Hasta la vista, Macworld

By on January 6, 2009 at 2:43 PM.

Hasta la vista, Macworld

There you have it Apple fans, Apple’s final Macworld keynote has come and gone. As expected, Steve Jobs was nowhere to be found – indeed due to health reasons as many had dismissed as false until Jobs’ recent letter was issued on Monday. Phill Schiller had some pretty big shoes to fill but he did a great job and even threw in a joke or two. As for the announcements, the only surprise was iLife ’09 and we think it was a pretty good surprise in fact. Apple looks to have made some great updates to its suite and we can’t wait to upgrade and start playing with all the new features. As far as the three other big announcements – iWork ’09, the new 17″ MacBook Pro and DRM-free iTunes – leaks did an ok job of covering each one to some extent. In terms of the massive list of rumors that weren’t made a reality today, this year’s Macworld had more rumors surrounding it than ever before so most were obviously destined to be squashed. We would have liked to have seen a refreshed iMac and Mac Mini, case manufacturers would have liked to have seen an iPhone nano and Apple’s board would have liked to have seen a more sustained and significant spike in Apple shares today. Hey, you can’t win ‘em all…

13 Comments

iTunes is DRM-free, folks!

By on January 6, 2009 at 12:57 PM.

iTunes is DRM-free, folks!

Mr. Phil hasn’t announced this yet, but after opening iTunes, we’re now presented with an option to upgrade our library (of UMG music) to DRM-free iTunes Plus status! It looks like it costs $0.30/song to upgrade to iTunes Plus, but this also includes music videos at $0.60/video! So there should be no DRM restrictions on those as well. So happiez.

Updating…

Alright, it’s just been announced, so here’s the run down:

  • Pricing at $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29 based on the labels and how old the song is
  • All songs in iTunes will eventually be DRM-free
  • In addition to pricing, as previous rumored, you can now download all music from your iPhone over 3G instead of just Wi-Fi only!
31 Comments

Sony BMG may jump on board with DRM-free iTunes Plus

By on November 9, 2008 at 12:14 PM.

Sony BMG may jump on board with DRM-free iTunes Plus

For the time being, we’ll definitely have to file this one under rumor but our fingers are most certainly crossed. According to 9to5Mac’s “hunch”, which we would hope to mean anonymous reliable source, Sony BMG will soon become the second major label to get on board with Apple’s iTunes Plus offering. iTunes Plus, for those not keeping score at home, is Apple’s name for higher quality DRM-free tracks offered through its store. If this rumor pans out, Sony BMG will join EMI in making 256kbit DRM-free tracks available through iTunes. Apple launched the iTunes Plus service back in May of 2007 and initially charged a premium of 30¢ per track before seeing the light and lowering Plus prices to the normal 99¢ price point. Since then however, lack of major label adoption beyond EMI has kept the world pretty quiet about Apple’s DRM-free library. News of Sony BMG jumping on board would definitely be a huge knock against DRM and might help the other two majors, Universal and Warner, see the light.

Read

9 Comments

Rhapsody launches DRM-free music store, offers 100,000 albums for free

By on June 30, 2008 at 5:38 AM.

Rhapsody launches DRM-free music store, offers 100,000 albums for free

Hello, Rhapsody. Real Networks’ online music store has finally launched a DRM-free download option on an apathetic unsuspecting public. Boasting a catalog of over 5 million songs, the new service allows customers to access their library for a mere $.99/song or $9.99/album. The pricing is relatively competitive, but considering how late they are to to DRM-free party, they might want to consider a fee-structure that is a bit more in line with Amazon/com’s $.89/song, $8.99 bargain basement average. Nevertheless, in an attempt to drum up excitement, Rhapsody is currently offering an entire album free of charge to the first 100,000 customers that sign up for the service. We wouldn’t recommend sticking around much after the free download hits your hard drive, but free music ain’t so bad, right? As an added incentive, the company is also making their online store available to Verizon subscribers by way of a special portal. It’s a decent solution, but we’d still wager that there are better and cheaper ways of getting music onto your handset.

Read

11 Comments