More EMI & Apple (with a bit of an audio rant…)

emi.jpg   apple.jpg          

 Further to the Apple/EMI announcement, the industry has started commenting – some positive, some negative.  Here’s the word from Digital Music News

“The music industry is now sorting through a high-profile shift away from DRM by EMI and Apple, announced Monday.  Reactions are mixed, and vary depending on the sector involved.  A critical question is whether the remaining majors will follow the EMI Music lead, or if they will merely hover on the sidelines.  “I’d imagine that there are a bunch of meetings happening in a bunch of places,” mused former EMI digital executive Ted Cohen, currently head of LA-based digital media consultancy TAG Strategic.  That makes the terrain unpredictable, though major label chiefs like Doug Morris could opt to simply eye the EMI Music guinea pig, and monitor whether sales actually experience a bump.  Others were simply disappointed by the move, noting that a shift towards higher-priced, higher-quality tracks represents a misread of the digital consumer.  “People don’t care about higher fidelity,” said one high-profile manager.  “It’s a myth, especially when the price is pushed higher.”

[DertyWill(DW): Now, I think that’s a bit of a shame. To say that consumers are satisfied with poor quality recordings and are not interested in higher-fidelity is a bit misleading. Personally, I think that the recording quality of digital music at the moment is pretty abysmal, it’s just that consumers have nothing to compare it against – people buy their tracks from iTunes and Napster unaware that they’re getting highly compressed, low-quality recordings. They transfer them to their players and accept what they’re given, still marvelling at the fact that they can carry their whole collection in one little box. the average user is yet to start considering the gulf that exists between compressed MP3 tracks and CD quality tunes. Take a look at what Linn is doing at the moment – audio-purists they may be, and tracks may be limited to jazz and classical, but at least they’re trying to help people get the original music back. Still, back to Digital Music News…]

Elsewhere, the announcement is being applauded by iTunes Store competitors.  “This moves us closer than ever to the day when consumers will be able to buy their favorite music via Rhapsody and enjoy it on their iPod or any other music-playing device,” said RealNetworks chairman and chief executive Rob Glaser.  “We look forward to working with EMI and the rest of the music industry to bring DRM-free, interoperable music to consumers in the months ahead.”  Other stores are also excited, simply because the shackles surrounding the iPod are finally loosening.  Already, London-based digital music back-end provider 7digital has positioned an MP3-based, higher quality album download from EMI artist The Good, The Bad & The Queen.  Like other stores and providers, 7digital will embrace the remaining EMI Music catalog following the iTunes exclusive in May.” [DW: Off we go then – EMI will start flinging out tunes to all-and-sundry, non-DRM tracks will be available everywhere Doug Morris will scramble to piggyback the guinea-pig – there’s a phrase I bet you never thought you’d hear!]

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