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

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  • Reply 61 of 160
    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.
  • Reply 62 of 160
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    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..
  • Reply 63 of 160
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    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.
  • Reply 64 of 160
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    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.
  • Reply 65 of 160
    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.
  • Reply 66 of 160
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    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
  • Reply 67 of 160
    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.
  • Reply 68 of 160
    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!
  • Reply 69 of 160
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    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.
  • Reply 70 of 160
    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.
  • Reply 71 of 160
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    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.
  • Reply 72 of 160
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I urge everyone here to copy and paste this in this link, or write some similar feedback there and send it to Apple. This is our chance to get heard people:



    "This EMI DRM-Free thing is good news. There are still a few small annoyances right now however; 1. The tracks cost more, if one still wants to go with the .99c a song thing, that will still encompass DRM. I don't think going DRM-free is a risky move for any of the two cpmpanies involved (Apple or EMI), it can only mean higher sales and more profit for both companies IMO, so the customer shouldn't have to pay for that luxury. 2. Another little niggle now is the gap where only a certain amount of songs on iTunes will be DRM free thus causing confusion. "Is this a DRM free song?" "Will the song I'm searching for be DRM free" etc. etc.



    I think a better overall solution would have been to drop DRM completely for all EMI content and keep existing bitrate songs DRM-free and .99c (128bit), and make them also 1.29c at double bitrate. This is the only solution IMO that could please all people properly, both consumers and audiophiles alike."




    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
  • Reply 73 of 160
    ak1808ak1808 Posts: 108member
    @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.)
  • Reply 74 of 160
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    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.
  • Reply 75 of 160
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    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?
  • Reply 76 of 160
    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).
  • Reply 77 of 160
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    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.
  • Reply 79 of 160
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    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.
  • Reply 80 of 160
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    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. Anyone can use AAC. It's a rare player that doesn't already have it. This puts the onus on those companies who haven't put AAC into their players.



    Don't think of MP3 as being a universial format. It isn't the best quality. In fact, it's being changed to raise the quality, but then it won't be the same, and possibly, encoders will have to be changed to play it. It also isn't free, though most people seem to think it is, so there is no advantage to it for the manufacturers.
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