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Apple and EMI just announced that the iTunes store will be selling EMI music in AAC format without DRM.

Jobs already expressed his feelings about DRM a few months ago, and now, with the partnership of EMI he made his (and probably everyone except Microsoft ) dream come true.

You can read a a full coverage of the press announcement on Word of Apple website or its transcript on AppleInsider, and also the official EMI and Apple press releases.

What is it going to happen starting from next May:

  • Singles (of EMI artists) will be sold in an AAC double quality DRM-Free format for $1.29/€1.29/£0.99
  • Users will be able to download the "old" format (with DRM and half the quality) for the same price at it is now: $0.99/€0.99/£0.79
  • Albums will be sold only DRM free at the same price as they are sold now
  • EMI music video will be available DRM-free at no charge

Speaking from a business point of view I should not be happy about that decision because my previous company in Italy is making money selling online music stores based on the Microsoft DRM, and my CTO in Esperia is now in Brasil collaborating with a company whose core business is building DRM enables servers.

But I think this is a very good move for Apple. DRM can be broken in a lot of ways, and if everything else fails you can always spend 5$ buying a cable, connecting your iPod to a laptop, and record the wave in order to have a new audio file. So why spending (or in this case, throwing away) heaps of money trying to find a way to prevent piracy?

The only thing I still don't get is why everybody is still making prices as if the US Dollar has the same value of the Euro!!

At today rate 1 Euro is 1.336 US dollars, which means that Italians, French and Germans are paying 30% more than Americans (€0.99 is $1.32). And even worst with Pounds: British are paying 60% more then US (£0.79 is $1.56). But that's another story.

UPDATE: Here is another post with a nice coverage of the press announcement and a possible "not-so-good" meaning of the Apple move.

I was also wondering about the next move by Microsoft. And here it is: Zune the next to drop DRM?

posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 1:13 PM

Comments on this entry:

# re: The end of online music stores as we know it?

Left by Lou at 4/3/2007 1:24 PM

I can relate to what you're saying - I remember when I lived in England during the 90's and going to the store to see a shirt or jeans that would cost $20 in the U.S. was selling for £20 instead...I used to joke that all they did was look at the US $ price tag, cross it out and stick a £ in its place!

# re: The end of online music stores as we know it?

Left by Nic Wise at 4/3/2007 2:32 PM

Hey, we pay $90-$120 for a pair of Levi's in NZ, which I paid $65 (NZ) in San Fran for... Life isn't fair :)

I think this is generally a good move. Be interesting to see what the other players do.

Comments have been closed on this topic.