Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,188
13,819
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

9to5Mac believes that Sony BMG will soon begin offering their music catalog to Apple in the iTunes Plus format. iTunes Plus is Apple's marketing term for higher quality (256kbit) audio tracks without any copy protection (DRM). Apple first started selling iTunes Plus tracks from EMI in May, 2007.

Despite Apple's willingness to sell DRM-free music, the other major record labels have withheld this ability from the company in an effort to reduce iTunes' marketshare in digital music downloads. The biggest beneficiary appears to be Amazon who currently offers DRM-free digital downloads from all four major music studios.

Sony BMG's iTunes participation would leave Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as the remaining Apple holdouts. If true, Macworld San Francisco could be a possible announcement date for the new agreement.

Article Link: Sony BMG to Offer DRM-Free Music on Apple's iTunes?
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
man, the big 4 are so stupid ... this should have happened a long time ago.

Well not necessarily (well yes, they are stupid but not in this case) because if they just give into iTunes with DRM-free material they would (as the post said) just be giving more power to the iTunes store and lose even more power in any negotiations
 
Comment

J the Ninja

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2008
1,824
0
Geez, finally. The service has been out there for HOW long? I swear, the music industry has to be one of the most ridiculously bone-headed group of corporations ever.
 
Comment

MacTraveller

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2008
244
0
man, the big 4 are so stupid ... this should have happened a long time ago.


Yes, this should have happened long ago. The Big Four clearly are stupid for having snubbed Apple, knowing that iTunes Store is still the MOST profitable and highest revenue-generating music store on the Internet.

iTunes Store is possibly the ONLY online music store that greatly encourages its customer-base to obtain and purchase music legally. The rest of the garbage sites (Napster, Limewire, and assorted junk) all they do is encourage piracy.

I guess Sony BMG learned the hard way... and finally they got a clue, and are NOW begging to go back to Apple and wanting to sell their DRM-free 256kbps hi-quality albums via the iTunes Store.

Regardless, I'm glad that Sony's albums will go 256 hi-quality now.... since Sony Classical and other Sony music labels have some of the best genre recordings in existence. EMI stuff is good too, but EMI selection is not as big.
 
Comment

orbitaldesign

macrumors newbie
Sep 27, 2007
12
0
This is a music upgrade that will make a dent in the ol' wallet.

Do we still have to pay for upgrades since they're all the same price now?

I'll be honest, I don't care whether it has DRM or not, I just want the higher quality.
 
Comment

MacTraveller

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2008
244
0
Well not necessarily (well yes, they are stupid but not in this case) because if they just give into iTunes with DRM-free material they would (as the post said) just be giving more power to the iTunes store and lose even more power in any negotiations

No, your statement is wrong. The Big Four, at this moment, would not cede any further bargaining power to Apple if they are now to allow their DRM tracks to Apple. Fact is, The Big Four have already made their DRM tracks available to other venues such as Amazon.... so it's NOT like Apple iTunes will be some all-godly-powerful exclusive seller of their DRM tracks. Customers will have a choice to obtain DRM tracks from other sellers other than Apple.... be it Amazon, Walmart, or whomever.
 
Comment

MacTraveller

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2008
244
0
Do we still have to pay for upgrades since they're all the same price now?

I'll be honest, I don't care whether it has DRM or not, I just want the higher quality.

The higher quality 256kbps tracks clearly sound a lot better.... they are sharper, crisp and sound a lot better if you have good audio hardware. Many of the 128-bit tracks sound muddy.
 
Comment

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,210
4,131
Sony BMG has done little of intelligence in the digital space, but I hope this is the beginning of a new age with them.

I own a ton of their music, and I will upgrade the day I can. (The same goes for the other labels.)

I hope all of them realize that they are losing a lot of potential money here by sticking with drm on itunes. (and gaining nothing by "protecting" their music.)
 
Comment

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
19,057
1,525
New Zealand
This'll be good; Sony BMG is not available as MP3 on the local site Digirama, so this move will make the vast majority of music available DRM-free in NZ.
 
Comment

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,806
3,048
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
Don't count your chickens... as of now it's just a rumor.

Of COURSE this is in the industry's best interest. However the music labels have shown themselves to be dinosaurs many times. Some of them still think they can avoid that asteroid strike if they just refuse to look the direction from which it's coming.
 
Comment

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,680
274
This sounds great, but Apple really needs to do something about the upgrade pricing. 30 cents/song when the stuff is now the same price? Nononononono. I wouldn't mind paying some one-time fee of $5 or something since it would tax their servers/equipment, but c'mon. I'm not going to pay 30 cents/track so George Carlin (RIP) is at 256k.
 
Comment

flottenheimer

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2008
1,264
278
Up north
DRM free music is the only way forward.
The next thing Apple needs to do is to drop AAC (which isn't compatible with everything) and switch to MP3 (which is compatible with everything).

...oh, and before you even get started:
However in terms of whether AAC is better than MP3, the advantages of AAC are not entirely decisive, and the MP3 specification, although antiquated, has proven surprisingly robust in spite of considerable flaws. AAC and HE-AAC are universally accepted as better than MP3 at low bit rates (typically less than 128 kilobits per second). This is especially true at very low bit rates where the superior stereo coding, pure MDCT, and more optimal transform window sizes leave MP3 unable to compete. However, as bit rate increases, the efficiency of an audio format becomes less important relative to the efficiency of the encoder's implementation, and the intrinsic advantage AAC holds over MP3 no longer dominates audio quality.

Source: Wiki
 
Comment

Marx55

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2005
1,786
615
Lossless is also a must for me. I do not mind price, but need lossless.
 
Comment

macaco74

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2008
225
12
I m not sure I understand, do these labels have a special agreement with Amazon? Why can Amazon sell DRM free music but Apple cannot?
 
Comment

alphaod

Contributor
Feb 9, 2008
22,179
1,234
NYC
DRM free music is the only way forward.
The next thing Apple needs to do is to drop AAC (which isn't compatible with everything) and switch to MP3 (which is compatible with everything).

...oh, and before you even get started:

But I want my music to be lossless!
 
Comment

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,232
114
This isn't entirely altruistic on Sony's part.

DRM free means they can move people from iPod / iPhone to Walkman / Sony Ericsson Walkman Phones.

DRM free music is the only way forward.
The next thing Apple needs to do is to drop AAC (which isn't compatible with everything) and switch to MP3 (which is compatible with everything).

...oh, and before you even get started:

As Apple is still selling a lot of 128 bit Music then it makes no sense to do so immediately, because as your article points out at this bit rate the “superior stereo coding, pure MDCT, and more optimal transform window sizes leave MP3 unable to compete”.

By the time all their Music is 256 AAC, then almost everything will play AAC anyway, so there is no point changing. Re-encoding all Music in another format would be reasonably expensive and I doubt most customers would notice or care, because they're used to buying AAc anyway.
 
Comment

Amigalander

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2008
143
14
Piracy exists because it's cheaper and, more importantly, because it's more CONVENIENT.

The music (& movie) industry assume all their customers are thieves. The truth is that most people have flexible morality. When the choices are easy, they will choose to do the right thing. When the choices are difficult, they will choose to do the easy thing.

So, factor in high prices AND inconvenience (DRM etc), and a lot of people turn to piracy. Most people don't LIKE to be thieves, but when pushed, will do it if it's easy.

So there are 2 approaches: Try to make piracy difficult, or try to make access to legal music easy.

Some in the industry choose path A: make piracy difficult. What a waste of time.
The enlightened ones choose path B: make legal music easy to get. Save everybody time and money.

As long as DRM exists.. piracy will flourish. When legal music is EASY to get, piracy will dwindle because most people won't choose to be thieves.

This is all my opinion of course. So I'd love to hear if you agree or why I might be wrong.
 
Comment

owl4x4

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2008
1
0
On the right path.

This is good news to me. Now all we need is DRM-free music in a lossless format (like ALAC), and we'll truely have a replacement for CDs.
 
Comment

organerito

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2008
366
0
Piracy exists because it's cheaper and, more importantly, because it's more CONVENIENT.

The music (& movie) industry assume all their customers are thieves. The truth is that most people have flexible morality. When the choices are easy, they will choose to do the right thing. When the choices are difficult, they will choose to do the easy thing.

So, factor in high prices AND inconvenience (DRM etc), and a lot of people turn to piracy. Most people don't LIKE to be thieves, but when pushed, will do it if it's easy.

So there are 2 approaches: Try to make piracy difficult, or try to make access to legal music easy.

Some in the industry choose path A: make piracy difficult. What a waste of time.
The enlightened ones choose path B: make legal music easy to get. Save everybody time and money.

As long as DRM exists.. piracy will flourish. When legal music is EASY to get, piracy will dwindle because most people won't choose to be thieves.

This is all my opinion of course. So I'd love to hear if you agree or why I might be wrong.

Hi,

This is my first post in this forum.

As I don't really like popular music and DRM, I buy my music either from Emusic or Amazon. Furthermore, music is encoded higher at emusic. As I am a musician, I will never get music from limewire or anything like that. Quality sucks. Those are my reasons why I won't buy music from itunes or limewire. Once it is DRM-free and encode higher than 160Kbs, I'll consider the idea. What I like about emusic and amazon is that it comes in MP3 format, so I can use it with my Apple and Creative MP3 players.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.