There are two reasons why I (usually) buy CDs from Amazon rather than download them from iTunes: no DRM and higher sound quality. Those reasons went away (for some recordings) when EMI and Apple announced a new tier of DRM-free, higher bit-rate tunes. (At least that's how Steve Jobs sees it. It remains to be heard how the well the improved--but still lossy--tracks compare to CD quality.)
Price on a single tune goes up from $.99 to $1.29, but the album price stays the same. (This is the second move from iTunes aimed at offering incentives to buying the album rather than cherry-picking favorite cuts. Last week they offered to allow people to complete albums for the price they would have paid in the first place.)
A neat deet: If you have already bought the lower-quality DRM-shackled version of the song for $.99, you can upgrade for the price difference--$.30.
While iTunes gets first crack at this deal, EMI said it will offer the same deal to other retailers in a choice of formats (AAC, MP3, WMA, and others).
Mickeleh's Take: I'm seeing one of those movie scenes in an aquarium where the camera cuts to a small crack in the glass. And then keeps cutting back as the crack lengthens, until, with a great roar and a rush of waters, all the actors are drenched and covered in fish. Thanks, in advance, for all the fish.
You don't suppose that EMI decided to set the music free in honor of Pesach (also known by it's slave name, Passover.)
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(Tags: DRM, iTunes, EMI, Apple, Music)