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Paul McCartney Says Sayonara to DRM

Paul McCartney Says Adios to DRMToday, music download site MusicGiants announced the release of Paul McCartney's new 'Memory Almost Full' album, available as an HD download, free of DRM copy protection. This means you can play these tracks on any music player that can handle WMA tracks (which, unfortunately, does not include iPods).
What's an HD download? MusicGiants sells lossless WMA tracks, which, at 1,100 kilobits per second, are uncompressed to deliver true CD-quality sound. Most MP3 files have been compressed as many as seven times over, resulting in lower quality sound (though, the difference is really only perceptible to highly-trained ears). iTunes, for example, sells AAC files that are compressed at 128 kps, but its new iTunes Plus tracks are at 256 kps.

MusicGiants' tracks are more expensive than those on other sites -- $1.29 each compared to $.99 for a regular track iTunes (though, to be fair, the iTunes Plus tracks cost $1.29 each, too). McCartney's new album is the world's first "HD download" sold without DRM, a luxury that makes it even costlier ($18.98 for the album).

But, the news of such an iconic artist dropping copy protection combined with EMI and Apple's joint abandonment of DRM for iTunes Plus bodes well for a future free of DRMs, which, in the end, simply annoy music buyers more than they actually protect copyrights.

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Tags: copy, drm, mp3, music, protection

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