The Beginning of the End of DRM

Apr 2, 2007 22:36 · 179 words · 1 minute read

Apple and EMI have jointly announced new “premium” DRM-free tracks at iTunes: Mac Rumors: Apple/EMI Press Conference Coverage [Event Over]

Anyone who worked with software in the late 80s and early 90s would remember how common and annoying copy protection was in those days. The people paying the bills hated it, and it went away. It’s much the same with music today. People are trying to move their music around as they please and the DRM gets in the way of reasonable, lawful use.

And hats off to the clever marketers at Apple. These new “premium” tracks are encoded at twice the bitrate. So, you’re not just paying an extra $0.30 per song for restoration of your fair use. You’re paying for higher-quality encodings. And, the record labels get the price bump they’ve been wanting.

I’m curious what the full album price will be ($12.99?) If it’s too close to CDs, it would seem like a lot of people would just buy the CD which they can have DRM-free with lossless encoding and get the physical artifact to boot.