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mherger
2007-04-02, 05:48
Hmm... the big change?

http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm

--

Michael

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4mula1
2007-04-02, 06:07
My favorite part of the press release:

Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group, said, "Our goal is to give consumers the best possible digital music experience. By providing DRM-free downloads, we aim to address the lack of interoperability which is frustrating for many music fans. We believe that offering consumers the opportunity to buy higher quality tracks and listen to them on the device or platform of their choice will boost sales of digital music.

Somebody does get it.

adamslim
2007-04-02, 07:15
Great: $1.29 vs 0.99, when the exchange rate is 1.97. Probably not lossless (?). Twice the price of a CD and worse quality - I think I'll pass :(

Linn seem to be leading the way, but even these cost more than their SACDs.

Adam

Steven Moore
2007-04-02, 07:32
A move in the right direction. The other labels must follow.
Quite good news for squeezebox owners too. Now you can listen to your itunes bought music, a lot of people don't mind the lower quality, I don't.

der_max
2007-04-02, 08:19
http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm :


"... EMI expects that consumers will be able to purchase higher quality DRM-free downloads from a variety of digital music stores within the coming weeks, with each retailer choosing whether to sell downloads in AAC, WMA, MP3 or other unprotected formats of their choice...."

.. so, hopefully flac also?!

gusi
2007-04-02, 09:18
I think the argument is why create all the bad-will when over 90% of the music is sold drm free on cds anyway.

I suppose that if they don't release the uncompressed version they still have something up their sleeve.

Let's hope you get decent tags with it.

mherger
2007-04-02, 11:07
> I think the argument is why create all the bad-will when over 90% of the
> music is sold drm free on cds anyway.

It isn't (at least not in Switzerland). Most main stream CDs are copy
protected. Although I was under the impression that this, too, was
retrogressive.

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Michael

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fairyliquidizer
2007-04-02, 12:32
http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm :


"... EMI expects that consumers will be able to purchase higher quality DRM-free downloads from a variety of digital music stores within the coming weeks, with each retailer choosing whether to sell downloads in AAC, WMA, MP3 or other unprotected formats of their choice...."

.. so, hopefully flac also?!

Dude, if it's lossless just fire up dbPoweramp (or similar) and convert it. Lossless without DRM means that all lossless formats should be equivalent (all can be converted to your format of choice). EDIT: my Bad, it doesn't promise lossless. Just higher quality and twice the quality from iTunes.

I came on here to say "Wooohoo!". This is great for people who want to buy single tracks or have the convenience of a download. Late at night I like to browse iTunes resisting the temptation to buy DRM infected muck (I don't always succeed). Now I can have lots of fun. We just need to get farer UK prices.

We also need variable pricing so old stuff can be bought cheaply. I went to www.fopp.co.uk (the physical shop) yesterday and bought a 25 track double album compilation with quite a few good tracks for 3. Try doing that in iTunes! Part of the reason I bought the CD was to get Needles and Pins which I love but only had as an iTunes DRM purchase.

I'd also like an upgrade to lossless on the tunes I have bought from iTunes. In short the journey isn't over but this is the beginning of the end of DRM and I could start to look forward to the day when I no longer have to buy my CDs (I only rip them anyway!).


Fairy

Mark Lanctot
2007-04-02, 12:38
Dude, if it's lossless just fire up dbPoweramp (or similar) and convert it. Lossless without DRM means that all lossless formats should be equivalent (all can be converted to your format of choice).

It's not lossless though. 256 kbps.

So close, yet so far.

I agree, on pop 256 kbps is an improvement. But you always have that lingering doubt - could it be better? Am I missing anything? Just that little niggle in the back of your mind that's enough to make me rip everything in FLAC.

fairyliquidizer
2007-04-02, 12:47
It's not lossless though. 256 kbps.

So close, yet so far.

I agree, on pop 256 kbps is an improvement. But you always have that lingering doubt - could it be better? Am I missing anything? Just that little niggle in the back of your mind that's enough to make me rip everything in FLAC.

Yeah my mistake. At 256kbps the difference should be undetectable except for the worst problem samples. However without it being lossless transcoding will be ugly. To me you need lossless to get true portability.

It's a step in the right direction and the bitrate is fine if you aren't seeking to escape lock in. I bet this is why apple kept it lossless.

However I bet someone else will beat them to it, like Napster with WMA lossless.

Fairy

SteveEast
2007-04-02, 12:50
"Complete albums from EMI Music artists purchased on the iTunes Store will automatically be sold at the higher sound quality and DRM-free, with no change in the price."

That's tough to resist for people like me who already have a hard time telling the difference between 128kbps AAC and lossless.

Steve.

Ben Sandee
2007-04-02, 13:33
On 4/2/07, adamslim <adamslim.2of27b1175523601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
> lossless (?). Twice the price of a CD and worse quality - I think I'll
> pass :(


You get your CD's for $5? You can buy entire albums for $9.99 @ 256Kbps AAC
-- that's pretty good quality although not suitable for an audiophile
probably. As other's have said, FLAC could conceivably be offered by
someone (but not by Apple of course).

Ben

Kevin O. Lepard
2007-04-02, 15:37
I think this is great news and a big step in the right direction.
Now if they would only sell FLAC or even Apple Lossless.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

Kevin O. Lepard
2007-04-02, 15:41
>You get your CD's for $5?

I frequently get album for <$10, shipped, on the used market. That's
my preferred method of getting entire CDs since I get a legal,
DRM-free, lossless version of the music with a physical backup.

Still, for singles, the 256 Kbps AAC is going to be tempting. I'm
still hoping for lossless of some kind, though. I suspect it won't
come because the bandwidth is so much higher and the market (to my
eyes) is too small.

Still I think it's good new overall.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

Ben Sandee
2007-04-02, 17:02
On 4/2/07, Kevin O. Lepard <kolepard002 (AT) charter (DOT) net> wrote:
>
> >You get your CD's for $5?
>
> I frequently get album for <$10, shipped, on the used market. That's
> my preferred method of getting entire CDs since I get a legal,
> DRM-free, lossless version of the music with a physical backup.


Sure, when you factor in used sales all comparisons will favor the used
dics. The OP was saying this was not cost effective for entire CD's and
that isn't really true because of the special price they have for entire
albums.

Ben

tyler_durden
2007-04-02, 17:48
You know, a few years ago, American Airlines did a big ad campaign about how they pulled a bunch of seats out of their planes to give their passengers more room, because they really care about passenger comfort. At that point we were supposed to feel really good about AA because they were treating us customers so nicely. But who added those extra seats in the first place and why didn't they give a crap about customer comfort then?

Now we have itunes and emi pulling the same stunt. First they take away sound quality and add restrictions. Then they give you back what they took away, bit by bit, all the time racheting up the price. I guess they figure that if people were dumb enough to buy into the restrictions and compression in the first place they won't be smart enough to realize that they are paying 2x what they used to for the same product (albeit with hardware restrictions due to the proprietary format). This is one instance where it is quite clear what the company thinks of their customers:... baaaaaaa. baaaaaaaa.

And why would anyone prefer apple lossless to an open source format such as flac? Is it because you like being restricted to buying apple hardware or paying a higher price for a non-apple, but licensed player? Oh yeah, I forget. You were suckered into buying apple lossless music from itunes and now they have you by the short hairs because you can't play your library on anything but apple hardware...

Lesson to be learned: don't buy proprietary/restricted music formats or hardware.

baaaaaaa. baaaaaaaa.

TD

Jazz1
2007-04-02, 19:17
Well I welcome this development because I do have about 2,000 iTunes songs. I know ouch, and I've see the light. I buy CD and rip them myself as Apple Lossless. However, if I can upgrade some of those 2,000 songs then I'd be a happy man. So what is it going to take to get those to run on my Squeezebox3? Does the SB support ACC with no DRM? Will I have to convert those non-DRM ACC files to something SB can deal with.

The offer to purchase the rest of partially purchased iTunes Store albums is interesting. According to iTunes they will cut me a hot deal on 644 partially purchased, by me, albums. Heck a mere $4,000 or so and it can all be mine ;)

All in all I hope we see more legal non-DRM music flow via online services.

tyler_durden
2007-04-02, 19:51
I know ouch, and I've see the light. I buy CD and rip them myself as Apple Lossless.

Ripping them as apple lossless keeps you locked into proprietary playback hardware. The bigger your AAC library gets, whether you buy or rip the files yourself, the more locked-in you become.

Good luck!

TD

Marauder
2007-04-02, 19:56
I guess they figure that if people were dumb enough to buy into the restrictions and compression in the first place they won't be smart enough to realize that they are paying 2x what they used to for the same product (albeit with hardware restrictions due to the proprietary format).

Actually, AAC is NOT a "propriatary format", rather it is a standard format and part of MPEG specifications. Apple's DRM is proprietary to Apple, but the AAC music format is not. Also, these newer higher quality tracks are not twice the price but rather only a third more ($1.30 vs $0.99) for individual tracks. And the price for full albums at the higher quality are supposed to remain the same) Which still comes out cheaper than buying a physical CD, new, from the store. Even my Linux box can play unprotected AAC without hassle. And AAC gives a better audio quality then the more common (but patent encumbered) mp3 at the same bitrate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Audio_Coding


And why would anyone prefer apple lossless to an open source format such as flac?

Only because we would more likely see iTunes selling Apple Lossless (which isn't AAC) then FLAC. But if we have an unprotected file in one Lossless format such as Apples Lossless format, it can be transcoded into any other lossless format such as FLAC without any loss of quality (of course if we transcode it to a lossy format it's a different story...)

I would love to be able to download lossless and DRM Free music in FLAC. And I can and have http://www.thephiladelphiaorchestra.com/


Is it because you like being restricted to buying apple hardware or paying a higher price for a non-apple, but licensed player?

There are plenty of non-apple players that play AAC files (and while there are patent licenses required for the format, no special permission from Apple is required. In fact, AAC patent licensing is a LOT less restrictive then say the de-facto "standard" of mp3. Apple does not even license their DRM), its just that Apple's iPod is the most popular and best known example. Heck, even Microsoft's Zune supports unprotected AAC.


Oh yeah, I forget. You were suckered into buying apple lossless music from itunes and now they have you by the short hairs because you can't play your library on anything but apple hardware.

Actually, iTMS currently does not sell any lossless files, until this announcement it's all been 128kbit AAC within a DRM wrapper. Even this "upgrade" is going to be 256kbit AAC, not Apple Lossless. iTunes itself can convert unprotected AAC files to another format (such as mp3 which is supported by 99% of players) and there are plenty of other apps that can convert it too. The only "lock in" is provided by the DRM which goes away when it goes away. You can take an non-DRM m4a file right NOW (as opposed to a DRM-ed m4p) and convert it into a format that will play on just about every digital music player ever sold using no software but iTunes itself. And for DRMed files there are ways to do that too, iTunes will gladly burn DRMed files as an Audio CD.

Personally, I think this is a great step and look forward to this "going live". I have several tracks that I plan to utilize the upgrade option on and several more that I plan to purchase once these DRM Free, 256kbit tracks become available.

Oh, and while my Fiancee does, I don't own an iPod. All of my music players are non-Apple. My portable players are manufactured by Rio and Archos. As I said, iTunes will gladly burn purchased music to CD (and there are other things floating around the "grayer areas" net that I will not mention here).

Marauder
2007-04-02, 20:02
Well I welcome this development because I do have about 2,000 iTunes songs. I know ouch, and I've see the light. I buy CD and rip them myself as Apple Lossless. However, if I can upgrade some of those 2,000 songs then I'd be a happy man. So what is it going to take to get those to run on my Squeezebox3? Does the SB support ACC with no DRM? Will I have to convert those non-DRM ACC files to something SB can deal with.

I play non-DRMed AAC files on my Squeezeboxes all the time. I just needed the right support libraries installed on the server (libfaad, I'm running Linux.) And don't remember having to do anything else special, it "just worked". There are other threads here with people having difficulty but for me it was painless.

amcluesent
2007-04-02, 23:33
Did anyone hear EMI say they there were re-ripping to 256, not just transcoding from the 128 library and increasing the bit-rate on the files? ;-)

adamslim
2007-04-03, 05:39
You get your CD's for $5? You can buy entire albums for $9.99 @ 256Kbps AAC
-- that's pretty good quality although not suitable for an audiophile
probably. As other's have said, FLAC could conceivably be offered by
someone (but not by Apple of course).

The UK price is not quite so generous - it comes out just above $15. Many of the CDs I buy are classical box sets that can work out at well under $5 per CD, brand new, normally buying from US sellers in Amazon.co.uk's marketplace.

I do see this as a step in the right direction, but it is hardly a leap, and will not make me buy anything from iTunes. I still prefer the CD approach where I have a good back-up, lossless with no DRM and sleeve notes to read on the tube home. And it's cheaper.

To take Tyler Durden's point further, in ten years someone will start marketing CDs, encouraging people to abandon the traditional download approach for all of those advantages - all for just 25% more than the download price. Bargain!

Adam

nicketynick
2007-04-03, 05:51
Did anyone hear EMI say they there were re-ripping to 256, not just transcoding from the 128 library and increasing the bit-rate on the files? ;-)

Huh, that's a good question.......
They wouldn't be that stupid, would they?
Quite possibly, - they might be afraid that their customers find 256 doesn't sound right, so they had better stick with something that sounds like 128........

Mark Lanctot
2007-04-03, 06:34
A dissenting opinion:

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=38678

GoCubs
2007-04-03, 06:45
Did anyone hear EMI say they there were re-ripping to 256, not just transcoding from the 128 library and increasing the bit-rate on the files? ;-)
A while back I saw a copy of the software that Apple gives out to music contributers and it actually has the option for them to submit them "losslessly". I'm not sure if this was always an option and I can't remember if it defaults to lossless for new submissions, but hopefully EMI has been submitting them this way which would be easy to transcode to 256. Hopefully Apple wouldn't give you the option to download a 256 version is the source wasn't at 256 or better.

-Greg

Siduhe
2007-04-03, 09:59
A dissenting opinion:

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=38678

I have to say, I thought the timing of the announcement was a bit suspect given the Commission decision to open an enquiry into Itunes was taken early last week:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/d7ad18c4-e17f-11db-bd73-000b5df10621.html [will work for a few days before becoming subscription only]

The analysis here is one of the better I've seen too:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/6cd1ff72-e181-11db-bd73-000b5df10621.html [will work for a few days before becoming subscription only]