance of buying online and getting immediate delivery.

Typo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022693)

...willing to loose the DRM...
You probably meant lose the DRM.

Let me point out the last error: &. AMPERSAND (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022697)

Who the fuck uses ampersands in sentences?

Marketing (2, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022721)

This is nothing but marketing guys. If jobs was so anti-drm, why is it still so difficult to get music or videos OFF of the ipod? The DRM can even stay on the tracks, just add something in itunes to export music from the actual device to the disk of the computer it is attached to. I understand that there are already programs [sturm.net.nz] out there to do this, but it shouldn't have to be like that. Also, look at how successful the itunes store has been. I have bought a total of about 3 cds in my entire life, but i've also purchased 5-6 songs from the itunes store. Why? Because its convenient at work. If jobs said to the record labels "either drop/relax the DRM, or we're going to pull your music from the store" then we might actually see something happen. Until then, this is just marketing.

I think it is more than marketing (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022877)

If jobs said to the record labels "either drop/relax the DRM, or we're going to pull your music from the store" then we might actually see something happen.

Sure, Jobs could tell them to drop the DRM "or else," but if he made a threat like that, he'd have to back it up. We're talking about the music industry, which has been effectively a cartel for decades. The EMI move was the first time any of the major labels stopped playing along with the rest of them, and that only happened because EMI is having a tough time financially. Jobs can't run iTunes without music, and the labels know it. He has to do business with them while pushing them to get rid of DRM at the same time. I doubt that's an easy task.

I suppose Jobs could shut down iTunes out of spite if they all didn't remove DRM. But something tells me shareholders wouldn't be so keen on that idea.

Two words (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022979)

Contractual obligations.

Now for some more words.
WHat is it with you people? SUre Apple fanboys are annoying, but to keep saying stuff like this in the face of what has been going on is just stupid.

Jobs told the Music industry that there is no way DRM can work.
In order to gte those contracts for the music, he ahd to agree to a bunch of stipulation.
Now he is moving tracks like crazy. Billions of tracks.

Now that the industry sees that people will pay for music, Jobs has a carrot to wave under their noses.
30 cents more a song. Looking at the history, that would be over 800,000,000 dollars that they would have earned.

Steve Jobs is playing the game very well. In the end, DRM will no longer be needed.
WIll it be because a bunch of people whined on /.? will it be because a few people didn't buy 'major label' music? no. It wil be because they can make more moebyt without it. It will be because of good business, and it will be because of the tireless efforts of the people cracking DRM.

So, to Steve Jobs, and to all the people who crack DRM: Thank you very much.

Access to Music on iPods (1)

twitchingbug (701187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022987)

Parent has a good point. We should now be able to get direct access to our non DRM tracks on our iPods in Hard Drive mode. Make it happen Apple iPod engineers!

Re:Marketing (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023101)

'' This is nothing but marketing guys. If jobs was so anti-drm, why is it still so difficult to get music or videos OFF of the ipod? ''

The normal way is that you buy music, either on CD or through a download, then you move it to other media that you own, like from CD to your computer, or from your computer (downloaded) to a CD, to an iPod, to a different player, etc. And there are legitimate uses where DRM gets into the way, that's why people complain about it and that's why I am glad that EMI is getting rid of it.

Nowhere is there a legitimate reason to copy from an iPod _to_ your computer (except for a computer crashing and the only "backup" on the iPod). On the other hand, it is easy enough to make backups of your files in iTunes, and easy enough to install those backups on any computer you own, without needing any additional software.

Re:Marketing (1)

maubp (303462) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023269)

"Nowhere is there a legitimate reason to copy from an iPod _to_ your computer (except for a computer crashing and the only "backup" on the iPod)."

Rubbish! How about using the iPod to transfer music between my own computers? Sounds like perfectly common reason - without even stretching things like from my computer to "my" computer at work, where the legalities get a bit murky.

ta3o (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022789)

real problems 7hat

No! (5, Funny)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022831)

The labels have already loosed the DRM.

We want them to lose the DRM.

Attribution? (4, Interesting)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022925)

How do we know Jobs verbally stated that he'd drop the 99 cent pricing restriction? There's no attribution in the article to such a statement. Is this from an anonymous source? Was the writer there when the statement was made? The AP usually does better than this.

So... *More* than buying a CD? (-1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022943)

These tracks (such as the recent EMI deal) would also have better sound quality & cost about 30 cents more.

At $1/track, you could fairly argue that a typical 13-track CD (the average in my own decently large collection, and that includes CD5s/SPs/singles) comes in a bit cheaper than a full price new release CD at a major retailer, $13.00 vs $15.99. And that already ignores that Amazon sells the vast majority of top-100 music at $9.99.

At $1.30, however, that comes out to $16.90 for 13 tracks, MORE than the cost of just buying a full price new release!

Now, in fairness, iTunes has all but single-handedly destroyed the concept of an "album", turning most music into nothing more than a collection of singles. But still... Comparing the prices, it starts to look worse and worse to buy individual tracks.



Not to make this entirely critical, I do offer Kudos to Jobs for finally "getting" that we don't want any DRM. But somewhere in the equasions, the RIAA needs to realize that over the past 50 years they've gone to progressively cheaper physical formats, without even pretending to pass the savings along to their customers.

Re:So... *More* than buying a CD? (5, Informative)

geek (5680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19022997)

If you buy the whole album, even if it has 20 tracks, it's $9.99. Please do a little research before spreading this FUD.

Re:So... *More* than buying a CD? (1)

swissfondue (819240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023243)

Ok, here is a real life example: Yesterday I bought "Sophomore Jinx" by Rob Costlow from the Swiss iTunes Store at CHF 15 (USD 12.40), whereas I could get it at Amazon Germany for EUR 21,98 (USD 29.00).

Many stores do not even carry thhis artist in Switzerland.

Herein lies the value of iTunes Store for me.
 

Re:So... *More* than buying a CD? (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023301)

The biggest cost isnt the physical media (well maybe it used to be). It also isnt the money going to the artist. The biggest costs are in marketing and lawyers. To recoup these costs and make some change for themselves they put the price as high as the (mostly) free market will permit them to do so.

So yeah when you buy that CD, you're paying for all their marketing campaigns and for lawyers who are going out and suing the ass off 10 year old kids, but not the 10 year old kids of the guy who owns Time Warner though, oh no they just get a stern talking to and an increase in their allowance so they can buy as many CDs as they please without having to download them.

Why hasn't anybody written a workaround for DRM? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19022973)

I don't understand why nobody has written a DRM workaround for iTunes yet -- it seems pretty obvious to me. Just concoct an AppleScript to send iTunes' "burn disc" to a disk image and transcode on the fly with, say, lame.

Re:Why hasn't anybody written a workaround for DRM (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023275)

You don't understand how lossy compression works, do you? Transcoding is bad.

As for stripping the DRM but maintaining the original compression, it's been done (jHymn), but Apple released a new version of iTunes that broke compatibility with that, so it doesn't work anymore. If you think you can fix it, by all means, give it a try.

Re:Why hasn't anybody written a workaround for DRM (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023295)

This would reduce the quality of the audio.

Jobs, where are Disney's DRM-free movies? (4, Interesting)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023017)

Jobs is the single largest shareholder in Disney, and he goes on and on about DRM-free music, but doesn't push for Disney to release its movies on unprotcted DVDs, HD-DVDs, and/or BRs, nor DRM-free online web releases. When asked about it, he hemmed and hawed, "Um, well, you see, video is different than audio...". Bull. Jobs, stop grandstanding about music and start releasing your own company's movies in unprotected fashion. THEN you'll have some credibility on this issue.

I'll stick with my emusic account (2, Informative)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023057)

No DRM, good quality mp3s, and 75 downloads a month. Yeah, I can't find too many big names, but there's plenty of stuff there just as good.

Still a cheaper option. (3, Interesting)

jbrandv (96371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023097)

We have a good used music store. Used CDs are $1-$2. I purchase the CD, RIP it to my media server then return the CD for ~1/2 of what I payed. So for .50-$1 I get ALL the songs on the Cd plus I can use OGG, MP3, AAC, etc. Why would I want to pay more than that for one song? Unless it's a ring-tone of course.

Re:Still a cheaper option. (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023255)

I was with you right up to "then return the CD for ~1/2 of what I payed".

If you're going to break the law anyway, why not save $.50 to $1.00 and borrow the CD or download it from P2pServiceOfYourChoiceSter?

Talking smack (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023099)

I thought this was an English language web site.

The answer is obvious... (2, Insightful)

enc0der (907267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023109)

If people don't like the price on iTunes, they aren't going to buy the tracks, then the labels and Apple will have to make a decision to lower prices in the future. We can let our money talk for us. Personally, I try to buy most of my music from the artist when they tour, so I buy on CD. It just seems the best solution overall. This especially because burning an 128Kbps file to audio then re-ripping it just DESTROYS the quality of the audio even further.

ringtones anyone? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19023113)

Sure, $1.30 might seem like a lot, but consider the thriving ringtone market, where people spend $2+ for retarded 30 second clips of fergie or whoever, that have ultra-crappy quality, and can't even be listened to anywhere besides a tiny cellphone speaker!

These songs will sell fine.

Lose vs Loose (4, Funny)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023161)

How did you manage to get this right in the headline and STILL get it wrong in the summary?

Geez!

Sounds great. (4, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023179)

A year ago, people were arguing "why should I pay $15-$20 for a Cd when I only want 1-2 songs, because musicians suck now adays only have 1-2 good songs" so iTunes starts up. You can buy that one or two songs and save the "crappy filler songs tax". People were happy but didnt like the DRM (which I agree with). So not they're removing the DRM, increasing the quality of the encoding and only adding $0.30 to it. Now people are crying "why should I pay $0.30 more when I can buy the CD for less".... *shakes head* if you want a complete CD then buy the CD, if you want 1-2 songs buy it online. I'm not flaming it's just a perfect example of you can't always make everyone happy. For me this sounds great. When an artist I really like comes out, I grab the CD at a local store, if it's a one hit wonder I hear on the radio, I'll buy the one song online. How is this not a good thing? No this isn't a flame, just frustrated when people ask for things, get it, then complain against their own argument.

A/V heading in opposite directions? (4, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19023247)

Has anybody noticed that for the general public, audio and video quality is heading in opposite directions? Head down to your local "big box store" and you'll see that they're pushing products that have superior VIDEO quality:

digital/satellite cable, HDTV, LCD/plasma screens with 1080i/p.

However, when it comes to audio, the sources for audio (mp3s for the majority) are worse quality now, then at any other point. Records, tapes, even plain old CDs have better quality than some down sampled mp3.

Are we getting complacent with our audio quality? Or is it just that the jump to HDTV from non-HDTV video is so great that it's an easy sell? Walk over to the AudioDVD/SACD section and you'll see almost nothing. Companies push for you to buy a $2000 stereo system, and then feed it with 128kbps mp3s...

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