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Hydrogenaudio Forum => Validated News => Topic started by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 06:09:08

Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 06:09:08
Press releases:

"EMI Music launches DRM-free superior sound quality downloads across its entire digital repertoire" (http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm)

"Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store" (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/04/02itunes.html)

Initially this surprise announcement that came out April 1st was though to be an "April Fools" joke, but has since been confirmed by the media (including WSJ, News.com, Reuters and the AP).

256 kBit/s AAC, DRM-free music will be the "premium" product on iTunes (free on EMI albums or 30 cents more = $1.29 a track on single tracks). If you already purchased an EMI records album, the 256 kBit/s DRM-free AAC album will be a free upgrade.

If you bought EMI individual tracks from iTunes in the past, there is a 30 cent upgrade price to get the 256 kBit/s DRM-free track, or else use the new "Complete My Album" feature to get a discount on album upgrade pricing, based on previous tracks purchased. Apple will still offer existing tracks for $0.99 in 128 kBit/s AAC format with DRM - for other labels' songs and for EMI tracks as well - as a "standard" pricing option.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: LANjackal on 2007-04-02 06:17:17
Excellent development! I hope this applies to other mainstream download stores too and not just to iTMS
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 09:47:21
Excellent development! I hope this applies to other mainstream download stores too and not just to iTMS

According the the WSJ article, it appears it should eventually trickle down to other online music stores also, but will likely start with Apple iTunes first. We shall see, the announcement is a little over 3 hours away (as of the time of this post).
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Eli on 2007-04-02 10:29:32
you saw the publication date of this story right? 4/1 - april fools day. I assume its a joke.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: odyssey on 2007-04-02 10:53:05
Is it still april 1st anywhere?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 11:19:03
you saw the publication date of this story right? 4/1 - april fools day. I assume its a joke.

This is NOT A JOKE. It is real. You can verify by doing a Google News search for the words:  apple emi
Here is link to Google News search on this:  http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=ap...sa=N&tab=wn (http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=apple%20emi&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=N&tab=wn)

All the majors are carrying the story:  Reuters, AP, WSJ, News.com, USAToday, Forbes, CNBC, etc.

There is even a web videocast link on the http://www.emigroup.com (http://www.emigroup.com) web site now. Starts at 8AM Eastern time.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: bidz on 2007-04-02 11:27:11
So, since they have stated that they will be offering their songs in the MP3 format, will iTS be selling 128kbps mp3 files then?

If that's the case, especially if they use Apple/iTunes's MP3 encoder, the results will be pure crap quality purchases.

I will still stick to buying the CD and ripping/encoding myself, until i get DRM-free lossless files that i can buy online at a cheaper price than what the physical CD with a casing and everything costs in the music store over here.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: LANjackal on 2007-04-02 11:33:23
As to whether or not the story's true, it started with the WSJ, who're unlikely to post crap.

As for bitrate, we'll see. 128kbps MP3s would be ridiculous. But then again, we are talking about the mainstream music industry here. These people would burn salad if asked to make it. I think I'd be more surprised if they came up with a solution that fit general consumer needs than if they didn't. After all, 128kbps MP3s would pretty much help keep CDs viable, and we all know how much the industry loves ancient business models.

Also, because it's Apple you can forget about the files being LAME encoded.

As for the needs of folks like us: FLAC downloads, pleeeease!... all I'll say about that is a chuckle and a sigh .
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 11:34:28
So, since they have stated that they will be offering their songs in the MP3 format, will iTS be selling 128kbps mp3 files then?

Nobody knows the format yet. The press conference has yet to start (about and hour and half remains). Once I hear what format Apple/EMI will be using, I will post the details here in this thread.

It could be a lossless format for all we know (Apple Lossless and/or an iTunes converter to/from FLAC). This follows Apple's Steve Jobs' "open letter" a few months ago where he urged the 'major labels' to remove DRM restrictions on digital music.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Lyx on 2007-04-02 11:50:53
Apple wants to sell iPods, so the format will most probably stay in the realm of AAC and Apple-Lossless.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2007-04-02 12:02:21
This is definitely excellent news.

I hope this comes with a bitrate increase. Even to 160kbps would be enough to get me to switch to using iTunes exclusively for music.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: ...Just Elliott on 2007-04-02 12:04:33
Now where are all the people screaming "HE'S DOING IT FOR THE PUBLICITY"?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Nick E on 2007-04-02 12:23:37
Now where are all the people screaming "HE'S DOING IT FOR THE PUBLICITY"?


I never thought that in the first place. I think Jobs meant just what he said: Apple would sooner not have to maintain the DRM and have the contractual obligation to fix it whenever it's broken in short order.

Bill G still believes in DRM--hell, look how protection for "premium content" has been baked-in for Vista. But Steve Jobs is smart enough to know it's like Canute calling back the waves. Plus MS's business revolves around software, so they look to tie people in to their software, their formats, their DRM. Apple mostly makes its money off hardware sales, where margins are higher, so is free of the need to completely dominate, by fair means or foul, in order to be highly profitable.

However, what Jobs wants and what EMI is prepared to allow are different matters. I'm waiting to hear whether this is about DRM-free music, the Beatles, or both. My guess is the third option, but I think the question is still open. I think if EMI has decided to go with DRM-free content through the iTS it will be in the form of MPEG4 audio at 128kbps CBR. Not what everybody wants, but that's the emerging industry standard, and it'll suit a lot of people and also save complicating matters.


ADDED:

BTW, live webcast from EMI in 20 minutes or so:

http://www.emigroup.com/Default.htm (http://www.emigroup.com/Default.htm)
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: ...Just Elliott on 2007-04-02 13:00:36
Site bogged down page not loading argh!

HAHA: WMA or Real Player only.


AHAHAHA


AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAAAAA

EMI you are complete idiots
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: LANjackal on 2007-04-02 13:07:43
Bill G still believes in DRM--hell, look how protection for "premium content" has been baked-in for Vista.

Yeah, and I suppose content protection isn't a part of OSX either  Apple will have to comply with AACS, etc. if they want native playback of HD discs. Besides, none of the protections are an issue if the content isn't protected in the first place. Also, IIRC, some of the hacks for FairPlay just didn't work on OSX, but they worked on Windows.

But Steve Jobs is smart enough to know it's like Canute calling back the waves. Plus MS's business revolves around software, so they look to tie people in to their software, their formats, their DRM. Apple mostly makes its money off hardware sales, where margins are higher, so is free of the need to completely dominate, by fair means or foul, in order to be highly profitable.

I don't think Jobs is doing it for publicity. But I also think that, like any businessperson, he's motivated by profit, not ideals. In other words, he'd still be behind DRM if it presented a more profitable route for Apple. It's been widely written by pundits that FairPlay existed more to lock iTMS customers into the Apple ecosystem than for the labels' sake. Now that the drawbacks of DRM are being made public and iTMS sales growth is slowing, it makes sense to spur growth by dropping the protections. Make no mistake about it - vendor lock-in is as big a goal (if not bigger) for Apple than it is for MS, precisely because they sell and develop both hardware and software.

The difference between Apple and MS is that they're a lot better at PR than MS ever will be. They've done to the music business what MS did to PCs - strike a deal with the mainstream producers that left them in effective control of the bulk of the market. As such, they can easily outplay MS and other competitors just as MS has (for the most part) easily fended off software competition.

None of this is about Jobs being angel from heaven, or being a publicity hog. He's just an astute businessman who made the first move and is reaping the rewards.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: aharden on 2007-04-02 13:19:40
The official EMI press release is here:  http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm (http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm)
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 13:20:37
Here is what is going to be announced (from press release)

"Apple's iTunes Store is the first online music store to receive EMI's new premium downloads. Apple has announced that iTunes will make individual AAC format tracks available from EMI artists at twice the sound quality of existing downloads, with their DRM removed, at a price of $1.29/€1.29/£0.99. iTunes will continue to offer consumers the ability to pay $0.99/€0.99/£0.79 for standard sound quality tracks with DRM still applied. 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. Consumers who have already purchased standard tracks or albums with DRM will be able to upgrade their digital music for $0.30/€0.30/£0.20 per track. All EMI music videos will also be available on the iTunes Store DRM-free with no change in price."

It will be AAC at double the bandwidth (256k) DRM-free for $1.29 a track or 30 cents extra if you already bought an EMI track from iTunes. Or buy the album and get 256k premium encoded DRM files with no premium of album price.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Nick E on 2007-04-02 13:24:51
None of this is about Jobs being angel from heaven.


What a load of rot! Where did I write, "Steve Jobs is an angel from heaven"? I said he was "smart" and that Apple's business model didn't require DRM.

And it's a done deal now, as I thought:

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/scie...rops+drm/375352 (http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/science_technology/apple+and+emi+deal+drops+drm/375352)
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: bidz on 2007-04-02 13:29:00
Consumers who have already purchased standard tracks or albums with DRM will be able to upgrade their digital music for $0.30/€0.30/£0.20 per track.


HAHA! What a rip-off!
Hence, you are better of being a "pirate". The music is JUST as available, completely DRM-free and in high quality rips (usually).

Fees for re-encodes???? COME ON!
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2007-04-02 13:31:55
Also any EMI albums bought on iTunes will stay the same price, with NO DRM and higher quality.

256kbps AAC is DRM free, CONFIRMED!
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Eli on 2007-04-02 13:32:19
Holy crap! I thought for sure since the original news articles referred to were posted on the 1st it was a joke...I was quite wrong. I do think their approach is not the best. While I agree with DRM free, I think what they really need to do is reduce the price to encourage more people to buy more music. If the music was more reasonably priced and drm free there would be little incentive for people to suffer through p2p networks.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: LANjackal on 2007-04-02 13:45:34
256kbps is really good. Too bad the price is ludicrous. Now to see what the other stores will offer
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: odyssey on 2007-04-02 13:52:51
Today the music industry removes DRM. What's next? Bill Gates basing the next Windows on Linux?

I don't know what to say. I'm just...      But hell, it's great with double bandwidth - But why don't they just take it all the way to lossless? But the path are not as long anymore
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 14:26:10
So now that we have 256K AAC as the "new base standard" to replace the old 128K AAC and MP3 sold via online stores, I guess I will ask the enevitable question:  When will he have a 256K AAC listening test on HA?

LAME 256K MP3 vs. iTunes 256K AAC encoder vs. Nero 256K AAC vs. Ogg Vorbis 256K vs. Coding Technology 256k AAC

How many of the above encoders have been tuned with 256K bitrate in mind? Perhaps now the developers will have to go back to re-tune/optimize them for the 256K bitrate, like they have been doing with 128K for years.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: PoisonDan on 2007-04-02 14:35:21
I think this is fantastic news!

Yes, too bad about the price premium, but remember that other DRM-free shops (like e.g. Bleep (http://www.bleep.com), who offer VBR MP3 files) also have comparable prices.

And 256kbps AAC is certainly "good enough" for me. Yes, it's still not lossless, but at this quality level I don't think I'll be able to hear any artifacts. For some purposes, I'll need to transcode to MP3 (car radio, el cheapo MP3 flash player for running), but in those cases I don't need 100% transparent sound anyway.

So now that we have 256K AAC as the "new base standard" to replace the old 128K AAC and MP3 sold via online stores, I guess I will ask the enevitable question:  When will he have a 256K AAC listening test on HA?

LAME 256K MP3 vs. iTunes 256K AAC encoder vs. Nero 256K AAC vs. Ogg Vorbis 256K vs. Coding Technology 256k AAC

Never. This would be useless since almost nobody would be able to hear a difference between the encoded files.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: funkyblue on 2007-04-02 14:59:59
I just want lossless..Is it so hard DRM free lossless!!! Imagine!
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 15:12:26
I saw this post on MacDailyNews.com and it was so good I am repeating it here:

"The big win here is that Apple is really cementing AAC as the "legal" audio standard, and stopping WMA from going any further."

I thought about the author's statement that I quoted above, and this new move to make 256K AAC the "de facto" music store (read iTunes) standard for HQ non-DRM audio will likely help to further replace MP3's popularity with AAC, and also serve to get rid of the spread of DRM-laded WMA audio files plus the proprietary WMA non-DRM audio file format as well.

Can we say goodbye to Microsoft's stranglehold on the audio file format... Goodbye WMA...Rest in peace.

Now Microsoft will have to also play and/or convert AAC/M4A files for use in Windows Media Player and XP/Vista, to avoid the EU coming down on them with fines for not being interoperable with the AAC/MPEG 4 audio international standard
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: rjamorim on 2007-04-02 15:18:02
That is indeed an interesting idea, specially considering WMA Standard's bitrates don't even go beyond 192kbps.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: RolloTomasi on 2007-04-02 15:24:44
I can't see paying these kind of prices for lossy content.  People who spend a buck a track for lossy are either stupid or desperate.  Lossless is another story.  I'd pay a buck to get the entire track.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: aharden on 2007-04-02 15:34:37
So now that we have 256K AAC as the "new base standard" to replace the old 128K AAC and MP3 sold via online stores, I guess I will ask the enevitable question:  When will he have a 256K AAC listening test on HA?

LAME 256K MP3 vs. iTunes 256K AAC encoder vs. Nero 256K AAC vs. Ogg Vorbis 256K vs. Coding Technology 256k AAC

How many of the above encoders have been tuned with 256K bitrate in mind? Perhaps now the developers will have to go back to re-tune/optimize them for the 256K bitrate, like they have been doing with 128K for years.

A more appropriate test would be one that compares first-generational transcodes to MP3/Vorbis/etc. for transparency by target bitrate.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 15:35:49
I can't see paying these kind of prices for lossy content.  People who spend a buck a track for lossy are either stupid or desperate.  Lossless is another story.  I'd pay a buck to get the entire track.

The record label (EMI, in this case) wants people to buy full albums, hence the same price (usually $9.99) with no price increase for the higher quality, DRM-free 256K AAC versions.  256K Lossy is not bad, and Apple probably couldn't budge EMI to go for full-lossless at those prices.

Remember, that this is a watershed moment for digital music sales online. None of the Major 4 labels ever before has allowed any online music store to sell most of their catalogs as non-DRM music. Steve Jobs (Apple) broke down the wall with EMI, and has 3 more "Goliath's" to contend/negotiate with to agree to DRM-free, let alone lossless. I think 256K is a good "compromise" for now to get the other major players to even talk about removing the DRM. Steve Jobs tossed them a bit more money, for singles and not full albums, to try and persuade the other 3 to "play ball".
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: rjamorim on 2007-04-02 15:40:43
People who spend a buck a track for lossy are either stupid or desperate.


Or they're just not smug enough to believe they could hear the difference, hmmm?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Remedial Sound on 2007-04-02 15:55:54
Anyone know whether it's iTunes 256k CBR, or 256k "VBR" (which is really ABR)?

I agree that it's reasonable to ask for lossless tracks at $0.99, and I hope that this marks a step in that direction.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the additional bandwidth required to sell lossless albums is cheaper than the materials, manufacturing/packaging, distribution, etc. for selling compact discs.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-04-02 16:49:28
yep, if you like the whole album, buying the CD is still cheaper for us but way more expensive for everyone else in the food chain.  so either the price difference has to narrow or album crappiness ratio has to increase.  I think this deal is another baby step towards the former.

downloads might be able to keep a little premium for the convenience/instant gratification factor.

Jsh
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: JetPropelledKid on 2007-04-02 18:16:04
I'm kinda confused by all of this. Why would Apple release music in AAC at 256kbps?

AAC at 128kbps was pretty decent seeing that it was likely encoded directly from the source. It was by no means the best for the typical HA member, but it at least offered a good compromise for size vs. quality, that is for the average iTunes customer. If they had bumped up the quality to around 160-192kbps it probably would have been good enough for many HA members, but 256kbps seems to be a bit overkill. It's not good enough for the most puritan of audiophiles, yet it seems a little big for what mainstream users want, considering that they probably own either an iPod mini or nano and lack the room. The way I think if it, for the average listener, they are not going to hear a dramatic difference in quality, they are simply going to notice an increase in footprint and price. Audiophiles are not going to buy it because they probably would still rather have the CD. So what is the point?

I will say though that had they bumped the sample freq. to 96kHz that maybe something different.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: marmoset on 2007-04-02 18:32:31
seems a little big for what mainstream users want, considering that they probably own either an iPod mini or nano and lack the room.


Recall that iTunes already offers iPod shuffle owners the option of downcoding to 128kbps when syncing -- offering the same for the nano might be an option in the future.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 2007-04-02 18:57:05
I'm kinda confused by all of this. Why would Apple release music in AAC at 256kbps?
I think that you make a very good point.  256 is really a halfway house that doesn't suit anyone.  128 is fine for portable use, and 256 is not good enough for archiving.  I don't use iTunes, but if I did I would rather the choice of 128kbps DRM-free I think.

That said, it is still good news.  One would presume that they could offer 128kbps as well in the near future, and who knows, maybe even Apple Lossless or very high bitrate AAC.  I'm not sure I would be overly happy transcoding from 256kbps.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2007-04-02 19:00:41
I can't see paying these kind of prices for lossy content.  People who spend a buck a track for lossy are either stupid or desperate.  Lossless is another story.  I'd pay a buck to get the entire track.


Well then, call me stupid.  The iTunes Store is very useful for purchasing singles that are released months before the albums come out.  I would gladly spend $1.00 on a new single to get it here now than either have to hunt that CD single down in the store (which would easily cost $3.00 or more) or illegally download some internet radio rip that has terrible quality.  I don't purchase full albums off of iTunes and I don't purchase other tracks, just new singles.

Besides, if my lossy library consists of 128kbps VBR AAC files (I certainly can't hear the difference), then what loss do I endure by downloading single 128kbps VBR/CBR AAC files?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: LANjackal on 2007-04-02 19:01:17
That is indeed an interesting idea, specially considering WMA Standard's bitrates don't even go beyond 192kbps.

I'm not sure what you're referring to, but WMA 9.2 Standard can encode to over 320kbps at its max quality setting. From personal experience,  I can tell you that this capability has existed from at least version 9.0. Unsure about previous versions since I didn't use the codec then.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: ozmosis82 on 2007-04-02 19:03:39
I will say though that had they bumped the sample freq. to 96kHz that maybe something different.

It would be difficult for that to have made any sense, since we're assuming their sources are CDs, and a CD's frequency is 44kHz. I would be quite surprised if Apple had access to every label's (whose content they provide) master tapes to provide iTunes with songs (that's also assuming that the content was recorded at 96kHz).
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Fandango on 2007-04-02 19:15:09
I'm kinda confused by all of this. Why would Apple release music in AAC at 256kbps?

Headroom for the watermark?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: bubbleguuum on 2007-04-02 19:25:18
Good move from Apple and EMI.

The upgrade from 128 to 256Kbps will just make other record companies look bad : 128K with DRM, WTF, will think people. Sure the bump was planned to make other record companies move.

Now the holy grail is DRM free Lossless. They'll have to do it some day. Popular electronic music
stores like junowdownload and beatport already have it for some time. It's expensive but it's worth it if you care about your music more about just playing it on you ipod or crappy PC speakers.

Btw I barf everytime I hear some people converting lossy to lossy : digital crap.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kwanbis on 2007-04-02 19:30:25
I can't see paying these kind of prices for lossy content.  People who spend a buck a track for lossy are either stupid or desperate.  Lossless is another story.  I'd pay a buck to get the entire track.

give it time ... this is a really excellent first step on the right direction ... also, full albums are cheaper than single songs.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: JetPropelledKid on 2007-04-02 19:41:13

I will say though that had they bumped the sample freq. to 96kHz that maybe something different.

It would be difficult for that to have made any sense, since we're assuming their sources are CDs, and a CD's frequency is 44kHz. I would be quite surprised if Apple had access to every label's (whose content they provide) master tapes to provide iTunes with songs (that's also assuming that the content was recorded at 96kHz).


Yes that's true if they did record off CDs, but is that what iTunes does? I doubt it.

Plus this little bit from Apple's announcement got me to thinking as well:


"DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song."


Now in order to make that statement even remotely true they would have to be encoding from the original recordings. Plus most original masters these days have a sampling freq. at 96kHz. So it is plausible they could do that.

Here's another interesting note from the release:


"Apple® today announced that EMI Music’s entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com) worldwide in May."


This is also a little odd. Apple is announcing this a month in advance. Usually they would release the same day as the announcement, so why the hold up?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 2007-04-02 19:46:25
Btw I barf everytime I hear some people converting lossless to lossless : digital crap.
I'm not totally against it if needs must, but 256kbps would make me very uneasy.  Of course, as someone who archives to lossless I would only be totally happy with a lossless download. 128kbps is fine for a cheap 'n' cheerful fix though, like if you have a song going around you head and need to hear it, or you need a sudden nostalgia fix.

Anyway, I risk going too far OT...
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: xequence on 2007-04-02 19:46:56
Quote
Btw I barf everytime I hear some people converting lossless to lossless : digital crap.


Unless there is some new revelation about how encoders work, lossless to lossless is... Lossless

And about the topic, I think DRM free is great. It is a step in the right direction. But I still wouldn't buy lossy files for that much.

If their objective is beating piracy, then having lossy files that cost money is not as good as free, possibly lossless music on P2P. The record companies will never give out free music, so the only way to beat piracy is to offer higher quality music.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: grommet on 2007-04-02 19:51:57


I will say though that had they bumped the sample freq. to 96kHz that maybe something different.

It would be difficult for that to have made any sense, since we're assuming their sources are CDs, and a CD's frequency is 44kHz. I would be quite surprised if Apple had access to every label's (whose content they provide) master tapes to provide iTunes with songs (that's also assuming that the content was recorded at 96kHz).


Yes that's true if they did record off CDs, but is that what iTunes does? I doubt it.

Plus this little bit from Apple's announcement got me to thinking as well:


"DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song."


Now in order to make that statement even remotely true they would have to be encoding from the original recordings. Plus most original masters these days have a sampling freq. at 96kHz. So it is plausible they could do that.
Sorry.  Welcome to marketing spin.  Apple, at one point, also tried to spin their 128Kbps AAC "as good as the original recording."  I think Jobs even implied it might be better than CD in one of the keynotes.  iTunes Music providers submit standard audio CDs compressed in Apple Lossless to Apple.  They are then encoded to 128Kbps AAC for sale... and now, it seems, they'll also be encoded to 256Kbps AAC for sale at a higher cost.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: bubbleguuum on 2007-04-02 20:03:21
Quote
Btw I barf everytime I hear some people converting lossless to lossless : digital crap.


Unless there is some new revelation about how encoders work, lossless to lossless is... Lossless



edited  thanks
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: hmurchison on 2007-04-02 20:26:45
This is a great move by EMI and Apple.

It neatly shuts Norway up about iTunes DRM.

It goes to an area that subscription services cannot follow.

It improves the audio with double the bitrate. Lossless ain't happening folks. Buy that thing called a CD if you want lossless.

It removes barriers toward using iTunes and playing content on non Apple players like Squeezboxes and more.

If Apple can hit their goal of 2.5 million DRM free songs I predict no only will they not lose marketshare but they'll actually grow it.

I still buy CDs when there are 3 or more songs that I really like.  But not every album hits that requirement.  I'm glad that I have the option to get better quality tracks still at an affordable price and I don't need to worry about authorizations.  Cool
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: bidz on 2007-04-02 20:30:02
It neatly shuts Norway up about iTunes DRM.


There are more (and bigger) record companies than EMI in this world, and until iTS ONLY sells DRM-free files the ongoing case will not stop. Personally i hope that iTS will be shut down here just to make a point.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jpcos on 2007-04-02 20:31:33
And about the topic, I think DRM free is great. It is a step in the right direction. But I still wouldn't buy lossy files for that much.

If their objective is beating piracy, then having lossy files that cost money is not as good as free, possibly lossless music on P2P. The record companies will never give out free music, so the only way to beat piracy is to offer higher quality music.


Of course, lossy files that cost money will never be more appealing than "free" music on P2P.  However, we're not talking about any music that is offered "free."  Piracy is what it is, and blaming it on the cost/quality of the music is really missing the point.

As one who was paying between $1-$2 for vinyl singles 30 years ago, $.99-$1.29 per track seems like a good deal, especially when the single was pretty much dead before digital downloads became available.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: hmurchison on 2007-04-02 20:31:36

It neatly shuts Norway up about iTunes DRM.


There are more (and bigger) record companies than EMI in this world, and until iTS ONLY sells DRM-free files the ongoing case will not stop. Personally i hope that iTS will be shut down here just to make a point.


What point?  That Norway is ran and occupied by idiots?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: greynol on 2007-04-02 20:39:30
As one who was paying between $1-$2 for vinyl singles 30 years ago, $.99-$1.29 per track seems like a good deal, especially when the single was pretty much dead before digital downloads became available.
Let's not forget that most of those "singles" contained two tracks.

What point?  That Norway is ran and occupied by idiots?
I don't know about that, but what percentage of Apple's market is in Norway?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: madorangepanda on 2007-04-02 20:42:25
Fairplay DRM is broken and doesn't allow tracking of those that distribute files in the first place. A watermark on the other hand will. I'm pretty sure that they aren't getting rid of DRM, they're just going to use something else and not call it DRM.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: hmurchison on 2007-04-02 20:46:14
As one who was paying between $1-$2 for vinyl singles 30 years ago, $.99-$1.29 per track seems like a good deal, especially when the single was pretty much dead before digital downloads became available.
Let's not forget that most of those "singles" contained two tracks.

What point?  That Norway is ran and occupied by idiots?
I don't know about that, but what percentage of Apple's market is in Norway?



Not big enough to matter IMO.  If logic is any concern you don't go after the licensee (Apple) regarding DRM you go after the licenser (Studios).  However it's now a moot point because if Apple's goal of offering %50 DRM free tracks by the end of the year how does one vilify Apple enough in court to warrant any indictments?

I'd be interested to see how many people can achieve %70 or better accuracy in double blind tests between a lossless codec and 256k AAC.  Hopefully we have some takers on HA for this.  It should prove interesting.

I'm still buying CDs but I love the option of improved iTunes songs and frankly with gas here shooting up to $3.25 a gallon It's cheaper for me to stay out of the car and persue some music online.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: tycho on 2007-04-02 21:07:11

What point?  That Norway is ran and occupied by idiots?
I don't know about that, but what percentage of Apple's market is in Norway?
Not big enough to matter IMO.  If logic is any concern you don't go after the licensee (Apple) regarding DRM you go after the licenser (Studios).  However it's now a moot point because if Apple's goal of offering %50 DRM free tracks by the end of the year how does one vilify Apple enough in court to warrant any indictments?

Well, Norway had enough influence to make iTunes dump DRM in the first place, even though it would have happened sooner or later.
Quote
I'd be interested to see how many people can achieve %70 or better accuracy in double blind tests between a lossless codec and 256k AAC.  Hopefully we have some takers on HA for this.  It should prove interesting.
Not many. However, it would be more interesting to arrange an AAC 128 kbps listening test, where the source is either lossless or AAC 256 kbps.

edit clarification: Contenders could be :
1) Lossless -> AAC 128
2) AAC 256 -> AAC 128
3) Lossless -> Lame -V5
4) AAC 256 -> Lame -V5
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: bubbleguuum on 2007-04-02 21:15:56
Lossless ain't happening folks


You mean it's not happening on itunes. But it's happening for electronic music but still much expensive.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: bidz on 2007-04-02 21:16:58
What point?  That Norway is ran and occupied by idiots?


Let's not start a discussion about what country in the world is actually run by a bunch of idiots now shall we. I think the recent year's happenings in the world pretty much sums that up.

Anyhow, regarding going after Apple because of DRM; Why not? It's not just Norway, it's Denmark, Finland, France and Germany aswell. They all agree. Consumers agree, nobody like's DRM - and guess what - Apple is in a monopoly situation regarding online sales of music through their iTunes Store, so ofcourse it makes sense to go after Apple.

This is not about DRM either, it's about the iTunes+iPod lock-in. Apple's FairPlay DRM system is totally closed. Only Apple can use it. Microsoft does a much better job in this regard, they license their DRM system to others. If Apple would license out their FairPlay DRM technology to other companies making portable music players (Creative and such) this case would never excist in the first place.

So you see, it makes perfectly good sense to go after Apple. They are dominating the online music sales market, they are locking their customers into using Apple hardware for the rest of their life, otherwise their purchased music tracks are totally useless since they cannot be played back on ANY other device simply because Apple does not want to license out their FairPlay technology to other Hardware makers like Creative, iRiver, Samsung and so on and so on...

Get it?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: hmurchison on 2007-04-02 21:26:42

Lossless ain't happening folks


You mean it's not happening on itunes. But it's happening for electronic music but still much expensive.



True.  I'm undecided about how I want to persue lossless for my own audio. I don't have the speakers that can resolve audio to my level of satisfaction.  Hopefully I'll upgrade in a few years and decide which direction.  Good news is FLAC is coming to Quicktime so it'll be an option from this year on out.


What point?  That Norway is ran and occupied by idiots?


Let's not start a discussion about what country in the world is actually run by a bunch of idiots now shall we. I think the recent year's happenings in the world pretty much sums that up.

Anyhow, regarding going after Apple because of DRM; Why not? It's not just Norway, it's Denmark, Finland, France and Germany aswell. They all agree. Consumers agree, nobody like's DRM - and guess what - Apple is in a monopoly situation regarding online sales of music through their iTunes Store, so ofcourse it makes sense to go after Apple.

This is not about DRM either, it's about the iTunes+iPod lock-in. Apple's FairPlay DRM system is totally closed. Only Apple can use it. Microsoft does a much better job in this regard, they license their DRM system to others. If Apple would license out their FairPlay DRM technology to other companies making portable music players (Creative and such) this case would never excist in the first place.

So you see, it makes perfectly good sense to go after Apple. They are dominating the online music sales market, they are locking their customers into using Apple hardware for the rest of their life, otherwise their purchased music tracks are totally useless since they cannot be played back on ANY other device simply because Apple does not want to license out their FairPlay technology to other Hardware makers like Creative, iRiver, Samsung and so on and so on...

Get it?


  Touche.  Glad I didn't vote for the idiot.  Please accept my apology on behalf of the sane Americans. I totally think Norway is right.  Why sell lossy audio online when CDs themselves aren't protected.  That standout makes sense but I think their beef is with the studios and not Apple.  The problem with singling out Apple is that you're simply going after the largest provider.  If DRM is to fly it needs to be a specification that isn't created by one company.  DRM needs to be interoperable if it is to fly.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: fairyliquidizer on 2007-04-02 22:01:43
What point?  That Norway is ran and occupied by idiots?


I think we should thank Norway and France for freeing us from DRM!  After all they didn't give us the RIAA and DMCA.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 2007-04-02 22:46:58
Quote
I'd be interested to see how many people can achieve %70 or better accuracy in double blind tests between a lossless codec and 256k AAC.  Hopefully we have some takers on HA for this.  It should prove interesting.
Not many. However, it would be more interesting to arrange an AAC 128 kbps listening test, where the source is either lossless or AAC 256 kbps.

edit clarification: Contenders could be :
1) Lossless -> AAC 128
2) AAC 256 -> AAC 128
3) Lossless -> Lame -V5
4) AAC 256 -> Lame -V5
Agreed.  I don't think 256kbps is a good option for portable files, and I'm pretty sure that 128kbps was adequate for me, so it would be good to see how they fair as a transcoding source.

The problem is, a lossless archive goes further than being able to hear a difference; it's that warm glow that a lossy source can never achieve.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-02 23:49:28
Another plus (for Apple) as a result of this announcement of 'premium audio' 256K bitrate is that they should now sell bigger flash and hard drive iPod models to current iPod owners who desire to upgrade to new models.

I listened to the ~hour long audio webcast of this announcement this morning, and Steve Jobs said that with ram/hard disk prices coming down and iPod prices lowering, it was the "riight time" to make this "switch" to higher quality (hence 256K) bitrate audio files. A reporter during the Q&A time asked him how many files/songs the iPods would hold, and he agreed it would take double the size for 256K audio files.

I believe Apple is wanting to offer this new "premium option" of non-DRM music to help encourage sales of their soon forthcoming iPhone and newer iPod models, as well. We should see larger hard drive and larger flash RAM versions of Apple's entire msuic player line (and maybe even the Shuffle) soon.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2007-04-02 23:56:06
Yep, this announcement is the perfect time to change the default iTunes AAC encoding to 256kbps and to all the sudden offer new iPods with higher hard drive/flash sizes.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: gonza on 2007-04-03 00:18:17

I'm kinda confused by all of this. Why would Apple release music in AAC at 256kbps?

Headroom for the watermark?


Interesting...This may be it. So they could be removing DRM, but at the same time making the files traceable.
Also, more bitrate, more space. Ipod fills up. Now you need a bigger and latest one.

If they really want to increase audio quality, why not spend 1 dollar a unit in decent headphones.  And not the crap that ipods come with.  Oh, but then they could not sell you the upgrade...
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-03 02:03:14
Now that Apple has tipped their hand about making M4A/AAC files the new non-DRM replacement for the aging MP3 audio files, I think software developers of audio apps other than Apple should be lining up to license from Coding Technoligies their AAC/AACPlus MPEG 4 Audio codec(s). Nero may benefit some from this as well (if they ever allow users to select/specify .m4a for the default MPEG 4 audio file extension instead of .mp4, and make sure their codecs remain iPod/iTunes format and tagging compatible).

I predict it won't be long before Spoon with his dBpoweramp will have to license/include a 3rd party AAC/AACPlus encoder/decoder solution. The free Nero thing won't satisfy the casual user who doesn't know how to setup/run CLI apps for encoding/decoding.

A recent example of this is how Poiko licensed from Coding Technolgies their AACPlus encoder/decoder for his Easy CD-DA Extractor program. Winamp also licensed the CT AACPlus/M4A encoder and decoder. Yes, the price of some software may go up a few bucks to get commercial AAC/AACPlus encoders/decoders, but this is peanuts in my opinion compared to the benefit to the end-user to have a quality, full AAC/AACPlus support in their audio players, rippers, converters and other audio apps.

Now if only Adobe Audition bundled native AAC/AACPlus support compatible with iPods/iTunes...

Looks like both Coding Technologies and Nero will be busy lining up software developers to support their iPod/iTunes compatible AAC/AACPlus implementations.

Another benefit of AAC over MP3 is that no end user royalties on content are required to be paid. MP3 requires many content distributors to pay licensing fees on the actual content they distribute, but when AAC was standardized they made the decision NOT to require any AAC audio licensing fees from content distributors. See MP3Licensing.com (http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/emd.html) for MP3's content distributors royalty fees.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: ezra2323 on 2007-04-03 02:54:00
This simply rocks!!! No DRM. 256kbps AAC is transparent. $1.30 to buy ONE song at transparent quality that I can play anywhere (that supports AAC). A great day for digital music!!!

...and yet still certain people at HA complain. Some things never change.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-03 03:30:00
This simply rocks!!! No DRM. 256kbps AAC is transparent. $1.30 to buy ONE song at transparent quality that I can play anywhere (that supports AAC). A great day for digital music!!!

...and yet still certain people at HA complain. Some things never change.

I agree with you ezra, it is good that Apple is upgrading to no-DRM and 256K bitrate for AAC files. There will always be people who steal things (in this case music) and gripe about pricing.

I think the new pricing is fair (especially the album prices staying the same). But if I just want 1 or 2 songs off an album I still have that choice at a fair price (in my opinion). Being a music publisher myself with 8 albums for sale on iTunes (for those interested, I am listed on iTunes under artist name: Prays), I feel a music publisher and artist should be compensated for their efforts. I like iTunes because I can bypass the "big 4" publishers and self-publish or be an indie music publisher.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: MyDisplayName on 2007-04-03 07:05:18
This is merely a marketing gimmick.

I believe Ryan Block, a writer on Engadget, states my thoughts perfectly.

Quote
The finer details of EMI and Jobs's announcement today were also dubious. Despite the silver lining, which is that full albums should cost the same but will now default to DRM-free files, the two businesses still conflated DRM-free music with the discerning tastes of audiophiles. Steve mentioned that 128-bit AAC just isn't good enough for the sharp-eared, so uncrippled tracks are being bumped to 256Kbps. This gives Apple the ability to sell the music as a separate product and price point, while giving consumers the illusion of greater value. But we don't believe having free, usable, uncrippled media is a feature -- it's what we deserve, and we demand it. Asking customers to pay 30% more for no DRM and a higher bitrate is a distraction, a parlor trick to take our attention away from the philosophical issue: EMI is still selling DRMed music. EMI CEO Eric Nicoli said, "Not everybody cares about interoperability or sound quality." Since when did the two become so intrinsically linked? Sure, not everyone cares to vote either, that doesn't mean it's a premium privilege


Source (http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/02/apple-and-emi-ditching-drm-is-good-but-its-not-good-enough/)
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: matthew_s on 2007-04-03 09:39:01
Yep, this announcement is the perfect time to change the default iTunes AAC encoding to 256kbps and to all the sudden offer new iPods with higher hard drive/flash sizes.

I was going to say much the same thing - the issue of AAC256 not being portable is clearly a push to further take money from the "discerning audiophile": firstly they're saying that if you care about quality then you have to pay more for singles, and secondly, you really want to buy a bigger ipod so that you can carry around all your bigger "audiophile"-quality tracks with you.

The memory market at the moment is really quite happy. Firstly you've got the release of Microsoft "Better make it 3GB RAM mimimum if you actually want to do anything on your computer" Vista, then you've got various manufacturers starting to produce 40GB solid-state flash harddrives for laptops (ok, so expensive atm) and now you've got this. I reckon this will be a good year for memory manufacturers...
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: iwod on 2007-04-03 09:51:40
It is obvious as other have pointed out 256kbps will make you want to upgrade and buy a newer larger size ipod. I suppose this would mean a new ipod coming out in may?

Another questions is someone mentioned that itunes music are actually compressed from a lossless image of the production CD. Is that true?

Would be interested to know how 256 AAC compare to 320 Mp3. And is 256 VBR or is it still CBR? Has apple actually been doing any active development on the AAC encoder?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Kees de Visser on 2007-04-03 10:26:12
The problem is, a lossless archive goes further than being able to hear a difference; it's that warm glow that a lossy source can never achieve.
Aren't you saddened by the fact that there might be a better (e.g. 24/96) master and your lossless archive is basically based on "lossy" (16/44.1) copies ? 
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 2007-04-03 12:21:01
The problem is, a lossless archive goes further than being able to hear a difference; it's that warm glow that a lossy source can never achieve.
Aren't you saddened by the fact that there might be a better (e.g. 24/96) master and your lossless archive is basically based on "lossy" (16/44.1) copies ? 
No.  But nice try.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2007-04-03 12:29:03
Would be interested to know how 256 AAC compare to 320 Mp3. And is 256 VBR or is it still CBR? Has apple actually been doing any active development on the AAC encoder?


We probably won't know if it is VBR/CBR until Apple starts selling the new encodes in May.

I know Apple has been doing development on their encoder, but I would have guessed more in the 128kbps range (since that is the default for iTunes and the iTunes Store).
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: [JAZ] on 2007-04-03 12:37:46

Would be interested to know how 256 AAC compare to 320 Mp3. And is 256 VBR or is it still CBR? Has apple actually been doing any active development on the AAC encoder?


We probably won't know if it is VBR/CBR until Apple starts selling the new encodes in May.



It was specified in the article that it is CBR. About being 48/96Khz... do the ipod's support those sample rates?

Quote
EMI’s DRM-free tracks will be encoded using 256 kbps non-variable AAC encoding, which Apple says is the same quality level as the original in-studio recording.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Polouess on 2007-04-03 12:53:25
hi. my first post.

I totally agree with ezra.

I've been purchasing DRM-free Music for some years now, first on Fraunhofer's Potato System, then on the very fine German Indie label finetunes. They offer cool new bands of all kinds, stuff you'd never find on P2P networks. The mp3s are watermarked, 192 kBit/s CBR, but well tagged (just ReplayGain missing). Oh, and for the 9,99 € there's not even cover art included. But I still love it, 'cause it brings me music I'd never discovered by myself.
Still I was sad when I wanted a new album from a major label they hadn't (I don't like CDs. They take too much space). I hope iTunes will close this gap.
There's only one thing than prevent me from buying tons of music at iTunes now - being forced to install their crappy software!
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Lyx on 2007-04-03 13:50:31
This simply rocks!!! No DRM. 256kbps AAC is transparent. $1.30 to buy ONE song at transparent quality that I can play anywhere (that supports AAC). A great day for digital music!!!

...and yet still certain people at HA complain. Some things never change.

Thats because some people will never be satisfied and just complain for the sake of complaining. First they complain about drm and 128kbps. Then they complain about AAC and 256kbit. Afterwards, they will complain about apple-lossless and the 1,30$ pricetag.

Even tough, some of the arguments are valid, they are at the wrong time at the wrong place. When the industry moves into the direction you want, then the reasonable reaction to that should be thumbs up. Its not necessary nor reasonable to act like "thats perfect, no need for any further changes" - however, anyone who complains, when an announcement about an improvement is made, didnt deserve the improvement in the first place.

- Lyx
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Remedial Sound on 2007-04-03 14:15:55
This is merely a marketing gimmick.

I believe Ryan Block, a writer on Engadget, states my thoughts perfectly.

Quote
The finer details of EMI and Jobs's announcement today were also dubious. Despite the silver lining, which is that full albums should cost the same but will now default to DRM-free files, the two businesses still conflated DRM-free music with the discerning tastes of audiophiles. Steve mentioned that 128-bit AAC just isn't good enough for the sharp-eared, so uncrippled tracks are being bumped to 256Kbps. This gives Apple the ability to sell the music as a separate product and price point, while giving consumers the illusion of greater value. But we don't believe having free, usable, uncrippled media is a feature -- it's what we deserve, and we demand it. Asking customers to pay 30% more for no DRM and a higher bitrate is a distraction, a parlor trick to take our attention away from the philosophical issue: EMI is still selling DRMed music. EMI CEO Eric Nicoli said, "Not everybody cares about interoperability or sound quality." Since when did the two become so intrinsically linked? Sure, not everyone cares to vote either, that doesn't mean it's a premium privilege


Source (http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/02/apple-and-emi-ditching-drm-is-good-but-its-not-good-enough/)

After thinking about it about it more last night, I've come around to this mindset too - 256 kbps AAC?  Come on, 128 kbps AAC is transparent to virtually everyone, including the large majority of us here at HA.

I agree that this is:
(a) A "parlor trick" (I like this term  ) to give the illusion that the buyer is getting something more ("better quality") for the premium price;
(b) A longer term strategy to sell the next-gen iPods with greater capacity.

There's an entire universe of people who are going to think (if they don't already) is that "higher bitrate = better", which for lossy audio is not the case.  The best bitrate for lossy is that which yields the smallest file but which is still transparent to the listener.  And for the overwhelming majority of the iTMS-buying public, this is still 128 kbps.  If they were really committed to delivering better quality, 128 kbps VBR would be a much better choice.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: tycho on 2007-04-03 15:00:07
Would be interested to know how 256 AAC compare to 320 Mp3. And is 256 VBR or is it still CBR? Has apple actually been doing any active development on the AAC encoder?

The listening test at http://www.soundexpert.info/coders320.jsp (http://www.soundexpert.info/coders320.jsp) concludes that AAC LC (iTunes) is no better than LAME in the CBR 320 range, and I guess CBR 256 should be quite alike.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Kef on 2007-04-03 16:35:53

Would be interested to know how 256 AAC compare to 320 Mp3. And is 256 VBR or is it still CBR? Has apple actually been doing any active development on the AAC encoder?

The listening test at http://www.soundexpert.info/coders320.jsp (http://www.soundexpert.info/coders320.jsp) concludes that AAC LC (iTunes) is no better than LAME in the CBR 320 range, and I guess CBR 256 should be quite alike.


Unfortunately soundexpert's testing methodology makes the tests useless or at least inherently flawed.

You can read more in this thread: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=43656 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=43656)

The conclusion of the 320kbps test is a big warning itself:

"High bitrate AAC+ coder by Coding Technologies bundled with Winamp 5.2 has substantial increase of perceptual quality margin over all other contenders of the test. So it could be a good candidate for distribution of high quality audio content over the internet"

Does anyone else think, cutting off all audio above 11025 Hz and replacing it with noise (using SBR), make any sense at this bitrate? Pfft...
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: benski on 2007-04-03 16:39:09
Unfortunately soundexpert's testing methodology makes the tests useless or at least inherently flawed.

You can read more in this thread: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=43656 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=43656)

The conclusion of the 320kbps test is a big warning itself:

"High bitrate AAC+ coder by Coding Technologies bundled with Winamp 5.2 has substantial increase of perceptual quality margin over all other contenders of the test. So it could be a good candidate for distribution of high quality audio content over the internet"

Does anyone else think, cutting off all audio above 11025 Hz and replacing it with noise (using SBR), make any sense at this bitrate? Pfft...


Sorry to sidetrack this thread, but that's not how the high bitrate aacPlus encoder works.  It uses "Oversampled" SBR mode - basically it encodes the AAC LC portion at 44,100hz (like normal) and is using SBR to fill in the ~16-22khz (varies depending on bitrate) range that gets cut off by the pre-encoding lowpass.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-04-03 16:45:31
Another questions is someone mentioned that itunes music are actually compressed from a lossless image of the production CD. Is that true?

I have at least heard from one supplier of compressed tracks for online stores (I think including iTMS) that they rip from CD to FLAC, then generate compressed versions from their FLAC archive.

Josh
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2007-04-03 17:12:03
Another questions is someone mentioned that itunes music are actually compressed from a lossless image of the production CD. Is that true?

I have at least heard from one supplier of compressed tracks for online stores (I think including iTMS) that they rip from CD to FLAC, then generate compressed versions from their FLAC archive.

Josh


I believe that bands/record labels use Apple's software for making iTunes Store content.  The people making the content load the digital masters into Apple's software and it gives them the option to either output in 128kbps (I think CBR) or Apple Lossless before sending the files to Apple.  Apple can then store the lossless files on their server and transcode those lossless files to lossy for iTunes Store selling.  I imagine this is why it will take about a month to get those DRM-free 256kbps AAC files up on the store.  EMI must make sure that every one of their artists have submitted lossless files to Apple, then Apple must transcode those lossless files to 256kbps AAC.  Some tracks purchased off of the iTunes Store are in fact 128kbps VBR though.  I have purchased a few new singles and their file sizes all indicate that they are 128kbps CBR though.  That is how a "artist" described the process on iLounge's forums.  Whether it is the same for every artist/record label, I don't know.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: krabapple on 2007-04-03 17:15:06
Another questions is someone mentioned that itunes music are actually compressed from a lossless image of the production CD. Is that true?

I have at least heard from one supplier of compressed tracks for online stores (I think including iTMS) that they rip from CD to FLAC, then generate compressed versions from their FLAC archive.

Josh



Just like me!   


Anyway, what's this bosh about 'doubling the sound quality' by doubling the bitrate?  Someone needs to call bullshit on Jobs for this idea that 'sound quality' increases linearly with bitrate.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Kef on 2007-04-03 17:19:17
Another questions is someone mentioned that itunes music are actually compressed from a lossless image of the production CD. Is that true?

I have at least heard from one supplier of compressed tracks for online stores (I think including iTMS) that they rip from CD to FLAC, then generate compressed versions from their FLAC archive.

Josh


I know allofmp3 does that for sure.




Unfortunately soundexpert's testing methodology makes the tests useless or at least inherently flawed.

You can read more in this thread: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=43656 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=43656)

The conclusion of the 320kbps test is a big warning itself:

"High bitrate AAC+ coder by Coding Technologies bundled with Winamp 5.2 has substantial increase of perceptual quality margin over all other contenders of the test. So it could be a good candidate for distribution of high quality audio content over the internet"

Does anyone else think, cutting off all audio above 11025 Hz and replacing it with noise (using SBR), make any sense at this bitrate? Pfft...


Sorry to sidetrack this thread, but that's not how the high bitrate aacPlus encoder works.  It uses "Oversampled" SBR mode - basically it encodes the AAC LC portion at 44,100hz (like normal) and is using SBR to fill in the ~16-22khz (varies depending on bitrate) range that gets cut off by the pre-encoding lowpass.


Nice, I wasn't aware of that. It doesn't really matter though, it's just an example of, in my opinion, flaws in the testing methodology. I won't sidtrack this thread any more that I've already done. Just a quick question, what would the lowpass be in this 320kbps "test"?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-04-03 18:37:01
Another questions is someone mentioned that itunes music are actually compressed from a lossless image of the production CD. Is that true?

I have at least heard from one supplier of compressed tracks for online stores (I think including iTMS) that they rip from CD to FLAC, then generate compressed versions from their FLAC archive.

I believe that bands/record labels use Apple's software for making iTunes Store content.  The people making the content load the digital masters into Apple's software and it gives them the option to either output in 128kbps (I think CBR) or Apple Lossless before sending the files to Apple.  Apple can then store the lossless files on their server and transcode those lossless files to lossy for iTunes Store selling.  I imagine this is why it will take about a month to get those DRM-free 256kbps AAC files up on the store.  EMI must make sure that every one of their artists have submitted lossless files to Apple, then Apple must transcode those lossless files to 256kbps AAC.  Some tracks purchased off of the iTunes Store are in fact 128kbps VBR though.  I have purchased a few new singles and their file sizes all indicate that they are 128kbps CBR though.  That is how a "artist" described the process on iLounge's forums.  Whether it is the same for every artist/record label, I don't know.

I don't doubt that's true for individuals and little suppliers, but for the big ones it seems improbable, I think for them they sub it out.  the company I'm talking about supplies tens of thousands of titles and it would be a big logistical problem to get digital masters and re-author.  they have specialized hardware to rip many CDs in parallel at high speed, then archive to FLAC, then generate whatever lossy flavor their customer wants.

Josh
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Busemann on 2007-04-03 22:58:46
This is not about DRM either, it's about the iTunes+iPod lock-in. Apple's FairPlay DRM system is totally closed. Only Apple can use it. Microsoft does a much better job in this regard, they license their DRM system to others. If Apple would license out their FairPlay DRM technology to other companies making portable music players (Creative and such) this case would never excist in the first place.


Actually, Microsoft adopted the closed Apple model with Zune and its online music service. It was only their old not-so-aptly named PlaysForSure service that was licensed out to other manufacturers.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2007-04-04 06:32:22
I don't doubt that's true for individuals and little suppliers, but for the big ones it seems improbable, I think for them they sub it out.  the company I'm talking about supplies tens of thousands of titles and it would be a big logistical problem to get digital masters and re-author.  they have specialized hardware to rip many CDs in parallel at high speed, then archive to FLAC, then generate whatever lossy flavor their customer wants.

Josh


I just think it is a little odd that Apple would use technology, such as FLAC, that wasn't developed by them.  Then again, the new version of Mac OS X is supposed to add native FLAC support.

Either way, the move to non-DRM files is a step in the right direction.  People can now purchase tracks off of iTunes and play them off their PSP, PDA, AAC CD compatible car deck, Microsoft Zune, or any other device that supports AAC playback.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-04-04 07:52:48
oh, I'm not talking about apple using it, I'm saying some of the suppliers of the encoded files do.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Gabe69 on 2007-04-04 09:03:01
I just think it is a little odd that Apple would use technology, such as FLAC, that wasn't developed by them.  Then again, the new version of Mac OS X is supposed to add native FLAC support.


Apple always uses available technology, if it is "good enough" for them, and doesn't try to re-invent the wheel like Microsoft does. Examples: AAC, USB (previously they used their own ADB, which was much better than the old PC keyboard and PS/2 ports, but abandoned it when USB came out), PostScript (only created TrueType fonts, because Adobe kept Type 1 fonts for themselves), H.264, JPEG, SCSI, NuBus etc.

The only reason they created Apple Lossless and did not use an existing lossless format is because they needed  a format with fast encoding in addition to decoding for their AirTunes technology where sound is encoded to Apple Lossless on-the-fly before it is transmitted wirelessly to the AirPort Express.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-04 13:34:48
Due to problems with MS Vista compatability and Windows Media Player 11 not working with their DRM-tracks, the Weedshare (www.weedshare.com) music sales system is officially suspending operations.

Read their press release here on CDBaby.org:
http://cdbaby.org/stories/07/04/03/6098077.html (http://cdbaby.org/stories/07/04/03/6098077.html)

A Microsoft-DRM music store casualty. It appears Microsoft either can't or won't fix Weedshare's compatability problems with both Vista and Windows Media Player 11. So much for Microsoft supporting its DRM digital music partners.

It looks like Apple's/EMI's anti-DRM movethe other day  tipped the hand for Weedshare, as reported in the following article, and they may go DRM-free soon:
http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=2...rnetAndServices (http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=21861&hed=Life+After+Apple+Lock-up&sector=Industries&subsector=InternetAndServices)
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2007-04-04 16:21:54
oh, I'm not talking about apple using it, I'm saying some of the suppliers of the encoded files do.


Ah, OK.  I can see that.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: pepoluan on 2007-04-04 16:47:53
The only reason they created Apple Lossless and did not use an existing lossless format is because they needed  a format with fast encoding in addition to decoding for their AirTunes technology where sound is encoded to Apple Lossless on-the-fly before it is transmitted wirelessly to the AirPort Express.
Ahh... so, now that FLAC's license have been modified (enabling decoders to be bundled with non-open-source products like WinAmp -- I bet this is also why Apple only now considers giving FLAC support), will Apple be pushing FLAC and leaving Apple Lossless?

Speaking of which, how's FLAC & Apple Lossless' compression performance?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-04-04 18:23:34
The only reason they created Apple Lossless and did not use an existing lossless format is because they needed  a format with fast encoding in addition to decoding for their AirTunes technology where sound is encoded to Apple Lossless on-the-fly before it is transmitted wirelessly to the AirPort Express.

they should have at least talked to me first then... it's proven quite easy to speed up the flac encoder, much easier than to invent a whole new codec.

Speaking of which, how's FLAC & Apple Lossless' compression performance?

FLAC compresses more than ALAC, faster than ALAC, and decodes faster too:
http://flac.sourceforge.net/comparison.html (http://flac.sourceforge.net/comparison.html)

Josh

edit:
PS that has always been true BTW, see this comparison from 3 years ago: http://flac.cvs.sourceforge.net/*checkout*...l?revision=1.22 (http://flac.cvs.sourceforge.net/*checkout*/flac/flac/doc/html/comparison.html?revision=1.22)

that's why I think it's an unlikely reason for developing ALAC
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Serge Smirnoff on 2007-04-04 22:48:50
So if I understood correctly new iTunes tracks will be AAC 256 CBR. Interesting, are they to disclose the encoder used. I would include it in SoundExpert 256kbit/s test.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2007-04-04 22:58:33
So if I understood correctly new iTunes tracks will be AAC 256 CBR. Interesting, are they to disclose the encoder used. I would include it in SoundExpert 256kbit/s test.


Obviously they would use the latest Quicktime.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Serge Smirnoff on 2007-04-04 23:26:45
Obviously they would use the latest Quicktime.

Well, I would say “most probably” but how to know this for sure? Any ideas?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Jojo on 2007-04-05 02:09:49
If they had bumped up the quality to around 160-192kbps it probably would have been good enough for many HA members, but 256kbps seems to be a bit overkill. It's not good enough for the most puritan of audiophiles, yet it seems a little big for what mainstream users want, considering that they probably own either an iPod mini or nano and lack the room.


Apple has to give people a reason to buy new iPods. More storage is usually the main reason why people upgrade, some more features, smaller size and longer battery life act as a bonus.


I'm kinda confused by all of this. Why would Apple release music in AAC at 256kbps?

Headroom for the watermark?

has this been confirmed that the DRM tracks contain watermarks?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2007-04-05 02:29:35
Obviously they would use the latest Quicktime.

Well, I would say “most probably” but how to know this for sure? Any ideas?


Uh, because it is an Apple application that rips/uploads the files?

Why wouldn't Apple use their own encoder?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2007-04-05 02:52:55
I too would think that the 256kbps AAC files would use the latest QuickTime/iTunes AAC encoder.  There are non-QuickTime/iTunes AAC files on the iTunes Store but they are few and hard to find.  Though I would imagine that the popular AAC encoders like the iTunes AAC encoder, Nero's, the one included with WinAmp, and the Helix AAC (not sure if that is the name, it is included with RealOne) encoder would probably all perform about the same.

I would like to see the experts perform a 256kbps test here on hydrogenaudio.  Maybe comparing WMA, iTunes AAC, Lame mp3, WinAmp AAC, and a fifth format like OGG all at 256kbps.  Then again, that is asking a lot as I am sure 256kbps is hard to distinguish and having 5 formats to test at that high of a bitrate would make a lot of work.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-05 04:34:35
I would like to see the experts perform a 256kbps test here on hydrogenaudio.  Maybe comparing WMA, iTunes AAC, Lame mp3, WinAmp AAC, and a fifth format like OGG all at 256kbps.  Then again, that is asking a lot as I am sure 256kbps is hard to distinguish and having 5 formats to test at that high of a bitrate would make a lot of work.

I asked about this early on in this thread, and the only reply I got was that it would be to heard to do a 256K listening test. The poster thought that there wouldn't be enough difference to notice I believe.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2007-04-05 05:39:33

I would like to see the experts perform a 256kbps test here on hydrogenaudio.  Maybe comparing WMA, iTunes AAC, Lame mp3, WinAmp AAC, and a fifth format like OGG all at 256kbps.  Then again, that is asking a lot as I am sure 256kbps is hard to distinguish and having 5 formats to test at that high of a bitrate would make a lot of work.

I asked about this early on in this thread, and the only reply I got was that it would be to heard to do a 256K listening test. The poster thought that there wouldn't be enough difference to notice I believe.


Yeah, I gathered that.  Still, it would be nice to see a test like that.  I am sure the differences between the encoders would be very small but, if you are encoding your music at the 256kbps bitrate range, then you would care about those slight margins of quality.  A test like this wouldn't be needed but it would be nice for curiosity sake.  Then again, it really isn't worth running a test just for curiosity.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 2007-04-05 06:58:14
Many testers found AAC 128kbps transparent in the 128kbps multiformat listening test (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=40607), so the assumption is that 256kbps would be transparent to nearly everyone.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: pepoluan on 2007-04-05 13:54:08
The only reason they created Apple Lossless and did not use an existing lossless format is because they needed  a format with fast encoding in addition to decoding for their AirTunes technology where sound is encoded to Apple Lossless on-the-fly before it is transmitted wirelessly to the AirPort Express.
they should have at least talked to me first then... it's proven quite easy to speed up the flac encoder, much easier than to invent a whole new codec.
Well Josh, like I posted, I think it's kinda like the situation WinAmp developers faced, i.e. the licensing issue?
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-04-05 16:14:29
The only reason they created Apple Lossless and did not use an existing lossless format is because they needed  a format with fast encoding in addition to decoding for their AirTunes technology where sound is encoded to Apple Lossless on-the-fly before it is transmitted wirelessly to the AirPort Express.
they should have at least talked to me first then... it's proven quite easy to speed up the flac encoder, much easier than to invent a whole new codec.
Well Josh, like I posted, I think it's kinda like the situation WinAmp developers faced, i.e. the licensing issue?

libFLAC switched to BSD 4 years ago, more than a year before ALAC came out.  with winamp, the plugin part was GPL and only recently I changed it to LGPL.

I really can't figure out why the same company that was OK with betting the farm on AAC for lossy decided to build an inferior lossless codec from scratch.

Josh
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: goodnews on 2007-04-05 16:25:01
libFLAC switched to BSD 4 years ago, more than a year before ALAC came out.  with winamp, the plugin part was GPL and only recently I changed it to LGPL.

I really can't figure out why the same company that was OK with betting the farm on AAC for lossy decided to build an inferior lossless codec from scratch.

Josh

I think I have the answer for you Josh... You are not the easiest guy in the world to contact. I know several years ago (about the time Apple was prepping Apple Lossless for release) I tried over and over to get in touch with you at your, I believe, sourceforge.net E-mail address to no avail. I had to track you down by PM by HA, and Apple may not have been that persistant at trying to locate you to get in touch about licensing FLAC, and instead went their own way with ALAC. Also it took a while to hear back from you. Since you don't publish your contact phone or mailing address, it is likely Apple may have tried and never got hold of you, as the E-mail address on the FLAC site was having problems back then (if I am remembering correctly). So, perhaps there you have the reason why FLAC wasn't chosen by Apple. It appears you are annoyed or upset over their (Apple's) choice for lossless codec by your recent posts in this thread. I doubt Apple tried to slight you. Perhaps they just couldn't reach you back then...
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: rjamorim on 2007-04-05 17:35:23
Yeah, I gathered that.  Still, it would be nice to see a test like that.  I am sure the differences between the encoders would be very small but, if you are encoding your music at the 256kbps bitrate range, then you would care about those slight margins of quality.  A test like this wouldn't be needed but it would be nice for curiosity sake.  Then again, it really isn't worth running a test just for curiosity.


My canned response:

Code: [Select]
Why a listening test at high bitrates (192+kbps) wouldn't work:

1) Most samples would have already reached transparency at that bitrate.
And choosing only problem samples would make the test less significant
since you wouldn't be testing a broad range of musical styles.

2) Only a handful of golden ears would be able to reliably ABX the
samples, and even after ABXing they would hardly give scores lower
than 4.5

3) Since all scores would be around 4.5, the error margins would be big
enough to make all codecs tied. To avoid that, you would need to have
hundreds of participants, in an attempt to bring the error margins down.

4) You would have a hard time finding hundreds of golden ears, and even
more, hundreds of golden ears willing to participate, because the test
would be very fatiguing and frustrating, due to the difficulty of ABXing.

5) At the end, even if you managed to bring the error margins down, the
codecs would be ranked so close that you wouldn't be able to produce a
decent conclusion. All codecs would seem (or be) tied to each other.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-04-05 22:51:34
I think I have the answer for you Josh
...
Perhaps they just couldn't reach you back then...

I guess maybe, but it had to have been easier to reach me that develop a new audio codec!  I do have to prioritize the email/requests I get because of time, but apple would have jumped to the top of the list real quick.  my contact info was on the site, as were the mailing lists, and in the code, which I know they read based on the similarities between FLAC and ALAC.  since then I have been in touch with apple but they want an NDA before even talking to me, and when I asked for just a friendly introductory meeting they never replied.

I don't think they were doing it to slight me, I just think it was an ill-informed decision.  the best thing to do is recognize it and fix, the sooner the better.  there are benefits for apple as well as FLAC.  if you think so too, tell them: http://flac.sourceforge.net/itunes.html (http://flac.sourceforge.net/itunes.html)

Josh
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: Mirage2k on 2007-04-06 03:47:35
I thought the reason for the choice of 256 kbps was obvious from a marketing standpoint.  256 is double 128, so to the lay-person it sounds "twice as good" and is thus a bargain given that it only costs 30% more.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: MyDisplayName on 2007-04-06 06:32:29
I thought the reason for the choice of 256 kbps was obvious from a marketing standpoint.  256 is double 128, so to the lay-person it sounds "twice as good" and is thus a bargain given that it only costs 30% more.


Exactly. I'm sure this whole "upgrade" thing will prove to be a prime example of the observer-expectancy effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer-expectancy_effect)
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: carlcamper on 2007-04-08 05:38:48
Looks like Microsoft wants in on the action too:
link (http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=mobile_devices&articleId=9015898&taxonomyId=75)

Quote
A REPORT on Computerworld said that Microsoft will drop DRM (digital rights management ) on its Zune machines too.

But rather than accept that Apple trumped it in a PR move by saying it had decided to drop digital rights management, instead Microsoft claimed it had been talking to the music companies for ages.

A rep told the magazine that it's obvious that people want unprotected music.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kennedyb4 on 2007-04-08 16:49:20
I think these first DRM "less" files would have some type of metadata tagging or watermark so their inevitable appearance on PTP networks could be tracked.Hopefully someone with the appropriate skills will look for this when they are out.

I think the move to better quality files for a premium is a great business model.I would pay a further premium for lossless files if available.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: ...Just Elliott on 2007-04-09 19:57:25
Looks like Microsoft wants in on the action too:
link (http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=mobile_devices&articleId=9015898&taxonomyId=75)

Quote
A REPORT on Computerworld said that Microsoft will drop DRM (digital rights management ) on its Zune machines too.

But rather than accept that Apple trumped it in a PR move by saying it had decided to drop digital rights management, instead Microsoft claimed it had been talking to the music companies for ages.

A rep told the magazine that it's obvious that people want unprotected music.


bahahaha...

Microsoft are now nothing more than a joke.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: superpoincare on 2007-04-11 20:05:42
I think we are all missing a point here. 128 ripped by iTunes in AAC IS TRANSPARENT.

listening tests are old come on guys...

I think selling songs at the 256 level is somehow related to avoid piracy....donno how but think so...
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: CiTay on 2007-04-11 21:18:50
I think we are all missing a point here. 128 ripped by iTunes in AAC IS TRANSPARENT.

listening tests are old come on guys...

I think selling songs at the 256 level is somehow related to avoid piracy....donno how but think so...


Thanks for your valuable input. And you get a free TOS #8 warning.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2007-04-11 23:10:18

I think we are all missing a point here. 128 ripped by iTunes in AAC IS TRANSPARENT.

listening tests are old come on guys...

I think selling songs at the 256 level is somehow related to avoid piracy....donno how but think so...


Thanks for your valuable input. And you get a free TOS #8 warning.


Well, seeing how most listeners (in this (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=40607) test) perceive 128kbps iTunes AAC to be transparent, their post borders on violating TOS #8.

I have to agree with the comment though.  I would think that the average iPod user can't distinguish between 128kbps iTunes AAC and the CD.  The average iPod user is probably ripping their CDs to the default iTunes setting of 128kbps AAC without even knowing it.  I would much prefer DRM-free 128kbps files instead of 256kbps.  I would think that upping the bitrate to 256kbps is another ploy to stop illegal downloading as many people who illegally download material have the common census of "a higher bitrate means better quality" even though they can't really perceive the higher bitrate.  In other words, they think they can hear a difference but they really can't.  So, by Apple posting these higher bitrate files (even though the average person is fine with 128kbps), I think they are trying to lure these slackers into legally purchasing music.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: CiTay on 2007-04-12 00:12:36
Well, seeing how most listeners (in this (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=40607) test) perceive 128kbps iTunes AAC to be transparent, their post borders on violating TOS #8.


That was in a listening test discussion. But superpoincare explicitly wrote:

128 ripped by iTunes in AAC IS TRANSPARENT.

listening tests are old come on guys...


I agree that "XY is transparent" is hard to prove (especially if you don't value listening tests). But if you can't prove it, don't claim it.
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: superpoincare on 2007-04-23 13:20:23
Well the TOS #8 needs support ? Apple website claims that ... Am sure you have seen it... plus am no average user...

coming to piracy what I meant was that I think it can become easier for Apple to find out who is swapping files and go ahead and stop them.. again no proof for claims... its not even a claim ... just a thought...
Title: EMI and Apple to remove DRM from most of their music on iTunes
Post by: ...Just Elliott on 2007-04-23 13:27:42
Well of COURSE Apple's website claims it. Sigh.
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