DRM-Free MP3 songs - You're joking, right?

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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DRM-Free MP3 songs - You're joking, right?

Amazon.com today announced it will launch a digital music store later this year offering millions of songs in the DRM-free MP3 format from more than 12,000 record labels. According to Amazon, every song and album in the Amazon.com digital music store will be available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. A major corporation (Amazon) convinced the record labels to offer their music with no digital rights protection? Unbelievable! I'm speechless. So while the RIAA continues to sue college kids for downloading DRM-free MP3s off the Internet, the RIAA (supported by record labels) is going to allow DRM-free MP3s to be sold? What's to stop these "legally" downloaded MP3s from then being uploaded onto P2P networks? Perhaps since that is being done already en-masse, the record labels figure "if you can't beat em' join em'".

Amazon's DRM-free MP3s will free customers to play their music on virtually any of their personal devices -- including PCs, Macs, iPods, Zunes, Zens -- and to burn songs to CDs for personal use.

Perhaps the nicest thing about DRM-free MP3s is that there are no restrictions on its personal use. Apple on the other hand with all music sold through iTunes uses the FairPlay system that restricts the use of the downloads. Purchased music can only be moved between five computers and played on an Apple iPod. Amazon's MP3 songs can be played on any MP3 player (including the iPod) as well as burned to a CD, or copied to as many PCs or Macs that you want.

Whether that is enough to knock Apple iTunes off their digital music download throne remains to be seen.

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