Apple, EMI Promise Music Revolution

02007-04-03 | Internet, Music, World | 1 comment

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.

1 Comment

  1. lolly pop


    We distribute our music via cdbaby which distrubutes to all the online download entities like itunes. Will have to check into the DRM-free 256kbps capabilities.

    As for Sting arriving via private jet…

    Having worked in the ent. biz for many years, some of these “green” folks are the least green on the planet. How many square feet does any one individual need to live in? Living in gargantuan mansions, estates, castles, buildings requires a considerable amount of energy consumption to heat, cool, light, etc.

    Then there must be the latest and greatest brand new state of the art TV, sound system, computer and plethora of other gadgetry in each room. None of which are made from 100% recycyled materials. Furnishings, unless antiques (which fall into the reuse/recycle category) come into consumption of natural resources and energy expended to create play. Add to that the amount of water needed for acres of landscaping that is not indigenous to the area, water for pools, jacuzzis, water falls/scultures, cleaning, etc., and a single artist and his or her family causes consumption of the earth’s natural resources to skyrocket.

    As for all the hybrid vehicles, what happens to the batteries when they die? Are they biodegradable? Probably not.

    Wouldn’t it be better to figure out ways to make Mass Transportation more enviro friendly and available (logistically and fiscally) for everyone and have more people traveling around in one low emissions and low fuel consumption vehicle than lots of people traveling in their individual “earth friendly” cars that may seem enviro friendly until they need to replace the batteries or chuck the car into the trash? And what about the the rest of these “enviro friendly” cars — from the upholstery to the plastic in the dash, etc.? Are these parts made from 100% natural products and biodegradeable? Hardly.

    It might also be more enviro friendly if all music created was limited to downloads only. But this would be a problem for people without access to computers, unless of course, there were new types of music stores where people could go and download to their variuos devices.

    But devices should be made to be upgradeable (as well as biodegradable) as well. This of course, puts a crimp into the multi-billion iPod and other digital devices industry as they depend on creating newer gadgets. So what were left with are millions of discarded iPods, etc. However, I hear there are some small upstart companies you can send your old stuff too and they will refurb and resell as well as upgrade.

    And why do artists still use plastic jewel cases? I do know there are couple of companies that offer packaging of music product in 100% recycled post consumer waste and use only natural based inks so, with the exception of the CD itself, the packaging is 100% biodegradeable.

    A little research on the net would lead any recording arist to this simple fact. But go into any store (brick or click) that sells CD’s and most, if not all, are in plastic jewel cases that are shrinkwrapped in plastic and have booklets in them that are printed on high gloss paper (probably not 100% post consume waste) using inks that are not bio friendly.

    Sadly, some of the wealthiest and most well known people on the planet are the most hypocritical, intentionally or not, when it comes to their overwhelming concern for the planet Vs their excessive lifestyle and resource consumption, whether personal or business.

    Beside the cluelessness of the rich and famous, my other pet peeve is the lame architechtual addiction McMillionaires and even the middle classes have for vaulted ceilings in homes. What a waste of space that sucks up energy — since heat rises, where do you think all the heat goes in the winter? And the extra building materials required to build these ostentatious rooms — again, greed and materialism = unnecessary consumption of energy and resources. The TV show, Extreme Home Makeover, is the worst example of this type of design. They seem to have an addiction to great rooms — yeah, great big energy sucking rooms.

    Anyway, Mr. Liebert, since you have a significant following of fans both in the music biz and beyond, perhaps you might want to consider utilyzing an eco friendly duplication and packaging company for any future CD releases in physical format.

    Here’s one:

    BTW, love your music.



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