More details on the EMI/iTunes deal has surfaced since yesterday. Short version: “EMI approached Apple about DRM free tracks, not the other way around”. And: “EMI is cool with any other music store doing DRM-free tracks. Those stores can put songs in any format they want. The iTunes premium price and AAC 256 kbps format are Apple’s Marketing decision”.
So what is the cool thing here? When other stores can pick any format they want, instead of having to pick one with DRM support (WMA unless you happen to be Apple), I have a feeling many will start offering MP3 files. And maybe also unprotected AAC. And hopefully higher bitrates. 256kbps MP3, or even 192kbps, doesn’t sound too shabby. If you can get DRM free, high-bitrate files, without the premium price that Apple charges, would you switch to another music store? Will we be seeing more aggressive pricing soon?
Why is this a big deal? Because DRM-free files can play on any platform, any software, and any portable player!
One place I listen to a lot of music, is in my car. And I don’t have an iPod adapter, so I’m still burning out CDs. My player can read both MP3 and AAC files however, as long as it’s not protected. This is good news for me! No more burning audio CDs, or burning and importing again in unprotected format. Hasta la vista DRM!
How will the loss of DRM affect YOU? Do you have any devices that will benefit from it?