Technology News: iTunes: Apple, EMI Promise Another Music Revolution
Apple and EMI are setting out to radically change the online music industry with a deal that offers iTunes customers premium versions of the record label’s songs with higher-fidelity audio and without DRM restrictions. DRM-free songs are playable on non-iPod music players. That could bring more customers to iTunes — but it could also lure them away from the iPod.
Ah, the mega business. Of course, many of the indie labels selling music on iTunes would have taken the option of selling DRM-free 256kbps files years ago… but were never given that option. As far as I know that option still does not exist for us. Nope, that option only exists for the mega corporations, in this case the very same record label that has released millions of CDs with built-in copy-protection. Witness the irony of having my Higher Octave catalog available on iTunes via EMI, without DRM and in higher 256kbps quality, while the SSRI catalog on iTunes – for the time being – is crippled by DRM and 128kbps quality.
A bit like the LiveEarth concerts to be staged in July – suddenly the big stars (Snoop Dogg?!?) are all green. Will Sting not fly his private jet to the concert?
But alas changes are happening and that is worth celebrating. Maybe within a year every label on iTunes will be offered the “EMI Option”, and maybe the July concerts will raise awareness on a large scale.
Update: Yesterday I asked AWAL, who distribute SSRI to iTunes, whether DRM-free 256kbps will become an option for the indie labels. The answer is yes, and we will take the option as soon as it becomes available.