Tiered iTunes Pricing Comes April 7th

27 03 2009

The tiered iTunes pricing coming in early April will have 3 levels: $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29.  We assume that the most recent, more popular songs with be more expensive, and the older, or less popular songs will be cheaper.  One thing we’re wondering about though, is the pricing of albums.  If there are two album with 10 songs in each, but one album has all $0.69 songs, and the other all $1.29 songs, will the overall album price be different?

Comment below!





An iTunes Music Store-less Future?

1 10 2008

Apple has threatened to shut down the iTunes music store if an obscure three-person board appointed by the Librarian of Congress increase the royalties paid to publishers and songwriters by six cents per song.

Apple- which has mightily resisted tampering in any way with its 99 cent price point for tracks, said that if the rate hike goes through and the labels refuse to absorb the entire resulting increase, the iTunes music store will become unprofitable. Out of each 99 cent song, Apple currently pays artists and labels an estimated 65 to 70 cents per song, 9 cents of which they currently pass on to publishers.





Norway Pressures Apple to Remove iTunes Music DRM

30 09 2008

Norway’s top consumer advocate said Monday that he will ask a government court to force Apple to open the iTunes music store to users who own music players other than the iPod.

“It’s a consumer’s right to transfer and play digital content bought and downloaded from the Internet to the music device he himself chooses to use,” said Bjorn Erik Thon, Norway’s consumer ombudsman. “iTunes makes this impossible or at least difficult, and hence, they act in breach of Norwegian law.”

He has been pressing Apple for more than two years to drop its anti-copying digital rights management (DRM) technology from all iTunes tracks so that the music can be loaded onto rivals’ devices. “I’ve been quite happy with the progress [with Apple] on other issues, but not on the one regarding DRM, which is the most important to consumers,” Thon said.

He last met with Apple in February, when the company told him it shared his aim of interoperability. Since then, however, there has been no progress, said Thon.

“So we will ask for a prohibition of the practice that you’re only allowed to play music from iTunes on an iPod,” said.

By submitting the case to Norway’s Market Council—a governmental court that has the ability to issue binding rulings—Thon hopes to pressure Apple into opening iTunes. The Market Council would likely reach a decision by next summer after collecting written briefs from both parties in January and hearing oral arguments in March or April 2009.

The Market Council could fine Apple if it did not comply with its ruling.

Thon declined to specify the size of the fine he would request, but said it would probably set a Norwegian record. “Size matters when it comes to the amount of the fine, and Apple is by far the biggest company that has been involved in a case,” he said. “It should be a significant amount, but whether it’s 100,000, 200,000, 300,000, 400,000 Euros, I couldn’t say.”

The case could have an impact beyond Norway, Thon added, noting that consumer agencies in Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries are behind him. He said he would reach out to others, including colleagues in Italy and Sweden, to get their support as well.

“I’m quite optimistic that if we win this case, the European Union will have a look at this and make this EU policy,” said Thon. In July, he met with Meglena Kuneva, the EU’s consumer commissioner, who expressed interest in the Norwegian effort to get Apple to open iTunes. “I will follow up with her, and keep in close contact in the months to come,” he promised.

Apple has made some moves to free iTunes-purchased tracks from its iPod line of players, including selling some DRM-free music starting in May 2007, however, people are pushing for ALL DRM free files.





Walmart to Kill DRM Servers

28 09 2008

Walmart began selling DRM-free tracks in its music store in August of last year. 13 months later, the mega-corp has decided to follow the footsteps of so many others and hit the kill switch on its DRM management servers. As noted in an e-mail to customers, Wally World will be making the final transition into a fully DRM-free MP3 store on October 9th, and in order to keep those DRM-laden files playable on anything, it’s recommended that you burn protected files on a CD on the double. If you choose to ignore this message, you’ll be unable to “transfer your songs to other computers or access your songs after changing or reinstalling your operating system or in the event of a system crash.” Heed the warning, guys, They’re serious.





Walmart to Kill DRM Servers

28 09 2008

Walmart began selling DRM-free tracks in its music store in August of last year. 13 months later, the mega-corp has decided to follow the footsteps of so many others and hit the kill switch on its DRM management servers. As noted in an e-mail to customers, Wally World will be making the final transition into a fully DRM-free MP3 store on October 9th, and in order to keep those DRM-laden files playable on anything, it’s recommended that you burn protected files on a CD on the double. If you choose to ignore this message, you’ll be unable to “transfer your songs to other computers or access your songs after changing or reinstalling your operating system or in the event of a system crash.” Heed the warning, guys, They’re serious.








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