EMI Music has announced that it will offer its song library without the digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that have proved to be unpopular. This will allow these songs to be played on a wide variety of devices, not just specific ones controlled by the DRM setup.
In addition, the DRM-free songs from EMI will available at a much higher bit-rate than the current versions.
"By providing DRM-free downloads, we aim to address the lack of interoperability which is frustrating for many music fans. We believe that offering consumers the opportunity to buy higher quality tracks and listen to them on the device or platform of their choice will boost sales of digital music," said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group.
The iTunes Connection
Apple’s iTunes Store is the first to offer EMI’s songs without DRM. iTunes will sell individual AAC formated tracks at twice the sound quality of existing downloads, with their DRM removed, at a price of $1.29/€1.29/ 0.99.
iTunes will continue to offer consumers the ability to pay $0.99/€0.99/ 0.79 for standard sound quality tracks with DRM still applied.
Complete albums from EMI Music artists purchased on the iTunes Store will automatically be sold at the higher sound quality and DRM-free, with no change in the price.
Consumers who have already purchased standard tracks or albums with DRM will be able to upgrade their digital music for $0.30/€0.30/ 0.20 per track. All EMI music videos will also be available on the iTunes Store DRM-free with no change in price.
Although theoretically any handheld or smartphone can play the DRM-less music files, an application with support for the ACC format is required.
Palm OS users with device running NormSoft’s Pocket Tunes 4 will be able to play these files.
The music players on the BlackBerry Pearl and 8800 come with ACC support.
Thanks to Hook for the tip.