EMI & Apple partner on DRM-free premium music

Did anyone ready this article yet: EMI, Apple partner on DRM-free premium music

I have to admit this is the small step that iTunes needed to make. The step that eMusic has been using for years. eMusic offers high quality MP3s and DRM-free downloads. eMusic is, however, the 2nd largest online music store. Second only to iTunes. So iTunes sets the standards, I reckon.

I am, once again, excited about the future of music. The rest of the labels need to get on the wagon. DRM-free is the wave of the future. And it’s definitely on the horizon.

Above and beyond that is higher quality bit rates will be available late this year on iTunes for $1.29 a song at 256kbps in the AAC format. Right now it’s $0.99 for a 128kbps AAC. 256kbps is really nice. A great step up.

Just think, one might be able to listen on a decent stereo system and rarely be able to tell the difference! (I know David, we can download jazz from iTunes, if we want!!) It’s still a compromise, but it’s a heck of an improvement and it’s something I can still get behind.

Thanks Thud, for the link.

4 Responses to “EMI & Apple partner on DRM-free premium music”


  • I heard, I heard. Kris told this morning. It’s about time huh?

  • I think it’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad to see some change. I wrote about the news, but noted that one problem I still see with the deal is that AAC, being Apple’s proprietary format, might not work on some MP3 players.

  • Even after years of playing drums, you can distinguish 128Kbps and 256Kbps? Standing next to your cymbals for years without adequate protection really wiped out that range of my hearing.

    I’m personally in favor of moving away from music ownership entirely and going to more of a library system. As we approach more of an on-demand world, the ownership concept gets less meaningful. (Outside of the tangible “I like to hold my shiny disk and look at my pretty album art” argument, which is valid but less important to me.) We use Napster now, and for most of their catalog we just stream what we want and pay the monthly fee. I have no desire to own 90% of what I listen to, especially if I’m going to be tied to one format or another. I’d rather just rent it all. And I swear, if I have to buy Hysteria one more frickin’ time…

  • 128 and 256 is night and day for me. Listen in the harmonics of vocals and in cymbals. Try Sunny Day Real Estate or Lisa Loeb. You’ll hear it in the vocals. Their voiced sound like it was recorded with tin foil with a 128kbps MP3. AAC files deal with high end much better. Once you get past 256 the difference is negligible to most ears.

    But it’s also true in the lower registers with bass. Jazz music sounds horrible in compressed audio. Try listening to any Mingus record in 128 bit MP3s and tell me it sounds acceptable.

    PS. I hear you with Hysteria. I just need to get it on vinyl and it will have come full circle. I really need to review that record here. Too bad Mutt Lange wasn’t born here. Think of the production he could do to our country!

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