Given the extent of repeated rumours in the run-up to Christmas, it’s no great surprise that fresh reports this morning claim Apple could announce a fully DRM-free iTunes Store as soon as today.
The report claims Apple has also given agreement to flexible pricing on music, so labels will be able to charge slightly more for in vogue hits, though the cost of older tracks will fall to 79-cents in the US.
Passionato has become an award-winning digital music service, offering as it does top quality classical music downloads in an open format, but it may not be a long wait until record labels move to offer more music in high-quality FLAC and/or Apple Lossless formats, or so it appears.
While this season’s speculation continues to centre on claims Apple will introduce more major labels through its iTunes Plus service, a report from Topspin Media suggests the window of opportunity for purchase of a wide selection of music in lossless formats may be close to opening.
Nokia launched its ‘Comes With Music’ service in the UK in a fanfare of publicity, promising access to a huge host of music tracks along with free permanent downloads for a year – but now it looks like the company’s facing an unexpected problem – the DRM it uses to limit use of music acquired using the service has been cracked….
Electric Pig informs Nokia has chosen a Microsoft standard for its service, and new software called Tunebite can eliminate the DRM shrouded across Nokia’s ‘Comes With Music’ tracks.
We caught up with UK online music service 7digital’s chief executive Ben Drury this week. A seasoned digital music industry professional, he shared his insights on Apple’s music market challenges as competition proliferates, social networking in music, lossless music downloads and much more.
Distorted Loop:Why does music matter? Ben Drury: Although music is not defined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow_hierarchy_of_needs), I believe it must figure pretty highly on most people’s lists. In all cultures, with the possible exception of some extremist religious societies, music forms an integral part of self-expression, social cohesion, worship etc
You’ve been waiting for DRM-free music from all the major labels through iTunes, right? We reported on a “blink-and-you-miss-it” moment when tracks from majors blipped briefly in Apple’s iTunes Plus line-up? Just WTF is going down?
Negotiations may be narrowing toward closure – though at this point nothing is certain – will the labels join in or not? It’s late-night stone-faced deal make/break hardball, we reckon…
Out on the perimeter, reports are now coming in which explain just why the majors haven’t crossed the ‘T’s and dotted the ‘i’s just yet – and, it seems, each label is hard-faced on closing the deal on different points….
“We’d like to congratulate Amazon UK for finally entering the MP3 market albeit a little late,” he said. “We announced on September 16th that we were the first in Europe to achieve this. It’s great that general retailers like Amazon clearly recognise the importance of digital music for consumers and the MP3 universal music format which works on all devices.
Amazon opened up its iTunes competitor, the Amazon MP3 Store in the UK this morning.
Marking the launch of the store the company has launched a wave of aggressive price cuts on new albums from artists including Take That, Kings of Leon and Coldplay, making albums available for just £3.
The store, which offers music in the MP3 format free of stifling DRM, also offers flexible pricing – long a bone of contention between Apple and the music labels.