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7digital drop DRM
Thursday 18 September 2008 10:42:52 by John Hunt

After talk of entering discussion with broadband providers over offering downloadable music last month, 7digital have announced they have become the first online digital music retailer to go DRM-free providing MP3's from all of the big four music labels, Universal Warner, Sony, and EMI. Music will be available in high quality 320kbps MP3 format which can be played or shared across any devices that are able to read it.

With a 4 million strong catalogue and also providing the backend behind some big names such as ITV or The Independent, 7digital has a large audience to provide this DRM-free content to. They will also be contacting customers who have previously bought music in WMA format so they can upgrade these tracks to MP3 for free. To help celebrate, they are offering two promotional albums for free and others from artists such as Queen, We Are Scientists and Sigur Rós for just £2.

It is encouraging to see the continued move away from DRM to make the market more open and user friendly to the end users but some think this is long overdue. The Register believes that the digital music industry is haunted by 12th century thinking and equates the whole thing back to feudal times in it's witty article.


Posted by AndrueC over 9 years ago
The first? That surprises me a little. I've bought several albums off Play and they are DRM free MP3s.

My only complaint was that they only offer 128k which is a bit poor. 128k WMA would be better but for MP3 I'd rather see at least 256k.
Posted by doowles over 9 years ago
320kbit is the standard for mp3 files these days, anything less sounds like its been recorded underwater imo.
Posted by Scubaholic over 9 years ago
It's good that DRM has been dropped but from looking briefly at their site they aren't cheap.
You can buy cd's for the same price or cheaper from a well known on-line store.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
They are the first to be completely DRM free (mp3 only, no WMA) with material from all 4 major music labels.
Posted by JJC1138 over 9 years ago
That's quite a scoop that they managed to launch that while is snoozing. Kudos.
Posted by Aqualung over 9 years ago
About time... 320k is the minimum i would accept for bought music but even this is degraded when listened to side by side with lossless formats.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Good news but still a bit pricey to use regularly on a lot of albums.
Posted by scragglymonk over 9 years ago
winamp with diskwriter mod seems to work well, not used it for years though :)
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
john - Great. Now the UK collection society needs to completly swear off suing people and in five years I might start buying new music again rather than just going to the second hand shops.
Posted by CaptainReindeer over 9 years ago
Just tried a free track and got told I should use IE6 or above as the track needs to be licensed and my browser does not support this (Firefox 3 on Ubuntu )
This is different from drm because.....?
Posted by Celery over 9 years ago
Ooops, iTunes just lost my custom.
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