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EMI Music launches DRM-Free iTunes downloads in higher-quality - Page 2

post #41 of 161
Quote:
I think a better idea would have been to drop DRM completey for all EMI content and keep existing bitrate songs DRM free and .99c, and make them also 1.29c at double bitrate.

When EMI first announced they were looking into DRM free songs, they said they would charge more, so it wasn't Apple's decision. The higher bitrate makes people feel they are getting more for their money.

But I imagine this will show that most people don't care about DRM.
post #42 of 161
I should imagine that will this change the digital music player market as well. Won't most players now have a major reason to support AAC. Should be interesting to see how this announcement changes the market. Will AAC now become the dominant codec for non-Apple music players?
post #43 of 161
Fuck yes. This is fantastic news All of those "Jobs is just saying that he'd like to get rid of DRM, because he knows it'll never happen; he's lying" folks can go eat crow.

All we have to do now is wait and see how long it takes the other studios to follow suit. Hopefully independent record labels won't be too far behind on this one. Then Universal might follow suit leaving Sony and Warner dragging their feet.
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post #44 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxy View Post

Will AAC now become the dominant codec for non-Apple music players?

I hope so. It's about time everyone moved on from mp3.
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post #45 of 161
Steve Jobs interview coming up on CNBC in a minute or two...
post #46 of 161
Nice going Apple. How about the Beattles?
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post #47 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post

First time poster but long time reader and Apple shareholder.

The press release and commentary pushes "DRM free" but if other players that don't support AAC can't play the tunes doesn't DRM still exist? In other words, isn't AAC just Apple's own DRM?

Or is Apple opening up AAC so that these "DRM free" tunes can be played on any player that supports MP3?

No. AAC is digital audio format like MP3. AAC is a newer and more compressed which makes a 128k AAC file hold more information than the same 128k MP3 file.

Apple used Protected-AAC, which adds DRM to the song via iTunes after it is downloaded to your computer. This makes the iTunes servers have less to worry about an how the first breaking of Apple DRM took place.

We will undoubtedly see more players start to support AAC (except for maybe the Zune, if it doesn't support it already). portable audioand video devices can even use updates to add this functionality, but other appliacnes like stand alone DVD players and in-dash CD players will probably be dumping WMA support in leu of AAC or adding AAC support alongside the common MP3 and WMZ support.
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post #48 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

AAC huh? Do all the other players (e.g., Zune, etc.) support AAC now?

Yes, the Zune, mobile phones, PSPs and most portable players support AAC.
post #49 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post

The press release and commentary pushes "DRM free" but if other players that don't support AAC can't play the tunes doesn't DRM still exist? In other words, isn't AAC just Apple's own DRM?

Or is Apple opening up AAC so that these "DRM free" tunes can be played on any player that supports MP3?

AAC is an Audio Codec from the MPEG-4 standard. It was developed by the same organisation that developed mp3. It is an open standard that anyone is free to implement is exchange for a licensing fee.

Learn more here.

Whilst most mp3-players don't support AAC, most mobile phones do. Network audio players such as Sonos and the Roku Soundbridge support AAC.

Hopefully this move will lead to more hardware companies finally adopting AAC.
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post #50 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post


The press release and commentary pushes "DRM free" but if other players that don't support AAC can't play the tunes doesn't DRM still exist? In other words, isn't AAC just Apple's own DRM?

Or is Apple opening up AAC so that these "DRM free" tunes can be played on any player that supports MP3?

Replying to myself but another thought....will the DRM free 256 tracks be playable on any player while the DRM protected 128 tracks will still be lcoked onto Pods?
post #51 of 161
edit: removed duplicate answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxy View Post

Won't most players now have a major reason to support AAC. Should be interesting to see how this announcement changes the market. Will AAC now become the dominant codec for non-Apple music players?

By supporting AAC, the players could now play iTunes content (EMI only)... a small extra reason to support it, but one that grows as other labels come onboard. iTunes won't encourage that in any way.

The lawsuits for .mp3 patents could add to this though.... Maybe some players will look into AAC instead.
post #52 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post

Replying to myself but another thought....will the DRM free 256 tracks be playable on any player

Any player that does AAC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post

while the DRM protected 128 tracks will still be lcoked onto Pods?

Yes.
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post #53 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxy View Post

I should imagine that will this change the digital music player market as well. Won't most players now have a major reason to support AAC. Should be interesting to see how this announcement changes the market. Will AAC now become the dominant codec for non-Apple music players?

I think that it is quite likely there will be an industry wide move towards AAC (of course, they would now that all of my music is mp3! ). As I'm sure y'all remember that series of lawsuits recently affecting a lot of the companies that rely directly or indirectly on mp3. I don't know the outcome.. Has the case even been heard yet? mp3 is pretty crappy anyway..

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post #54 of 161
That tosses out the conspiracy that Apple needs to lock people into iTunes and iPods.
post #55 of 161
Jobs interview on in a minute on CNBC
post #56 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyboy View Post

here's hoping this is step 1 on the road to the death of drm.

step two? microsoft

Step 2, take the RIAA to court under RICO charges.
post #57 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

EMI is taking NO risk in doing this. Remember the whole premise of the move is that pretty well every track on earth is available FOC if you can be bothered to look for it; but a large and viable number of people choose not to. Its about the service not the product... same with the iTunes store... there is no downside for Apple here and its the smartest thing EMI have done in years.

You are so correct, there is no risk, most music has already been ripped and available oon the Internet for free, and new albums are made available this way within minutes.

People that will not pay for music will continue to do so, and those that will pay will get a nicer (but bigger) download.

Lets see how long it takes for the rest of the labels to jump on board.
Most of those 30 cents go to the label, so it is more revenue.
post #58 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

Jobs interview on in a minute on CNBC

Alright...so, what did he say? (At work.... )
post #59 of 161
here is the actual audio announcement by Steve jobs
http://www.trolano.com/EMI_Pressconference/
post #60 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post

First time poster but long time reader and Apple shareholder.

The press release and commentary pushes "DRM free" but if other players that don't support AAC can't play the tunes doesn't DRM still exist? In other words, isn't AAC just Apple's own DRM?

Or is Apple opening up AAC so that these "DRM free" tunes can be played on any player that supports MP3?

I don't think any other players support AAC, and iTunes still only syncs to iPod, so this still locks the songs into the Apple system. It doesn't offer any more "freedom" to the average user, except to copy the files and give them to friends who also use the Apple system.

What I found interesting is the increase in bitrate. If they had kept the non DRM at 128 kbs, that would have kept pirating fairly low, since most music-sharing communities don't like/allow that low-quality material. Pushing it up to 256k makes it of more interested to a lot of people.

I think it's kind of strange that Apple sticks with such crappy standards in it's music and video encoding - they seem to expect that their users pay a premium for computer hardware but not for audio and video systems, where the glaring lack of quality inherent to iTunes audio and video really becomes obvious...

Also, the extra 30 cents per track is to pay for the extra bandwidth Apple will use to upload songs with are double the size...
post #61 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

That tosses out the conspiracy that Apple needs to lock people into iTunes and iPods.

No, you still need an iPod to play AAC files, and you can still only sync iPods with iTunes. This announcement mean dick all to people who want to use a different player or different software.
post #62 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

No, you still need an iPod to play AAC files, and you can still only sync iPods with iTunes. This announcement mean dick all to people who want to use a different player or different software.

ur going kookoo

iTunes will sync with ipods that true.
But DRM-free AAC will work on ANY player that can play AAC, including Zune.

ur other different software whatever u might be using doesn't give u DRM free music. so what are u complaining about.
post #63 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

I don't think any other players support AAC, and iTunes still only syncs to iPod, so this still locks the songs into the Apple system. It doesn't offer any more "freedom" to the average user, except to copy the files and give them to friends who also use the Apple system.

What I found interesting is the increase in bitrate. If they had kept the non DRM at 128 kbs, that would have kept pirating fairly low, since most music-sharing communities don't like/allow that low-quality material. Pushing it up to 256k makes it of more interested to a lot of people.

I think it's kind of strange that Apple sticks with such crappy standards in it's music and video encoding - they seem to expect that their users pay a premium for computer hardware but not for audio and video systems, where the glaring lack of quality inherent to iTunes audio and video really becomes obvious...

Also, the extra 30 cents per track is to pay for the extra bandwidth Apple will use to upload songs with are double the size...

If you read the other posts here you'll see you're wrong - pretty much every other mp3 player supports AAC. Most mobile phones support it too.

Pirating is not an issue - pirates can always get their music from some source, and they'll probably get it before its even on iTunes. DRM hasn't prevented any music getting on to p2p systems has it?

AAC is better quality (per bit) than MP3 - I'm not sure why you think its a "crappy standard"...

The extra 30 cents is not going to be paying for bandwidth - currently apple only take a few cents from the normal DRM price, they're going to get at most 5 cents from that 30 cents, and possibly none at all..
post #64 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel View Post

bit*h bit*h nag nag... whatever. they could probably offer you the music for free and on a silver plate and you'd still complain...

I categorically disagree with what you are saying and I believe that your point is invalid.

Mod Edit: "Shut up" does not add to the conversation. I thought this might be more appropriate.
post #65 of 161
Quote:
Also, the extra 30 cents per track is to pay for the extra bandwidth Apple will use to upload songs with are double the size...

EMI said they would charge more for DRM free music, its not Apple's decision. I'm sure iPod profits more than make up for what Apple has to pay in bandwidth.
post #66 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

No, you still need an iPod to play AAC files, and you can still only sync iPods with iTunes. This announcement mean dick all to people who want to use a different player or different software.

You can download the songs via iTunes and do the old-fashioned USB drag-and-drop method with a lot of players.

You can also convert the iTunes songs into $OTHER_FORMAT. At 256 Kbps, you can make a quality re-encoding, and without DRM, it can be digital->digital, instead of digital->analog->digital.
post #67 of 161
Zune Audio:

Windows Media® Audio Standard (.wma): Up to 320 Kbps, CBR and VBR, up to 48-kHz sample rate

MP3 (.mp3): Up to 320 Kbps, CBR and VBR, up to 48-kHz sample rate

AAC (.mp4, .m4a, .m4b, .mov): Up to 320 Kbps, Low Complexity (LC), up to 48-kHz sample rate
post #68 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

If you read the other posts here you'll see you're wrong - pretty much every other mp3 player supports AAC. Most mobile phones support it too.

Here is the tech specs off Amazon for Zune. It says it supports AAC up to 320K.
http://www.amazon.com/Zune-Digital-M...292744-6137512

Here is same page for a Sandisk Sansa. It does not show support for AAC.
http://www.amazon.com/Sandisk-SDMX4-...5526493&sr=1-4

Here are Amazon's specs for a Creative Zen player. It does not show AAC support.
http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Zen-V...5526493&sr=1-9

I realize from another poster that AAC is an open standard that can be licensed. It seems that Apple is truly going DRM free on these 256K downloads but that other player manufacturers will need to license and support AAC.

Does anyone know if you can download AAC capabilities to a player? If not, then any players already in use or in stores or the distribution channel that don't currently have AAC support will not play these songs.
post #69 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

EMI said they would charge more for DRM free music, its not Apple's decision. I'm sure iPod profits more than make up for what Apple has to pay in bandwidth.

Thanks for pointing that out. This is EMI's call, not Apple's. It's available for all comers. They are not just doing this for AAC, but also MP3s and WMGs (see http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/te...ic.web.html?hp)

Apple can choose to play along or not. Indeed, Apple has not even bothered to post this on their website yet (at least, not that I could see) -- by now, they would have had all the info up and running if it was their call. They're probably getting more info themselves!
post #70 of 161
EMI music videos are also DRM free. Which means they can be played on Creative Vision or any other portable video player that plays MPEG-4.
post #71 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

What I found interesting is the increase in bitrate. If they had kept the non DRM at 128 kbs, that would have kept pirating fairly low, since most music-sharing communities don't like/allow that low-quality material. Pushing it up to 256k makes it of more interested to a lot of people.

I think it's kind of strange that Apple sticks with such crappy standards in it's music and video encoding - they seem to expect that their users pay a premium for computer hardware but not for audio and video systems, where the glaring lack of quality inherent to iTunes audio and video really becomes obvious...

Apple competes with piracy. Previous complaints about low-quality in iTunes can now be laid to rest, as Apple offers the same bitrate as most pirates, and also doesn't use DRM*. That removes the two most straightforward arguments against iTunes. The only other two are "I hate the record companies" and "I don't want to [or can't] pay for music".

In fact, when you get right down to it, an easy to find, reliable, safe download of a 256 Kbps song complete with cover art, in one of the most used and highest quality audio standards beats the crap out of a potentially virus-ridden, erratic-speed, download w/o cover art and only in MP3 format that you have to actively search for and hope you don't get sued over or get trash.

* = obviously I'm only talking EMI here.
post #72 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

EMI said they would charge more for DRM free music, its not Apple's decision.

Are you sure about that? I just listened to the press conference, and when someone asked about the price increase, the EMI guy very clearly said that they don't set the prices.
post #73 of 161

No. They can raise prices for any reason. At least here, we get something for the increase and eventually the market decides whether or not Fairplay DRM survives. In any case, the increase in price is a nice carrot for other companies to go DRM free if Apple can show that EMI's revenue and profit increased X amount with no corresponding decrease in CD sales...

Which is good enough in my opinion.

Vinea
post #74 of 161
@direwolf: AAC is an open standard. Other players can support it, and some already do. Besides, withouth DRM, you can convert your iTunes-purchased AAC files to whatever format you like.

@Ireland: Pluzeee. Why don't you ask Apple to send you free Macbooks while you are at it. They negotiated a milestone for users like you and me, and now you want to niggle around? Are you German or what is wrong with you?
(I'm allowed to say that, cause I'm German.)
post #75 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

EMI is taking NO risk in doing this. Remember the whole premise of the move is that pretty well every track on earth is available FOC if you can be bothered to look for it; but a large and viable number of people choose not to. Its about the service not the product... same with the iTunes store... there is no downside for Apple here and its the smartest thing EMI have done in years.

Vinney, you think this is so, but they don't.

Now, Apple may agree with you, I really don't know. But the music companies don't. Whether they are right or wrong will be something we'll find out over the next few months, so it will be a simple thing to know.

Most people don't look for tracks on torrents, they just buy what they want. how this will affect them is hard to tell. If they are happy with the 128 quality, and they don't move songs around, they might not understand the difference, other than to see that it costs more.

I've never bought a song from any digital service, and I downloaded a few from torrents and newsgroups to see how the quality was, and it was BAD.

From my own encoding, I find that 256 is playable fairly well on my system, so I might buy some here.
post #76 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

Why go to 256, since Apple 'claims' the following from Dolby Labs



http://www.apple.com/quicktime/technologies/aac/

Is that a trick question?

You understand marketing, right?
post #77 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post

Does anyone know if you can download AAC capabilities to a player? If not, then any players already in use or in stores or the distribution channel that don't currently have AAC support will not play these songs.

Generally speaking, it requires hardware. There are software AAC players for portable music devices, but to use them you generally need to hack your device to run Linux or Rockbox or something. You can check here for a sample list of AAC supporting players

Really, I don't see compatibility with other players as a major Apple concern. If it works with other players, fine, but their decision to go with AAC was probably based on quality and consistency - they use ISO MPEG standards across the line in Quicktime and iTunes (AAC, MP4, h.264) It's unlikely they'd ever jump from MPEG-4 (AAC) to MPEG-1 (MP3).
post #78 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Not to sound cynical, but I wonder which of the bands in that Wikipedia list might be excluded from going DRM-free because of licensing or what have you?

And to continue in my slightly cynical line of thought, how long now before see a headline that reads "Universal buys EMI, Shuts Down DRM Free Experiment?"

With that said, this might get me to actually start buying music from the iTunes Store (or at least EMI artists) coupled with the Complete My Album feature. Maybe if they could hurry up and get the DRM-free Depeche Mode tracks out there...

For those of you who have read through the article too quickly, here is the very first sentence:

Quote:
Apple today announced that EMI Music's entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunes Store worldwide in May.

That takes care of the "how many bands" question, as well as the "will it be here in Europe?" as well.
post #79 of 161
post #80 of 161
Quote:
Are you sure about that? I just listened to the press conference, and when someone asked about the price increase, the EMI guy very clearly said that they don't set the prices.

I cannot find the article where EMI said months ago it would charge more for DRM free music.

No EMI did not set the $1.29 price but they charge Apple more, for Apple to cover expenses pushes the price over .99c.
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