It wasn't so long ago that Steve Jobs shocked us all with his Thoughts on Music memo, in which he derided digital rights management restrictions as anticonsumer and said Apple would embrace the abolishment of DRM "in a heartbeat." He said DRM had done nothing to stop rampant music piracy, and that users would embrace options that respected their fair use rights and let them use any device and any computer to listen to their music. Remember that? What a day. It led to a landmark deal with EMI to sell DRM-free songs on iTunes and frankly, … Read more
[This entry has been revised: I didn't read the MediaNet release carefully enough...they are offering DRM-less MP3s, not WMA files. Apologies to anybody whom I misled. My bad.]
Back in May, EMI--one of the big four record labels--agreed to sell its songs through Apple's iTunes without digital rights management (DRM) protection.
Before this move, iTunes and the iPod were technically linked: if you bought a song from iTunes, you could only play it on an iPod (unless you burned it to CD then re-ripped it into an unprotected format). Offering DRM-less downloads severed this link, allowing … Read more
ZuneScene, a fan site devoted to Microsoft's portable music player, is reporting on a Microsoft patent filing that describes a system for compensating Zune users for sharing music wirelessly.
The idea: if I send you a song, it expires after 3 days or 3 plays, regardless of where I got it from (my own CD collection, a file-sharing network, a Zune Marketplace download). If you decide you like that song and buy it from the Zune Marketplace, I get a small commission--probably points good for buying other songs from the Marketplace.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment is suing an antipiracy CD software company claiming that the technology provided was flawed. In November 2005, researcher Mark Russinovich discovered hidden files left behind on computers when certain Sony copy-protected CDs were played. The subsequent consumer complaints and government investigations, says Sony, cost the entertainment company millions of dollars in losses.
Now Sony BMG has filed a complaint against The Amergence Group, formerly SunnComm International, a company that produced the piracy-protection system known as MediaMax CD. According to the Associated Press, Sony BMG is seeking $12 million in damages for unfair business practices and for … Read more
According to reports in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and New York Times, Universal is pressing for new terms as it renews its contract with Apple. Until the contract negotiations are worked out, Universal will offer songs "at will" through the service, meaning it can yank them at any time if they don't come to an agreement.
Universal is the largest record label in the world, accounting for about 26% of all recorded music sales (according to the company). It has also been, along with Sony BMG, one of the most aggressive about protecting its business … Read more
In the early 18th century, the discovery (or rediscovery) of well-temperament spurred composers such as J.S. Bach to tune their instruments in new ways, making it possible to play music in all keys and essentially paving the way for what we now think of as Western classical music.
After the U.S. Civil War, cast-off martial instruments from the conflict were appropriated, combined with traditional African instruments (such as the banjo) and musical idioms, and used to create a new form of semi-improvised ensemble music with syncopated rhythms: Dixieland. Which in … Read more
After Steve Jobs' open letter to record executives back in February, it was clear that DRM-free music (music without digital rights management technology) wasn't far away for Apple users. Today, the concept became a reality with the release of iTunes 7.2 (download it for Windows or Mac OS X).
As of today, all of the songs from music label EMI on Apple's iTunes Store will be free of DRM via a new service called iTunes Plus. (Note: that link will open iTunes and take you to iTunes Plus, but only if you have version 7.2 installed.)… Read more
According to CNET's own experiments, the iTunes Plus feature that launched Wednesday and allows you to upgrade previously purchased EMI song files to the DRM-free versions appears to have a neat side effect.
The upgrade, which costs 30 cents per song or $3.00 per album, seems to be based on iTunes account purchase history, not whether the song file resides in your iTunes library.
Figure out the perk, yet?
It means that those of us who have lost a previously purchased iTunes song file due to a corrupted or lost laptop, now have a chance to get it … Read more
Apple's iTunes store began selling DRM-free songs from EMI on Wednesday.
DRM (digital rights management) software prevents owners from copying or freely using a digital file across multiple devices.As expected, all the songs from music label EMI that are sold on iTunes are now available in DRM-free versions. Shoppers have the option to purchase either a 256kbps AAC-encoded DRM-free song for $1.29 via iTunes Plus, or the usual 128kbps AAC-encoded DRM-version for 99 cents.
"We expect more than half of the songs on iTunes will be offered in iTunes Plus versions by the end of this … Read more
Toshiba announced that they will be releasing an updated version of the Gigabeat V portable video player on June 1st in Japan. The new Gigabeat V series will be available in 40GB and 80GB capacities priced around $409 and $491 respectively. Beyond increased capacity, the new series improves on the features of last year's Gigabeat V30 by offering a 4-inch, 24-bit color display with a resolution of 480 x 272. Like its brother the Gigabeat S, the V series also uses the Microsoft PMC interface and supports Windows Media DRM 10 and WMA 9 lossless. The new Gigabeat V … Read more