Tuesday, July 01, 2008

DRM no longer the future of music

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

Real Networks has announced that its Rhapsody digital music service is selling DRM-free MP3s from all four major records labels, following in the footsteps of Amazon and Napster. That means you can now shuttle Rhapsody tunes onto any MP3 player, including the iPhone and the iPod.

Rhapsody will continue to offer an all-you-can-stream subscription service. But this will take a backseat to unrestricted MP3 downloads, which Real insists on calling "Music Without Limits." The company boasts that over the next year it will spend $50m promoting this change in philosophy - including $15m in the third quarter alone.

"Until now, legal digital music has suffered from severe limitations on where consumers could buy it and how they could use it," reads a canned statement from Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. "'Music Without Limits,' fixes those problems and will make digital music easier and more valuable for consumers."

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Brett's 2p'orth: Personally I've never seen the attraction of subscription-based music services. I wonder if we will will ever see all Digital Rights Management systems abolished? Also, in case you're thinking of trying it out, this service is only available to US-based, Windows users.

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