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Post by trog @ 11:11am 08/01/09 | 54 Comments
At MacWorld this week, Apple announces that the iTunes Music Store is going DRM free after reaching an agreement with the major labels that also sees more variation on pricing, ending the US$0.99/track "monopoly" that Apple was forcing on them. The Wired blog has a writeup on the changes and some more detail about them.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation have boldly declared that "DRM is good and fully dead for digital music", but also urges us not to forget that DRM isn't just about music, with a wrap-up of Apple's other DRM systems and how they attempt to provide safeguards to eliminate competition and cripple interoperability.



appleitunesdrm





Latest Comments
Fireblood
Posted 11:16am 08/1/09
Woo Hoo!!

I might actually start buying music now!
Mantorok
Posted 11:26am 08/1/09
Now all they need to do is offer the option to buy songs at CD quality instead of only in a lossy format.
tequila
Posted 11:33am 08/1/09
don't they also want $0.30c for every song you already own to "un-DRM" it
Alt_F4
Posted 11:33am 08/1/09
Now all they need to do is offer the option to buy songs at CD quality instead of only in a lossy format.


Yep, i would certainly consider paying for that. Though i imagine they don't stand to gain that much more by offering it.
Opec
Posted 11:34am 08/1/09
Great news
trog
Posted 11:46am 08/1/09
don't they also want $0.30c for every song you already own to "un-DRM" it
Yeh, something like that, but what sort of muppet would have bought DRMed music in the first place
BillyHardball
Posted 11:51am 08/1/09
I might actually start buying music now!

Apple have had non-DRM music for at least a year now.
Now all they need to do is offer the option to buy songs at CD quality instead of only in a lossy format.

They have ~192 - ~256 quality mp3's, and have had them for a while now :p
Fireblood
Posted 02:33pm 08/1/09
^ Apple fanboy ^

edit: Yeah I know Billy, it's just too damn easy, I havn't got new music for like over a year anyway.

last edited by Fireblood at 14:33:02 08/Jan/09
BillyHardball
Posted 12:00pm 08/1/09
Just trying to point out that it's not going to stop people like you (and me) illegally downloading music.
demon
Posted 12:03pm 08/1/09
They have ~192 - ~256 quality mp3's, and have had them for a while now :p

that's still lossy... as any mp3 is... even 320kpbs bwidth.

i'll buy wavs online but not mp3s... thats like buying a thumbnail of a painting imo :D
BillyHardball
Posted 12:06pm 08/1/09
And I guess that'll be the new excuse that people use for not buying mp3's. As if you can tell the difference in audio quality above ~200kbps. Well, if you can, you should go to your local university because you have some amazing hearing skills no one else in the world has :p
TiT
Posted 12:10pm 08/1/09
And I guess that'll be the new excuse that people use for not buying mp3's. As if you can tell the difference in audio quality above ~200kbps. Well, if you can, you should go to your local university because you have some amazing hearing skills no one else in the world has :p


See i totally disagree... i find with most songs you dont hear much of difference but you do if the songs has alot of instruments in it... or really soft voices in the background of the song...
BillyHardball
Posted 12:15pm 08/1/09
Heh, we need to do a double blind test to see if people can perform above chance :)
MrHardware
Posted 12:19pm 08/1/09
yep, i bet most people who claim they can hear a difference would fail in a double blind test, it's all just the placebo effect.
demon
Posted 12:23pm 08/1/09
Well, if you can, you should go to your local university because you have some amazing hearing skills no one else in the world has :p

bollucks. you n the ipod generation just wouldn't know what audio quality is because ya listen to everything from a s***** source & never on a decent sound system :D most ppl can tell an mp3 from a wav on a decent sound system.
TiT
Posted 12:27pm 08/1/09
yes totally agree!
Mantorok
Posted 12:28pm 08/1/09
And I guess that'll be the new excuse that people use for not buying mp3's. As if you can tell the difference in audio quality above ~200kbps. Well, if you can, you should go to your local university because you have some amazing hearing skills no one else in the world has :p
How about getting what you're actually paying for? Why does the guy who pays $17 for a CD get a better quality product than the guy who buys an album off iTunes? Especially when others have been offering FLAC downloads and Apple has supported ripping CDs to Apple Lossless for ages.
Reduaram
Posted 12:36pm 08/1/09
How about getting what you're actually paying for? Why does the guy who pays $17 for a CD get a better quality product than the guy who buys an album off iTunes? Especially when others have been offering FLAC downloads and Apple has supported ripping CDs to Apple Lossless for ages.
Someone on SA pointed out that what apple is doing is simple providing what the market wants. Most people don't know that there is different quality of music. Audiophiles are not most people.

Can you even tell the difference between 256 and 320?
Mantorok
Posted 12:59pm 08/1/09
Can you even tell the difference between 256 and 320?
I wouldn't know, I ripped everything I own at 320kbps after ditching 192kbps years ago and never bothered with 256kbps.
Obes
Posted 01:02pm 08/1/09
i'll buy wavs online but not mp3s... thats like buying a thumbnail of a painting imo :D

Worst analogy ever.

A better analogy would be the difference between 2 hi res jpegs, 1 lossless the other at the lowest level of compression (ie. only a little bit of lossy), then zooming out say 2 or 3 times so you can see the picture on your standard lcd monitor thats not colour corrected and has a healthy layer of dust and grime...

Very very few people can pick a well encoded 320k vbr
http://www.soundexpert.info/coders320.jsp
Most of the double blind tests I have seen done people start to struggle beyond 192k vbr, beyond 200 the good encoders are basically imperceptible ( http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=36465 ).

So people in environments conducive to listening to music with appropriate gear still have trouble percieving the differences.

Now ... lets take that put it on some cheap earphones/speakers and play it in an environment with background noise (car/train/office). Small buzzes and hiss from electrical interference. Probably playing it back on a cheap chinese made device... yeah you need wavs cos that 320k vbr sounds so wrong ...


http://www.heise.de/ct/00/06/092/default.shtml

The test was done in a single room, using some decent gear (around 15k euros worth, including a 7k euro Seinhiser tube amplifier
Translated and quoted

Result

In the plain language is called: Our music-trained test listeners knew the worse MP3-Qualitt (128 kBit/s) quite accurately of the two other hearing samples to differentiate; between MP3 with 256 kBit/s and to the original of CD however on the average no difference showed itself over all pieces: The testers estimated MP3/256 just as frequently as CD quality as the CD themselves.

ie. The testers picked the 256 sample as the cd just as often as they picked the cd sample.
MP3/256 and CD obtained the same point value of 501 over all pieces

demon
Posted 01:40pm 08/1/09
worst obesisms ever. even if you are a tone deaf f**r that can't tell the difference... why bother getting lower quality than you can? no amount of blind testing is going to test every concievable tune/beat/rhythm in every system in every situation. so, you get f***ed now pls!

most people can't tell blu-ray from std dvd... so there's no reason to buy blu-ray eh!? most ppl can't tell the difference between a 1024*768 plasma & a larger res plasma... no need for those larger plasmas then i guess!

back to yur 30fps is sufficient arguments bubblehead! :D
trog
Posted 01:46pm 08/1/09
why bother getting lower quality than you can?
Well its not just audio quality - it's also cheaper to store and distribute lower quality stuff, thus reducing the overheads involved in selling the music in the first place.

I'd happily pay more for higher quality stuff though. It's the f*****g Internet and computers and stuff, it's not like they can't do it trivially. They're just doing it because there's no market demand for the higher quality stuff.
Hogfather
Posted 01:50pm 08/1/09
Sorry demon, have to give ths one to Obes.

He backed up his argument with cited research. You replied with a poorly constructed s***-fling, may as well have just rolled your face over the keyboard.
paveway
Posted 01:52pm 08/1/09
And I guess that'll be the new excuse that people use for not buying mp3's. As if you can tell the difference in audio quality above ~200kbps. Well, if you can, you should go to your local university because you have some amazing hearing skills no one else in the world has


f*** oath
3dee
Posted 01:55pm 08/1/09
I usually rip at 160kbps minimum, highest quality VBR and mine sound fine.

I've ripped a few of my CDs at Apple Lossless and its very hard but you can notice a tiny bit of a difference between high quality MP3 and lossless. But its minute and most of the time ambient sound occludes the difference you might hear.

I'd rather have 500 more MB per album than be able to hear 0.1% better sound.

last edited by 3dee at 13:55:21 08/Jan/09
Obes
Posted 02:02pm 08/1/09
1024*768 plasma & a larger res plasma... no need for those larger plasmas then i guess!

If you can't tell the difference (I couldn't) ? ... a fool and his money are easily parted (hence why monster cables exist ...) Why buy a Full HD TV and then sit so far away from it that you are essentially getting 720p or worse res ?

why bother getting lower quality than you can?

bandwidth ? Storage ? If storage was unimportant why do people buy a 16G iphone over an 8 ? or a 8G mp3 player over a 1G ? Why download a SD tv show or 720P when a 1080P exists ? ....

most people can't tell blu-ray from std dvd


Bulls***, even my folks who have fake lenses in their eyes can see the difference on a big enough tv. But if you are watching it on a 26" crt (or any SD tv) in your bedroom, yeah why bother (ps. blu-ray sucks)

back to yur 30fps is sufficient arguments bubblehead!

I think the drugs have rattled something loose demon. If framerate was so godly how come when I had the only v2-12meg sli setup in Brisbane I was still getting smashed by the likes of NC, whitey, dethon and kabas on old clunkers ? Surely the fact I was trippling their frame rates should have given me some god mode or something ? Not to mention being totally irrelevant to the arguement and nothing more then a personal attack (did I attack you ?)

People listened to this stuff on high end audio gear and could not pick the differences reliably. But hey joe gumby on his itunes and ipod with their cheapy headphones ... they can tell the difference!!!

If you happen to be skilled enough to tell the difference then god/zenu/subatomic particles bless you, or even if you can't but it makes you happy to think that you can, then happy days! But you are the extremely rare exception. The F1 driver of the audio world so to speak. Most people want the significantly quicker download and significantly more files on their mp3 device over an insignificant difference in quality.

demon
Posted 02:27pm 08/1/09
tsk obes, if anyone here could take a bit of flack without the sooky 'i didn't attack you!' rejoiner i thought i'd be you... getting old n soft eh? next you'll be saying it's offensive to tell people to get f***ed!? ya big poopoo head. :D

anywys... buy yur s***** mp3s if yas wanna... i'll stick to downloading them for free & deleting them after i've listened to them a few times & buying the quality music on cd/dvd with nice cover artwork.

& i know this is kinda like reverse trolling ... but sif dethon evah had a clunker rig to game on.. i mean, c'mon! ;p
Spook
Posted 02:33pm 08/1/09
bollucks. you n the ipod generation just wouldn't know what audio quality is because ya listen to everything from a s***** source & never on a decent sound system :D most ppl can tell an mp3 from a wav on a decent sound system.


no they cant
Mantorok
Posted 02:33pm 08/1/09
You're missing the point entirely. iTunes Music Store is an alternative to buying CDs. However, it's pretty easy to get CDs for under $17 these days, so paying $17 for an inferior product doesn't make sense. There's also little reason Apple can't solve this. Offering various quality downloads is no different than a restaurant oferring to cook your steak the way you like it.
3dee
Posted 02:36pm 08/1/09
To be honest, I haven't had any gripes with the quality of their DRM music. I was actually kinda surprised to learn it was only 128kbps cause it sounds way better than MP3 at 128kbps.
MrHardware
Posted 02:38pm 08/1/09
hahahaahahahaha hogfather hahahahahahaha
Raven
Posted 03:28pm 08/1/09
You're missing the point entirely. iTunes Music Store is an alternative to buying CDs. However, it's pretty easy to get CDs for under $17 these days, so paying $17 for an inferior product doesn't make sense.


I'll confess. I was in Myer the other day, and I almost bought a Kelly Clarkson CD (stay with me) out of the bargain bin - wasn't looking for it, just happened to see it there.
But then I got to thinking: There's dozens of copies of it there, clearly they haven't sold as it's pretty old, and they're probably not going to re-order more copies of it. So really, the label have already been paid their wholesale fee, and she's already made the probably $1.80 or something she'd get in royalties of a full-priced CD, with the rest going to the label. So for the sake of maybe $2 that they've already been paid, and a remaining $3 that goes whereever, why the hell would I bother to buy it, when I would then have to admit to owning a Kelly Clarkson CD, and can instead just get away with admitting (if ever necessary) to there being one or two songs that I happen to like on my iPod.

More unusual might be that I type this as I listen to a track from the soundtrack from Hook. And that my "record labels are scum" rant used the words "Kelly Clarkson" multiple times to illustrate a point.
HerbalLizard
Posted 03:32pm 08/1/09
I agree with demon on this one however, I don't like wav's and prefer flac as a lossless format of choice. Mp3's that are below 192 in my collection gets canned. It sounds like arse on my stereo, it sounds like arse on my headphones. II remember reading an article about people becoming accustomed to poor quality audio reproduction and I can't for the life of me find it

last edited by HerbalLizard at 15:32:55 08/Jan/09
paveway
Posted 03:52pm 08/1/09
that is pretty gay raven
redhat
Posted 04:59pm 08/1/09
no they cant


You are farking useless at music if you can't tell the difference between mp3 and cd.

Either that or you need to upgrade that horrible aiwa stereo you have.

Some recording companies are offering flac, its good to see.
http://www.somarecords.com/artists/slam/
Spook
Posted 05:14pm 08/1/09
u idiot
Insom
Posted 08:14pm 08/1/09
one word, myfairtunes
FaceMan
Posted 08:32pm 08/1/09
I wouldnt buy music from iTunes if it was free.

I would though if my songs came with a guitar hero version.
SquarkyD
Posted 08:45pm 08/1/09
And I guess that'll be the new excuse that people use for not buying mp3's. As if you can tell the difference in audio quality above ~200kbps. Well, if you can, you should go to your local university because you have some amazing hearing skills no one else in the world has :p


well i for one can tell the difference between most normal MP3's and CD/WAV on a very easily - then again i work with audio for a living, but its not that hard to hear the difference. I can see reasons for wanting WAV's, as they are pure and untouched, almost an "analogue" medium in comparison to a MP3.

last edited by SquarkyD at 20:45:39 08/Jan/09
SquarkyD
Posted 08:50pm 08/1/09
worst obesisms ever. even if you are a tone deaf f**r that can't tell the difference... why bother getting lower quality than you can? no amount of blind testing is going to test every concievable tune/beat/rhythm in every system in every situation. so, you get f***ed now pls!


it doesnt matter what the tune/beat/rhythem is, neither does it matter the situation, in this case its pure science of %THD vs the origional source.

Its all about finding your bottle neck as well, i can assure you than 99.99% of people out there buying MP3's are using onboard soundcards, iPods and other devices with very average DA's in them. Purchase of a descent playback source will do so much more for your listening pleasure than buying WAV's vs a 192khz MP3 ever will.
Reduaram
Posted 09:10pm 08/1/09
worst obesisms ever. even if you are a tone deaf f**r that can't tell the difference... why bother getting lower quality than you can? no amount of blind testing is going to test every concievable tune/beat/rhythm in every system in every situation. so, you get f***ed now pls!

most people can't tell blu-ray from std dvd... so there's no reason to buy blu-ray eh!? most ppl can't tell the difference between a 1024*768 plasma & a larger res plasma... no need for those larger plasmas then i guess!

back to yur 30fps is sufficient arguments bubblehead! :D
I can't believe you are arguing with science. you are f*****g pathetic.

P.s That IS personal attack.
whoop
Posted 09:14pm 08/1/09
^^ I dunno, the mp3's bigpondmusic sells sound like ass to me on my PC and in my car. I stick to the WMA's they sell.
infi
Posted 09:40pm 08/1/09
this is fantastic news!
trog
Posted 10:55am 09/1/09
^^ I dunno, the mp3's bigpondmusic sells sound like ass to me on my PC and in my car. I stick to the WMA's they sell.
? really!? the only music I've ever bought online was from BPM - 320kbit/s mp3s.
3dee
Posted 02:29pm 09/1/09
WMA ftl. Dunno why. Just never don't like WMA.
Dazhel
Posted 02:37pm 09/1/09
what sort of muppet would have bought DRMed music in the first place


The kind of muppet that doesn't realise they're getting a s***** deal with DRM and cares more about listening to music than trying to decipher crazy acronyms like AACS, CPPM, XCP, DMCA, RIAA, HDCP, CSS, MPAA, & EFF.
euphoria
Posted 03:14pm 09/1/09
Well this muppet is happy to pay for music and seeing as I have an iPod, the DRM isn't a problem. That said though, if it ever became a problem I'd fire up the interwebs and get a DRM-free copy. I've bought the music, everyone's gotten their royalties, why should I suffer when DRM is meant to stop people who don't pay for music?

Sure my position isn't legally defensible, but morally? I reckon it is.
Khel
Posted 03:28pm 09/1/09
Usually I can't tell the difference between mp3s and CDs, except for music which has a lot high range and low range in the same song, then you can often hear the limits of mp3, and in the worst case, some clipping.
Dazhel
Posted 03:39pm 09/1/09
Sure my position isn't legally defensible, but morally? I reckon it is.


But you're robbing Apple of their $0.30 income to jailbreak each song. Justin Long is going to have to start eating PAL because you decided to download some communism!
euphoria
Posted 03:44pm 09/1/09
He'll get more nourishment from that than maccas, so I'm doing him a favour... whoever he is.
Mantorok
Posted 03:51pm 09/1/09
Justin Long is the "I'm a Mac" guy from the Get a Mac ads.
windbell
Posted 07:30pm 09/1/09
iTunes music is drm-free now, but for the old itunes users, full of music must pay a 30-cent upgrade per song, 60 cents for video upgrades, it seems a bit expensive and isn't worthwhile, the very economical way I use is with this media converter, it can handle with all types drm and common video music files, and also supports batch conversion, works easy and great:)

http://www.wmatomp3-converter.com/digital-media-converter-pro.html
Obes
Posted 07:58pm 09/1/09
well i for one can tell the difference between most normal MP3's and CD/WAV on a very easily - then again i work with audio for a living, but its not that hard to hear the difference. I can see reasons for wanting WAV's, as they are pure and untouched, almost an "analogue" medium in comparison to a MP3.

No way you work in audio ...
"normal MP3s" ... what the f*** does that mean ? my normal mp3 is a 192k or greater vbr. Most people I know rip at 128k vbr cos that what the default in their app is. I'd agree I can occasionally hear artifacts etc in 128k. But in 320k ?

demon was saying he can tell the difference between a 320k lossy format over a wav

I agree with demon on this one however, I don't like wav's and prefer flac as a lossless format of choice. Mp3's that are below 192 in my collection gets canned.

You agree you can tell the difference between a 320k vbr and a wav ?

F*** its another superman... or did you miss the bit where demon made the claim that 320k mp3s are s*** "thumbnails"

For late comers ....

No one is saying you can't tell a 128k s***** rip from a wav. But the claim is a 320k professional lossy format vs a wav.
Le Infidel
Posted 08:20pm 09/1/09
Does anyone know if this applies to previously purchased music? I hve a few albums in the s***** DRM'd format which I'd like to convert to something that can play on my media centre :/
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