Music industry set to abandon DRM shocka



Will they ever learn? Perhaps…

By [Theo Valich](javascript:__doPostBack(‘article_body$lnkEmailForm’,’’)): Sunday 04 February 2007, 17:48

SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE. After all the lawsuits we’ve been reporting about, all the fiasco’s we’ve been through (Microsoft incompatible trio MSN-Plays For Sure-Zune), and now, it seems that music industry executives are finally thinking with their senses and not with their ill-fated techno-paranoid logic. During Music 2.0 conference in Los Angeles, a lot of speakers are confirming that the time has come to either drop the DRM completely, or enable complete interoperability between various devices and services such as iTunes, Zune, Sansa, Rhapsody, eMusic, Yahoo, Napster, Limewire, Walkman etc.

Sales of CDs continue to drop, but it seems that musical industry is still full of them and they do not realise that people don’t want to buy CDs because they’re offering same 16-bit 44 kHz stereo sound for the past 20 years, but ok, at least some progress has been made.

Several labels teamed up with Yahoo, putting experimental sales of MP3 files with brilliant artists such as Norah Jones and alleged artists Jessica Simpson and Jesse McCartney alongside those DRM-filled ones.

Results were surprising to say the least, and executives of those labels are now pre-announcing that they will be increasing the number of DRM-free MP3 files that are able to reproduce on any device that a buyer owns. It comes as a shock that now an user of legally bought content can reproduce his files throughout his place of living, not just on a single device.

I just might start buying regular music again, instead of downsampling tracks to MP3 format from my music DVD collection. You know, music with crystal clear 5.1 Dolby Digital or dts sound. Hmm…but that would mean I would not have high quality 5.1 soundtrack again. Nah, I’ll just continue to buy concert DVDs, thank you. B+ for effort, though. µ


I dunno… CDs still offer higher-quality than downloadable music. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve never actually downloaded a song off iTunes or anywhere else… I find the prospect of paying for a lossy file (and DRM-infested, to boot) repugnant. Admittedly, I’ve started buying DVD-Audio and SACDs (mostly classical albums, but not all) in about equal quantities to the CDs I purchase, but all of the 1700 or so songs currently on my iPod were ripped from CDs… zero downloaded. I have to admit the higher quality of DVD-A and SACD are great, but I don’t think I’ll stop buying CDs; at least not until there’s a way to rip music off its two successors… and maybe not even then. I do still buy albums on Vinyl, after all… in fact I’ve bought a number of albums multiple times between Vinyl and CD, and a couple even on the higher fidelity formats.