A landmark day in the anti-DRM movement. EMI will start selling songs on iTunes, DRM and proprietary format free. Well, almost. EMI has relesed a new pricing scheme. Discount tracks will include DRM. They will retail at $0.99 US per track and will have a 128kb/s quality. "Premium" tracks will retail for $1.29 US. They will be DRM free and offer double the quality, at 256kb/s. If you elect to download an entire album, there are no price changes, however, all of EMI's digital albums will be DRM free and at 256kb/s. All of EMI's artists will be included, except for the Beatles. EMI acts as a distributor the Beatles but they do not own the music. The Beatles music is owned by Apple Corp. Apple Music has a rivalry with Apple Inc over the name of the company. Apple Music recently lost a court case against Apple Inc over it. Record companies are finally starting to see the benefits of selling singles online. There is also the case that CDs, sold without DRM, still account for most sales since personal use is unlimited. Pressure from the EU has also contributed over allegations of monopolies being created by proprietary formats which limit songs downloaded off iTunes to only play on iPods. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the two biggest titans of the computer world, have also come out recently against current DRM practices. The DRM free "Premium" tracks from EMI will go on sale in May 2007. Source: BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6516189.stm My thoughts. Don't expect DRM free music downloaded off the internet to become the mainstream in the near future. EMI will continue to sell DRM laced music over iTunes. The fact that they are charging more is a clear indication that the music industry is still opposed to digital downloading, legal or not. An average CD contains roughly 14 tracks. Downloading these in the premium format would cost over $18 US. An average CD can cost $14-16. Therefore, buying the same album on CD is still cheaper, of higher quality, and DRM free as well. The new offerings at 256kb/s and right to unlimited personal use do bring them into line with CDs, but are not entirely worth the large price increase. The DRM free tracks offered on iTunes will cost 30% more than regular tracks.