Napster Offering Over 6M DRM Free MP3s

Brent Evans —  May 21, 2008 — 9 Comments

In what can only be described as an amazing irony, AP is reporting that Napster will begin offering its complete catalog of over 6 million music tracks in DRM-free (aka unprotected) MP3 format.

All four major music labels, along with countless indie labels, are represented in the store. Add to this that every track will be available at 99 cents! This in my opinion is the equivalent of the music industries final acceptance that their old business structure is dead. It’s about time…

At first glance, Napster’s store isn’t very well done. And add to that the fact that their $13/month subscription model for all-you-can-rent music is their main business. Still, it’s the fact that the music industry has gone full circle on DRM music that is somewhat amazing to me.

While we’re on the topic of digital music, I wonder why people are still buying DRM’d tracks when there are DRM free tracks available? I’m purchasing all of my tracks from Amazon right now because they are DRM-Free. iTunes won’t get any more of my business until they’re more competitive in DRM-Free digital music offerings.

Check out more of Brent’s reflections on tech, gadgets, software and media at Brent Evans Geek Tonic.

9 responses to Napster Offering Over 6M DRM Free MP3s

  1. I should mention that I still pick up the occasional DRM-ladden track on iTunes when it’s not available elsewhere, but I always try to get DRM-Free if it’s out there.

  2. DRM stinks period. But for me, buying music off itunes is simple, quick and works great on my ipod. If I didn’t use an ipod, of course I wouldn’t feel this way. Sure, I’m cheating myself a little by not getting a more feature rich mp3 player but so far my Nano plays music and that’s all I need.

  3. wmearly,
    Using Amazon’s site makes integration with iTunes pretty darn easy – I buy the song at Amazon.com, it downloads it on the PC and puts it in iTunes for me. It’s not exactly as easy as buying right within iTunes itself, but it’s not difficult at all and totally worth it.

  4. I’m mostly done with iTunes for (DRMed) music as well. In fact, I’m mostly done with media “ownership” – I prefer the on-demand rental model. All-you-can-eat XM, Rhapsody, Netflix, etc.

  5. For the last two years I buy $100 to $200 of itunes credit around XMAS time for 20% off — I think this site clued me in on the 2007 deal at bestbuy. Last year it was a paypal deal. Then I use the credit throughout the year to pick up new tunes and rentals — so itunes it is.

    Best thing is that unlike other gift cards itunes keeps track of the credit so you can’t lose the card.

  6. There’s a lot more about removing DRM at http://www.undrm.info/ and http://forum.doom9.org/forumdisplay.php?f=9 . For iTunes (7.5 or older only, but you can remove a newer version, install an older version, and still play the same files), the best way is to look for the latest version of QTFairUse. For WMA files, the latest encryption can’t be defeated yet, but if your system hasn’t been “upgraded” to the latest, you might still be able to remove DRM.

  7. To remove iTunes (7.5 or earlier) DRM, look for a torrent for QTFairUse. There’s more info on DRM removal at undrm.info and forums.doom9.org

  8. Are there any sites where we can download completely free mp3 songs??i have tried a few sites but i have trouble downloading the songs..

    I understand subscribing to iTunes comes with a fee, correct?

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