News Posts matching "Music"

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Russian Government shuts down AllOfMP3

The famous MP3 online store (or rather infamous for not paying the artists) has been shut down by the Russian government. Pressure from the US, RIAA, and refusal to enter the World Trade Organization lead to the site's demise.

Before the shutdown, was a direct competitor to iTunes due to its pay-by-size versus Apple's pay-by-track system. Tracks that were downloaded there were also devoid of all DRM and the user could even choose which bitrate to download.Source: torrentfreak

Amazon going DRM-free

Popular online retailer Amazon has confirmed that it plans to launch a DRM-free music store, which should allow customers to chose from a wide variety of songs from numerous artists. Apple recently took a step forwards after a deal with EMI allowed it to sell unprotected music via its iTunes store, and Amazon today announced that it plans to offer “millions of soungs” from over 12,000 record labels, all DRM-free. Amazon will be the first major distributor to offer all downloads without any digital rights management, which should allow customers to transfer music between different devices much easier compared to downloads from competing firms – something which has often been criticised by music fans. Amazon has not revealed when this service will go live, nor is there any indication of which regions it will be available in and what prices will be like, but this should be a good move from the consumer’s view provided songs aren't too expensive.Source: TG Daily

Creative Introduces the ZEN Stone

SINGAPORE - May 3, 2007 - Creative (NASDAQ: CREAF), a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, today introduced the Creative ZEN™ Stone, the tiny, featherweight 1GB MP3 player priced at only S$69.00, available by May 4.

The Creative ZEN Stone features a smooth contoured design, so it feels naturally comfortable in your hand. It is so light that at first, you might not believe it is an MP3 player. The Creative ZEN Stone allows you to rock in color; pick your favorites from black, white, red, blue, pink and green, to fit any mood or fashion.

Amazon Planning DRM-free music store

Online retailer could be about to launch a DRM free music store next month providing that it can reach an agreement with the music industry. According to The Times, Amazon has been approaching major music companies in the last fortnight with ambitions to provide unprotected music downloads in order to compete with Apple’s iTunes store. Although Amazon has previously been unsuccessful in such requests for the last 18 months, Apple’s recent deal with EMI to provide music without any digital rights management protection has reignited Amazon’s hopes. EMI and the smaller independent labels are expected to be the first to allow Amazon to sell their music (if they are successful), whilst record labels such as Sony BMG, Universal and Warner generally seem reluctant to allow their music to be distributed online without DRM.Source: TimesOnline

Microsoft Negotiating With EMI for Its DRM-Free Music

As most of you already know, EMI has liberated it's music from the DRM (Digital Rights Management) monster, and Apple is the first company to support it. Apple will be distributing DRM-free music through iTunes right as soon as they settle their problems with the EU. However, some people don't like being forced into low-quality encoding (128 KB/s AAC) just so they can listen to DRM free music. Microsoft may be the answer to this problem. They are trying to get DRM-free EMI music into their Zune Marketplace, and negotiations are looking hopeful. There is no word as to what encoding this DRM free music will be in.Source: Nordic Hardware

European Commission slaps Apple and EMI over DRM free music

If you judge by the title of this story alone, you might think that the European Commission (EU) is punishing Apple and EMI for getting ready to offer music sans DRM's (Digital Right Management). The EU's complaint is much simpler than that. Apparently, Apple would only be applying these costs in some parts of the iTunes store. So, a song can cost less in one European country than another. This violates a very important article of the EU, and so Apple may incur a 10% fine if they do not change things soon.

For those of you curious about the shenanigans going on between EMI and Apple: The two companies have proudly announced a strategic partnership, and EMI will be sending Apple all their music without DRMs, which is a bold move. It is risky from a business standpoint, but very welcomed from a customer standpoint. Proof that EMI will be pioneering DRM free music can be found here in their press release.Source: Reg Hardware

Creative Introduces Aurvana DJ Headphones

Stylish and Versatile Home Studio Monitoring Headphones For Pure Music Enjoyment

SINGAPORE - 4 April, 2007 -- Creative Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CREAF), a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, today announced the Creative Aurvana DJ Headphones. Sophistically designed with brushed metal and diamond-cut finishing, these powerful headphones offer precise audio reproduction for discerning music listeners, DJ mixes and home studio monitoring use. Built for ultra-comfort using high-grade acoustic components, the Creative Aurvana DJ Headphones are ideal companion products for any MP3 or portable media players with a regular headphone jack. It also perfectly complements Creative's latest range of X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio systems, offering a truly remarkable listening experience.

The End of DRM Could be in Sight

Digital Rights Management is famous for frustrating numerous people that chose to download music legally when it comes to sharing between devices, whilst the illegal file sharers sit there laughing at them. But now it seems one of the major record labels, EMI, could be listening to customers at last. Rumours are flying around the internet claiming that Steve Jobs’ visit to London to speak with EMI could be to negotiate a deal that will see significant amounts of EMI’s music catalogue being available to download on iTunes without anti-piracy software, something music fans have been begging for since the start of the legal music downloads. If this is true, then it might not take long for the other major record labels to respond with DRM-free music, a move which would make it much easier for music downloaders to play their music on different MP3 players. There will be a live audio webcast of the press conference at 1pm London time on EMI's website, which is when the deal is supposed to be announced.Source: CNET

Update: it's official, EMI has launched DRM-free downloads across its entire music catalogue (although iTunes will get it first) - read on for the press release.

Music CD sales in USA fall, piracy not to blame

While piracy may be to blame for the drop in sales of some forms of digital media, it certainly isn't to be blamed for all drops in sales. Music CD sales (not prices, unfortunately) have declined sharply over the past three months. In Q1 2006, 112 million music CD's were sold. This year, various record labels have "only" managed to sell around 89 million CD's.

However, most clouds do have a silver lining. Record companies are very happy to announce that they have sold a total of 288 million music tracks on the internet (legally), up from 242 million from last year. Legal music album downloads have decreased to 99 million sales from 119 million sales last year. This may be indicating that consumers are telling record companies that they really don't want to buy albums that only have a few tracks that they really want.Source: The Inquirer

RIAA launches website to allow music copyright violators to pay without going to court

RIAA launches website for music copyright violators to pay without going to court

People who are caught by the RIAA usually have to pay a substantial amount of money to record companies. And so, the RIAA has decided to make a little website dedicated to helping the average pirate through the process of getting caught. is dedicated to doing three things. The first thing they do is post a list of questions convicted pirates might ask, and proper answers to them. The second thing the RIAA posts on their website is options/details on how to reduce the convict's fine, and even settle out of court. The third thing that the RIAA does is link to a website detailing the advantages of downloading legal music, which also hosts a list of legitimate music downloading services.Source: The Inquirer

More MP3 Disputes

With Microsoft receiving a hefty $1.5 billion fine the other day, MP3 patents are once again in the spotlight as a company in Texas is now trying to sue… well every company that makes MP3 players really. At the moment, Apple, SanDisk and Samsung are the three major names involved, but this case has the potential to draw more companies in – although it may seem quite ambitious as things stand. The company behind the lawsuits is known as Texas MP3 Technologies Ltd. which holds a patent which it claims covers the production an “MPEG portable sound reproducing system.” The patent was issued in June, and now the company hopes to make money out of the MP3 player industry, which was worth approximately $6.1 billion last year.Source:

Microsoft Fined $1.5 Billion over MP3 Patent

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $1.5 billion to Alcatel-Lucent after losing a patent dispute regarding the MP3 audio technology used by Windows. The enormous fine comes after a verdict by a federal jury in San Diego ruled that the company should compensate for damages based on each Windows PC sold since May 2003. Microsoft claims that it licensed MP3 technology from Fraunhofer in a $16 million deal, and also claims that the patent may not cover overseas Windows sales, arguing they should be excluded from the damages. Alcatel-Lucent previously sued Dell and Gateway during 2003 in similar cases.Source: CNET

EMI asking for offers on their music, sans DRM's

It seems like the music industry really is turning away from the highly-criticized DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology. EMI, a record label, has been asking companies for offers of all their music. And this time, instead of offering it as a DRM-infested WMA, EMI is offering it as an unaltered MP3 file. There will be more details if music distributors such as iTunes, Yahoo Music, and Urge decide to buy these clean MP3 files.Source: The Inquirer

Music industry will drop DRM's, or find reasonable alternative

We can safely say that DRM's, short for Digital Right Management files, have basically failed to do their intended purpose. Instead of thwarting pirates, they have angered users, prompted DRM cracks, and unleashed a rash of other nasty side effects. During the Music 2.0 conference in Los Angeles, the leaders of the music industry concurred that DRM's are a bad way to go. The majority of speakers declared a need to either drop DRM completely, or at least enable interoperability between all legal music download services. Yahoo is already ahead of the competition in this regard, and has been offering DRM free files alongside DRM filled ones for a while with surprising results. Yahoo's success has prompted other music companies to pre-announce the offering of DRM free files alongside DRM filled ones.Source: The Inquirer

MP3 to FM transmitters unbanned in the United Kingdom

MP3 to FM transmitters broadcast an MP3 player's signal over a radio frequency, allowing people without expensive car stereos to listen to their devices on long road trips. These transmitters have been unbanned in the United Kingdom, after a year long battle for the right to use them. The only condition of the unbanning: the transmitter must carry the CE mark. Griffin Technology's iTrip was given the CE mark this Spring.Source: The Register
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