1. Apple Shaking DRM

    brian on 2007.04.03
    at 12:19 am

    Today was a great day for all fans of digital music. Apple announced the loss of DRM and the doubling of the quality of the music files it sells.

    I was hoping for lossless, you know, equivalent to CDs which have been around for about 20 years now. But I’m not going to whine about it.

    But I will complain about the people who do whine.

    Cory Doctrow is always the first person to bitch about everything Apple does. He claimed Jobs cried wolf when Jobs wrote his open letter to the record industry. Now is his day to eat crow, but don’t hold your breath. That’s just not his style.

    That also brings Ryan Block, writer at a site that publishes high tech PR announcements. he thinks:

    we can’t help but feel the whole thing is gestural at best, and subterfuge at worst.

    They get what they ask for, and then state that it’s an illusion. It’s incredible that they can keep up the whiny 5-year old just as well as Cory can. The world is a marketplace, if you don’t see something you like, then don’t buy it. Vote with your wallet. It’s the only thing that counts.

    Corporations don’t listen to their customers, just their dollars. And Apple’s betting the money’s where the DRM isn’t. I agree.

    Engadget does bring up one valid point:

    you’d think Jobs would be quick to encourage Disney-owned labels, like Hollywood Records, Lyric Street Records, Mammoth Records, and Walt Disney Records, to “embrace [DRM-free] sales wholeheartedly.”

    But, like most of the curmudgeons on this topic, they ignore that corporations move slowly, and have major political in-fighting. Steve might have a hunk of Disney stock, but he can’t willy-nilly steer the company. Heck, seeing that EMI was ready before Disney, Steve very well might have seen the trip to London for the announcement as leverage for his own intra-Disney political battles…

    Let’s call this what it is: a solid first step.

    And on to a bigger question:

    Which bands are on EMI? How can I figure that out, and when can I start buying those new tracks? I have gift cards to use! Record companies don’t get this point: you’re all but invisible to consumers, and they only notice you when you do something bad… see also: Sony Rootkit.

    [Updates: 1) EMI artist listing hopefully iTunes will make finding them easier. 2) These tracks should surface on iTunes in May. ]

    Posted in: Apple · Media · Music


    Comments (2)

    1. jake said on 2007.04.03 at 12:22 pm

      While I agree with your sentiment that it would help if EMI told us who they represented Wikipedia also could have helped you here. It almost does help to know which labels are under the EMI brand.

      List of artists signed to EMI

    2. jake said on 2007.04.04 at 03:33 pm

      There is one thing that’s been eating at me for a couple days now and another mention about it just pushed me over the edge.

      One of the complaints about this new service is that the files are only going to be released in AAC without their usual FairPlay layer. And while this opens up the music for other players it’s only going to help people with compatible hardware. Not all manufacturers build in the decoder.

      News Flash! There is no DRM on the files. You can re-encode them to whatever your little heart desires. It may be an extra step, but it’s not rocket science to take the music and make it into something that your music player supports.

      Sorry for the rant, I just couldn’t help myself…

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