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Jobs to Labels- Lose the DRM & We'll Talk Price 459

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the ten-bucks-a-gig dept.
eldavojohn writes "Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been talking smack about DRM and has recently issued a verbal offer to major music lables stating that if they are willing to lose the DRM, he'd be willing to raise his 99 cent price for those iTunes songs. These tracks (such as the recent EMI deal) would also have better sound quality & cost about 30 cents more."
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Jobs to Labels- Lose the DRM & We'll Talk Price

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  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:32PM (#19022525) Homepage
    While on the one hand it is nice to see this pressure to get rid of DRM for "purchased" tracks, it is pretty disappointing to see that the move will also come with an increase in price. They gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?

    This is just a continuation of the trend towards higher prices for music, in spite of plummeting costs for media and distribution. Wax cylinders -> Lps -> tapes -> Cds -> downloads - it just gets easier to move the data, but the price never goes down!
    • by jimstapleton (999106) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:34PM (#19022557) Journal
      actually, from TFS, not just TFA, the higher prices will also come with higher quality audio.

      No DRM + higher quality audio = possibly worth a 30% increase in price
      • by garcia (6573) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:50PM (#19022913) Homepage
        No DRM + higher quality audio = possibly worth a 30% increase in price

        And yet CDs, which are DRM free, have the highest quality audio and will cost about the same, offer a physical medium, and packaging as opposed to what will be available online.
        • as the other reply said - not all CDs are DRM free.

          But also, I don't remember reading/hearing that the higher quality will not be CD quality. It is, in fact, possible, they could have higher quality.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by brunascle (994197)
            but the DRM CD's technically arent audio CDs, and the recent ones dont have the Comact Disc Digital Audio logo.

            to my knowledge, there are no real audio CDs with DRM.
        • by Kandenshi (832555) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:03PM (#19023131)
          CDs force you to buy all 10/15/20 tracks though. I don't mind paying (CD price) / ( # of tracks) for an individual song assuming the other factors are constant or close to it. I like being able to pick these 6 songs and ignore the rest.

          The physical medium is pretty worthless to me. Maybe even negative value since they create more waste and pollution than an additional file download does.

          There are occasions where the packaging is nice, but not very often for me. Most of it's just sitting in the garbage or in a drawer where I'd tossed all my CD cases. How much more would you be willing to pay on every CD for the inserts and such? 50 cents? $1.50?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by AndersOSU (873247)
            Does no one listen to CDs in their car anymore?

            The one and only reason I still buy CDs is to fill my 6-disc changer with new music. Yes I can, and have, burned CDs to listen to, but most of the time I prefer a coherent work, otherwise I'd be listening to my iPod, FM, or subscribing to satellite.

            In fact, if I had a little more tin-foil lying around I might suggest that the main reason cars still don't come standard with 1/8'' line-in is to sell more CDs.
        • by shark72 (702619) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:54PM (#19024113)

          "And yet CDs, which are DRM free, have the highest quality audio and will cost about the same, offer a physical medium, and packaging as opposed to what will be available online."

          I guess the lesson that we can learn from the success of the iTunes store is that people will pay extra for convenience, even if it means that they'll get a little less.

    • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:34PM (#19022569) Homepage
      two things:

      A) He needs to entice them to move forward with technology since the various RIAA labels are clearly run by dinosaurs.

      B) Want to point out when in the past century you could buy a single song (without DRM) for $1.29 (keeping inflation in mind)?
      • by CptNerd (455084)

        Want to point out when in the past century you could buy a single song (without DRM) for $1.29 (keeping inflation in mind)?
        Yeah, they were called "45's".

        I even remember when they were "78's"...
    • by pegr (46683)
      While on the one hand it is nice to see this pressure to get rid of DRM for "purchased" tracks, it is pretty disappointing to see that the move will also come with an increase in price. They gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?
       
      Because they are worth more (arguably...)
    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:37PM (#19022619)

      They gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?

      They're giving you something you do want at a (higher) price they think it's worth. The lower price you never paid for something you didn't want is irrelevant.

    • by Stamen (745223) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:42PM (#19022729)
      Love or hate Apple, at least they are using their current power to apply pressure in the right direction; no DRM. I don't mind the increase in price as much, because eventually they will increase it anyways based on inflation; so the bone Jobs is throwing them isn't very valuable, but he'll sell it like it is.

      I hate monopolies, personally, but in this case it takes Apple's virtual monopoly in this space to fight the other monopolies (I know they are really a group of companies controlling everything, but you understand what I'm saying) in the media space. So I'll stand next to Apple on this one; for the time being.

      • by pla (258480) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:07PM (#19023215) Journal
        in this case it takes Apple's virtual monopoly in this space to fight the other monopolies (I know they are really a group of companies controlling everything, but you understand what I'm saying) in the media space.

        You want the word "monopsony" rather than "monopoly", in the sense you used it (a single buyer, or in this case broker, exerting pressure on sellers).
      • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:59PM (#19024203) Journal
        Apple doesn't have a "Monopoly" in any sense of the word. They have a complete vertical market solution, which is not the same as monopoly. You are free to choose other market options that are reasonably close facsimile of what Apple produces, but you'll be giving up the virtually seamless integration by doing so.

        Apple's iPod and iTunes both handle two INDUSTRY standards for encoding, and ONE proprietary DRM feature, a DRM feature they (via Jobs) are trying to remove.

        I never got the gripe of you Anti-Apple whiners. Go, use Rio, or Zune, or whatever else is out there for playing MP3s and WMA (proprietary format) nobody is holding a gun to your head. Go, Use allofMP3 and any other source for Downloading Music. Hopefully you don't have to be a technical genius to get it all to work right, because if you do, then you're obviously missing the point of iTunes, iPod, iTMS and the whole integration thing. It Just Works (TM).

        I gave my wife an iPod last year for her birthday, she didn't even know what it was! The she picked up and used it, and started Ripping her CDs to the iPod right away. It just works for her, and it is "easy" for her. Which is the whole point, isn't it? Point Click Rip Sync.

        We got it hooked into the car, the iHome in the kitchen, the Main Whole House Stereo system, because "It Just Works(TM)".

        If you want to call that a Monopoly, fine, go ahead. I call it building a better mousetrap, and Apple has done a great job in making a Music Player Experience that is pleasant. Sorry if it doesn't support Ogg or Linux or whatever else you think it ought to. It does support MP3 and ACC, both open formats, and can rip, burn CDs quickly and easily, and support from many third party add-ons, and works both on Mac and Windows.

        So, I don't know what the beef is all about. It isn't the monopoly you think it is.

        • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Monday May 07, 2007 @03:17PM (#19025559)
          Microsoft doesn't have a "Monopoly" in any sense of the word. They have a complete vertical market solution, which is not the same as monopoly. You are free to choose other market options that are reasonably close facsimile of what Microsoft produces, but you'll be giving up the virtually seamless integration by doing so.

          Microsoft's Internet Explorer, MS Offfice and Windows handle many INDUSTRY standards, and ONE proprietary data format (*.doc).

          I never got the gripe of you Anti-Microsoft whiners. Go, use Apple, or Linux, or whatever else is out there for operating your computer, nobody is holding a gun to your head. Go, Use Firefox, Open Office and any other source for editing documents and surfing the web. Hopefully you don't have to be a technical genius to get it all to work right, because if you do, then you're obviously missing the point of Windows, IE, Office and the whole integration thing. It Just Works (TM).

          I gave my wife Windows last year for her birthday, she didn't even know what it was! The she picked up and used it, and started Surfing the web and editing documents right away. It just works for her, and it is "easy" for her. Which is the whole point, isn't it?

          We got it hooked into the Media Center in the kitchen, the Main Whole House Stereo system, because "It Just Works(TM)".

          If you want to call that a Monopoly, fine, go ahead. I call it building a better mousetrap, and Microsoft has done a great job in making an Operating System Experience that is pleasant. Sorry if it doesn't support Ogg or Linux or whatever else you think it ought to. It does support MP3 and ACC, both open formats, and can rip, burn CDs quickly and easily, and support from many third party add-ons, and IE and Office works both on Mac and Windows.

          So, I don't know what the beef is all about. It isn't the monopoly you think it is.
          • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday May 07, 2007 @04:02PM (#19026313) Journal
            If you don't see the difference between a solution to a SINGLE issue (Mobile Music Player) and an Operating System. OS is general purpose, it doesn't "do" anything (and restricting which applications run, and competing with those very same applications)??

            Okay, not sure I can explain it to you in a way that you can understand. But heck, let me try, in baby terms you might understand.

            Okay there is this Sandbox, made by SoftyMicro and there are a whole bunch of toys one can play with in the sandbox. Except that SoftyMicro has made the sandbox in such a way that it's own toys compete with all the other sandbox toys, and those other toys sometimes don't work right because SoftyMicro keeps changing the configuration of the sandbox. Then there was the case where SoftyMicro didn't actually have this certain kind of toy that Sandscape was making for the sandbox. After a while, it figured out that the Sandscape toy was a "threat" to all the other toys, and even the sandbox itself, and decided to compete with Sandscape's toy, and give the toy away to ANYONE buying the sandbox.

            Now the Sandscape company is only an example of this philosophy, and there are many other toys that SoftyMicro makes that it gives away so that others, even though they aren't really part of the sandbox.

            Along comes this company Peaches that has built this neat little toy called tToy, that plays in the sandbox, and even works on Peaches own Monkey Bars play area. This toy just is fun to play with, and has all sorts of interesting options and configurations. Additionally, some of those options are only available from Peaches tToyStore, but also has accessories and options available from many other places.

            There are also other toys very similar to Peaches tToy, some are less expensive, have some more features, but not nearly the same playing experience that tToy has.

            Now there is a group of kids who don't like the sandbox (too sandy), nor the Monkey Bars, and they play on the Swings. They complain about tToys "monopoly" (not related to the board game) because tToy and all the options are hard to get working while playing on the swings.

            Can you see the difference now?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by WiseWeasel (92224)
            The difference is that Apple is working to get all the content in industry standard formats, while Microsoft is trying to drive adoption of their proprietary formats and license them to other market players. One leads to a happy world where any new competitor can join the market and compete on equal footing, while the other leads to one single company's assured dominance over the industry. Apple leverages standard formats with vertical solutions, while Microsoft is in the format licensing business, trying t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Divebus (860563)
      Some of this crap isn't even worth $0.99. I get the higher quality encoding and dumping the DRM, but why pay a higher price? It's been proven time and again that a high price simply drives people to piracy.
      • by Lockejaw (955650) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:54PM (#19022967)

        Some of this crap isn't even worth $0.99. I get the higher quality encoding and dumping the DRM, but why pay a higher price?
        Because, unlike when you buy a CD, you can just pick the good tracks and not pay for the crap.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:46PM (#19022819) Homepage
      Jobs is pushing them to give away something they're not really competing on (DRM) to something they really are competing on (price). I'm sure he's seen that with DRMless songs, the iTunes store will take more sales from regular CDs. That's his game, now looking to see if the big labels will bite.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Capt'n Hector (650760)
      Well, adjusting for inflation since the iTMS was introduced in 2003, 99 cents becomes about $1.11 in 2008 dollars. So the price for a better product (higher bitrate, larger filesize, higher bandwidth/hosting costs, no DRM) comes in at less than 20 cents. Apple needs some leverage, since there's no economic reason for the RIAA to switch over to non-DRM music witout an incentive. Welcome to economics.
    • by hellfire (86129)
      CD's average $15 right now. With DRM on iTunes, most albums cost $10 for the whole shebang, regardless of the number of songs. Add 30% and you are up to $13. Which means an album on itunes is less than a CD still.

      Jobs is just using the store to promote his iPod and always has. He gets little profits from music sales. If you want music to cost less, break the RIAA first. That's your only choice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      they gave us something we didn't want in the first place, and now they're using the taking away of it to justify a higher price? WTF?

      Well, lots of sellers like to justify an increase in price, whether by touting better features or cost increases. What I like, if we ignore the quality issue of the pricing, is that the labels' allowing non-DRM'd songs to be sold for a higher price is admitting that DRM causes the product to be crippled.

      This is just a continuation of the trend towards higher prices for musi

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oboeaaron (595536)

      This is just a continuation of the trend towards higher prices for music, in spite of plummeting costs for media and distribution. Wax cylinders -> Lps -> tapes -> Cds -> downloads - it just gets easier to move the data, but the price never goes down!

      Wax cylinders were comparitively much more expensive than the modern equivalents. Two-minute Edison cylinders sold for $1 around 1900-1910, which was a good portion of a typical employee's weekly salary. Cylinders cannot be pressed like discs, so

  • Defeats the point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RockoTDF (1042780) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:34PM (#19022567) Homepage
    Thing is, if the price is raised above 99 cents, then you get into the $1+ range, at which point you might as well go out and buy the CD, defeating the point of iTunes if you want to buy entire albums/singles instead of just individual songs. Personally I'd rather pay 99 cents for a DRMed song and do the old burn/re-rip switcheroo and waste a 10 cent CD than pay extra for no DRM.
    • I'll start buying music via iTunes if (a) they lose the DRM and (b) offer a deal on buying entire albums. (Which I think would actually increase their bottom line, but I admit I'm not a marketer.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by remahl (698283)
        They have always had a deal on buying an entire album. And it's even more advantageous now that the per-track price has increased.
    • IIRC, with the EMI deal, they kept the price of the full album the same.
    • Re:Defeats the point (Score:5, Informative)

      by Echnin (607099) <p3s46f102@sneCHI ... l.com minus city> on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:44PM (#19022777) Homepage
      ...Except albums are still $9.99 without DRM and at the higher bitrate.
    • by Lockejaw (955650)

      Thing is, if the price is raised above 99 cents, then you get into the $1+ range, at which point you might as well go out and buy the CD
      Sure, the CD is cheaper than buying each track on the CD individually, but most people seem to just want a few tracks out of the ten to fifteen they have to pay for.
      The combo meal may be a better deal than ordering each item separately, but all I want is the burger.
  • Loose? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:35PM (#19022585)

    ...if they are willing to loose the DRM, he'd be willing to...

    loose? I don't normally point out spelling or grammar errors in comments, but come on, this is the article summary. Isn't an editor supposed to at least read these?

    As for the rest of this, is this supposed to be something new? He already made statements that said he'd offer all comers the same deal as EMI. I'm pretty sure the price was implied to be part of that deal.

    • by Slarty (11126)
      Whatever happened to LoseNotLooseGuy? He'd have been all over this, but I haven't seen him around for a couple of years.

    • Didn't Apple loose the DRM years ago? Isn't that how iTunes got started?
  • obvious (Score:4, Interesting)

    by User 956 (568564) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:36PM (#19022607) Homepage
    Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been talking smack about DRM

    Of course he is. He doesn't want to be caught sideways when Amazon unveils their DRM-free music service (which should be coming out this spring/summer)
  • Why would anybody pay more than 99 cents for a song? You can get a DRM free CD for about $10-$15. Sure if you only want 1 or 2 songs, then you're still saving money, but I don't think that paying more than 99 cents is going to do it for most people. I'm on eMusic, and I pay about 30 cents for a song. I still think it's a little pricey, considering what you end up getting in the end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Volante3192 (953645)
      Given the Sony rootkit fiasco, can you be certain that $15 CD is DRM free?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by lurker5 (937330)
      But you are also paying a monthly fee which you must factor in. If you're like me, who buys at the most 10 tracks a month, $1.30 is not that bad. No matter what the others say, $1.30 for a high quality DRM-free download with no montly fee is still a great deal.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        There's no monthly fee per say with eMusic. You pay a flat rate like $10, and you get to download 30 songs in the month. Given the option of using iTunes and spending $10 on 10 songs, or eMusic, and spending $10 on 30 songs, I'd pick eMusic. Even if you only download 10 songs, you're still getting the music DRM free. However, it's kind of a bad argument, because eMusic doesn't carry all the popular bands, and has mostly indie stuff. However, there's enough stuff that I can find to download that my $15
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SydShamino (547793)
          For the many, many, people who don't spend at least $10 a month on music, what you described is a monthly fee.

          (For the record, I've spend $15 so far this year, and that was for a physical two-CD compilation that also came with all the band's music videos on a dual DVD. I also "bought" one free CD download at Magnatune using a gift card they handed out at SXSW.)
  • by dcskier (1039688) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:39PM (#19022665)
    Can we still have the option of DRM w/ the lower price? I'm all for getting rid of the DRM on iTunes, but not for the expense of another $.30 a song. Plus the sound quality is fine for me right now, I'm not a audiophile and I'm sure those who are weren't using iTunes in the first place. This just kinda feels like when the cable company adds new features or channels and then feels free to raise your rates since they're making 'improvements' to your service that you didn't ask for.

    I thank Jobs for a step in the right direction, but it still has strings attached. Why should I have to pay a premium to own my music, errrr sorry I meant the RIAA's music.
  • by Vicegrip (82853) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:40PM (#19022677) Journal
    But we like suing people who prefer high quality audio ... we would prefer if all online music was 24kbs and required a new DRM key for each play session.

    We of the RIAA will resist this thing called "progress" until our lawsuits make us hated more than rush hour traffic. *cough* .. well we might already be there, but there are still 10-year-olds to sue.
  • Marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blhack (921171)
    This is nothing but marketing guys. If jobs was so anti-drm, why is it still so difficult to get music or videos OFF of the ipod? The DRM can even stay on the tracks, just add something in itunes to export music from the actual device to the disk of the computer it is attached to. I understand that there are already programs [sturm.net.nz] out there to do this, but it shouldn't have to be like that. Also, look at how successful the itunes store has been. I have bought a total of about 3 cds in my entire life, but i'v
    • If jobs said to the record labels "either drop/relax the DRM, or we're going to pull your music from the store" then we might actually see something happen.

      Sure, Jobs could tell them to drop the DRM "or else," but if he made a threat like that, he'd have to back it up. We're talking about the music industry, which has been effectively a cartel for decades. The EMI move was the first time any of the major labels stopped playing along with the rest of them, and that only happened because EMI is having a t

    • Two words (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745)
      Contractual obligations.

      Now for some more words.
      WHat is it with you people? SUre Apple fanboys are annoying, but to keep saying stuff like this in the face of what has been going on is just stupid.

      Jobs told the Music industry that there is no way DRM can work.
      In order to gte those contracts for the music, he ahd to agree to a bunch of stipulation.
      Now he is moving tracks like crazy. Billions of tracks.

      Now that the industry sees that people will pay for music, Jobs has a carrot to wave under their noses.
      30 ce
    • '' This is nothing but marketing guys. If jobs was so anti-drm, why is it still so difficult to get music or videos OFF of the ipod? ''

      The normal way is that you buy music, either on CD or through a download, then you move it to other media that you own, like from CD to your computer, or from your computer (downloaded) to a CD, to an iPod, to a different player, etc. And there are legitimate uses where DRM gets into the way, that's why people complain about it and that's why I am glad that EMI is getting r
    • Re:Marketing (Score:4, Informative)

      by bkr1_2k (237627) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:58PM (#19024189)
      It's not difficult to get music or videos off the ipod. Apple just doesn't provide you the tools to do it.
    • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Monday May 07, 2007 @04:45PM (#19027115)
      > I have bought a total of about 3 cds in my entire life, but i've also purchased 5-6 songs from the itunes store.

      You own three cds and 6 mp3s from iTunes and you bought an iPod? Let me guess, you also bought two books once and then built a library to keep them in.
  • No! (Score:5, Funny)

    by n6kuy (172098) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:47PM (#19022831)
    The labels have already loosed the DRM.

    We want them to lose the DRM.
  • Attribution? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:51PM (#19022925) Homepage Journal

    How do we know Jobs verbally stated that he'd drop the 99 cent pricing restriction? There's no attribution in the article to such a statement. Is this from an anonymous source? Was the writer there when the statement was made? The AP usually does better than this.

  • by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:56PM (#19023017)
    Jobs is the single largest shareholder in Disney, and he goes on and on about DRM-free music, but doesn't push for Disney to release its movies on unprotcted DVDs, HD-DVDs, and/or BRs, nor DRM-free online web releases. When asked about it, he hemmed and hawed, "Um, well, you see, video is different than audio...". Bull. Jobs, stop grandstanding about music and start releasing your own company's movies in unprotected fashion. THEN you'll have some credibility on this issue.
    • by r3m0t (626466) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:35PM (#19023739)
      Video is different from audio.

      In audio, the studios are selling CDs unprotected by the planeload, but - what's that? You want a convenient format? OK, buy it at the same price of a CD, but get it unusable in a variety of confusing ways! Alternatively, you could commit to paying us a monthly fee for the rest of your life!

      In video, the studios have never sold unprotected videos. There has always been quality loss when copying a VCR tape, and DVDs (HD-DVDs, Blu-Rays, UMDs) have always had copy protection. Therefore, it's quite reasonable that their new non-physical format also has copy protection.

      I want DRM-free video just as much as you, but I don't think Jobs is being in any way hypocritical.

    • by tm2b (42473) on Monday May 07, 2007 @02:26PM (#19024663) Journal
      Oh my fucking god, you people are unbelievable.

      A couple of months ago when he published his DRM views, it was "yeah, right. Until you start selling DRM-free tunes on iTunes, you have no credibility." Now, it's "gimme DRM-free Video from a public company where you're a tiny (a few percent) shareholder, NOW!"

      What the hell is it with you people? He's used his influence and control (which everybody constantly complains about) to engineer the largest single rollback of existing DRM in history - can you see Bill Gates doing that? Cut him some fucking slack.
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:57PM (#19023057)
    No DRM, good quality mp3s, and 75 downloads a month. Yeah, I can't find too many big names, but there's plenty of stuff there just as good.
  • by jbrandv (96371) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:00PM (#19023097)
    We have a good used music store. Used CDs are $1-$2. I purchase the CD, RIP it to my media server then return the CD for ~1/2 of what I payed. So for .50-$1 I get ALL the songs on the Cd plus I can use OGG, MP3, AAC, etc. Why would I want to pay more than that for one song? Unless it's a ring-tone of course.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by argent (18001)
      I was with you right up to "then return the CD for ~1/2 of what I payed".

      If you're going to break the law anyway, why not save $.50 to $1.00 and borrow the CD or download it from P2pServiceOfYourChoiceSter?
  • I thought this was an English language web site.
  • If people don't like the price on iTunes, they aren't going to buy the tracks, then the labels and Apple will have to make a decision to lower prices in the future. We can let our money talk for us. Personally, I try to buy most of my music from the artist when they tour, so I buy on CD. It just seems the best solution overall. This especially because burning an 128Kbps file to audio then re-ripping it just DESTROYS the quality of the audio even further.
  • ringtones anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:02PM (#19023113)
    Sure, $1.30 might seem like a lot, but consider the thriving ringtone market, where people spend $2+ for retarded 30 second clips of fergie or whoever, that have ultra-crappy quality, and can't even be listened to anywhere besides a tiny cellphone speaker!

    These songs will sell fine.
  • by mad.frog (525085) <.steven. .at. .crinklink.com.> on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:04PM (#19023161)
    How did you manage to get this right in the headline and STILL get it wrong in the summary?

    Geez!
  • Sounds great. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:05PM (#19023179)
    A year ago, people were arguing "why should I pay $15-$20 for a Cd when I only want 1-2 songs, because musicians suck now adays only have 1-2 good songs" so iTunes starts up. You can buy that one or two songs and save the "crappy filler songs tax". People were happy but didnt like the DRM (which I agree with). So not they're removing the DRM, increasing the quality of the encoding and only adding $0.30 to it. Now people are crying "why should I pay $0.30 more when I can buy the CD for less".... *shakes head* if you want a complete CD then buy the CD, if you want 1-2 songs buy it online. I'm not flaming it's just a perfect example of you can't always make everyone happy. For me this sounds great. When an artist I really like comes out, I grab the CD at a local store, if it's a one hit wonder I hear on the radio, I'll buy the one song online. How is this not a good thing? No this isn't a flame, just frustrated when people ask for things, get it, then complain against their own argument.
  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:08PM (#19023247)
    Has anybody noticed that for the general public, audio and video quality is heading in opposite directions? Head down to your local "big box store" and you'll see that they're pushing products that have superior VIDEO quality:

    digital/satellite cable, HDTV, LCD/plasma screens with 1080i/p.

    However, when it comes to audio, the sources for audio (mp3s for the majority) are worse quality now, then at any other point. Records, tapes, even plain old CDs have better quality than some down sampled mp3.

    Are we getting complacent with our audio quality? Or is it just that the jump to HDTV from non-HDTV video is so great that it's an easy sell? Walk over to the AudioDVD/SACD section and you'll see almost nothing. Companies push for you to buy a $2000 stereo system, and then feed it with 128kbps mp3s...

    • by ThousandStars (556222) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:50PM (#19024007) Homepage
      Audio has reached the point at which most people can't hear the superior quality. If you can't tell, does it matter? Video hasn't reached that point and still has a long way to go. Even so, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes a while for next-gen video formats to take off because the improvement they offer over DVD is relatively less than DVD offered over VHS.

      You haven't seen much improvement in book tech over the last 100 years, and those improvements have been incremental. The same thing is happening to audio and video; once you've made things as nice as people can perceive, there isn't much more to be done.

  • by corby (56462) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:22PM (#19023499)
    I still can't find any of these alleged DRM-free songs on ITMS. I have searched numerous EMI artists, and only have the option to buy the 99 cent tracks.

    Do these actually exist, or is this just a plan with an unspecified future implementation date?
  • by pjviitas (1066558) on Monday May 07, 2007 @02:32PM (#19024763)
    Everyone on here is talking like music is a durable good of some kind while it's not. It's more of a commodity than anything and should be priced according to it's demand.

    MP3's have given the record companies the perfect medium for doing what they have been trying to do for years...commodify music. They just haven't been smart enough to realize it yet.

    As far as CD's are concerned...leave those to the audiophiles who will pay top dollar for sound quality.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Hedghog
  • Audio Quality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Swift2001 (874553) on Monday May 07, 2007 @03:05PM (#19025357)
    I freely concede that CDs are more pure in sound that 128-bit AAC. Than 256-bit AAC? Not so clear, at least to my 60-year-old, rock-concert-damaged hearing.

    However, a CD is 600 MB. If you buy one of those, for 9.99, say, you take a few hours to download it. Millions downloading CD-quality from iTunes? The price has to go up to cover the bandwidth.

    I'd say, if you want pure fidelity, by DVD-Audio. CD is a compromise by itself.

    In the future, when we all have a minimum of 10 Mb/s broadband, and iTunes will be free to use some variation of BitTorrent for its downloading, the price and time involved can come down. Until then, we're dealing with compromise.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Lossless codecs cut that 650/700 MB down to 350MB or less. Also many albums don't use the full capacity of disc. If one buys tracks ala carte then the numbers look even more reasonable.
  • by dk.r*nger (460754) on Monday May 07, 2007 @03:59PM (#19026259)
    With DRM, iTunes has a defacto monopoly on legal online musictrade. Not only that, it's tied to the iPod.

    When labels open up and start making their catalogs available in non-DRM versions, the barrier of entry to the business will drop significantly, since a music store will no longer need to own a hardwareplatform and maintain a quirky DRM system. This will create more actors on the marketplace, and the price will drop. At first the price will be $1.29, but soon someplace will come along and sell the tracks at $1.20, maybe even $.99. That will force Apple to match this, and in turn, there will be pressure on the labels to lower thier prices.

    Jobs doesn't mind that - because he know that he owns the Walmart of musicplayers. Your one stop shop for anything that makes a sound. Therefore he will get the volume, everybody else will just be the long tail. It's much easier for him to be in the front of non-drm music, than to play catch-up after some bored european "consumer"(*)-organisations forces non-drm.

    (*) They're all government-run, so it's not like consumers get to decide how, when or if they will be represented.

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