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Play.com Offer Big Four Labels DRM-free

Gordon Kelly

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Play.com Offer Big Four Labels DRM-free

Way back in February (yes early 2008 is a long time ago, suck it up folks) Play.com DRM-free music first hit the market but with just EMI aboard is was of limited use - even if its heart was in the right place. Now however, it's game on...

The ambitious online retailer has this week confirmed it has deals in place with all of the so-called 'Big Four' record labels (EMI, Sony BMG, Time Warner and Universal) to immediately start selling DRM-free content from all their stables.

An instant three million DRM-free tracks will consequently be showered upon what I'd presume to be the grateful masses who will be even more chuffed to learn that this music will be made available in audiophile-friendly 320Kbps bitrates. Yep, this is the same quality the UK's current benchmark the 7Digital DRM store and with new albums like Keane's Perfect Symmetry going for £7.25 with individual songs just 70p apiece it makes a strong pull for our hearts and minds.

So 7digital has some competition, the still-not-yet-launched Amazon MP3 UK slips ever further behind and as for iTunes, let's just say Steve Jobs is beginning to pay the price for many years of industry-wide despotism...

Link:

Play.com Music Downloads

Moche

October 14, 2008, 12:31 pm

'...and with new albums like Keane's Perfect Symmetry going for &#1637.25 with individual songs just &#16370p apiece it makes a strong pull for our hearts and minds'.





But with 7Digital selling the aforementioned Keane wailathon for only &#1635, it has less of a pull than sugested.

Barry Ward

October 14, 2008, 1:17 pm

Apple REALLY need to start taking the competition seriously now. iTunes 8 adds the Genius bar, which makes it very convenient to buy from the iTunes store. However, the DRM tracks are STILL only 128kbps, which is not acceptable now, especially when 7Digital and now Play are offering over double that for the same price, if not cheaper.

Matt G Baish

October 14, 2008, 2:57 pm

'...and with new albums like Keane's Perfect Symmetry going for &#1637.25 with individual songs just 70p apiece it makes a strong pull for our hearts and minds'.





And with physical CDs going for only a small premium (&#1637.99 from cd-wow) which you can legally rip for personal use at any bit rate you desire (I'm sticking to that - I know all the convoluted legal/moral arguments both ways but that is where IMHO I end up on balance & certainly morally at any rate) then I think this market has a way to go before it convinces me.





@Moche - standard price on 7digital for an album seems to be &#1637.99 - but yes they are selling a bunch at a cutdown &#1635 apiece (including Keane's latest); but then I guess you should always search around for the best price on any particular item at any particular time.

Pbryanw

October 14, 2008, 8:25 pm

"However, the DRM tracks are STILL only 128kbps, which is not acceptable now, especially when 7Digital and now Play are offering over double that for the same price, if not cheaper."





Yes, I suppose the Record labels want to encourage a bit of competition. If iTunes offered DRM-free tracks from all the major labels, then I suppose they'd have even more of a stranglehold on the digital download market. But, in the end, it's us consumers (and iPod owners) who suffer because of this.

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