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DRM free MP3 music from Yahoo! Music

Written by Jari Ketola @ 21 Jul 2006 3:15 User comments (25)

DRM free MP3 music from Yahoo! Music Yahoo! Music is offering a "personalized" version of a song called A Public Affair by Jessica Simpson in DRM free MP3 format. The song costs $1.99, double the prize of regular DRM crippled songs bought from online music stores, and will be personalized to the buyer by including his or her in the lyrics.
More important than the personalization of the track is the fact that the song is available in MP3 format, and can thus be freely copied on any type of portable music player or other MP3 capable device, burned on a CD etc. Yahoo! is actively trying to persuade record labels to sell music in MP3 format with little success.

"Our position is simple: DRM doesn't add any value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day the Compact Disc), or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform," says Ian C. Rogers of Yahoo! Music, and continues "We've also been saying that DRM has a cost. It's very expensive for companies like Yahoo! to implement. We'd much rather have our engineers building better personalization, recommendations, playlisting applications, community apps, etc, instead of complex provisioning systems which at the end of the day allow you to burn a CD and take the DRM back off, anyway!"

Indeed the extra $1.00 in the prize of the personalized track comes from personalization, not the fact that it's in MP3 format. Rogers thinks that an un-restricted MP3 song is more valuable than a heavily limited DRM track, and should hence be prized somewhere between $0.99 and $1.99.

Hopefully Yahoo! (and other online music stores) manage to convince the labels eventually, and we can all buy digital music that we can actually use. I would definitely prefer buying music in MP3 format over Audio CDs, especially with all the copy protected discs lying around making it difficult at times to spot the actual Audio CDs from the round plastic decoys.

Yahoo! Music Blog

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25 user comments

121.7.2006 4:12

Damn right! DRM doesn't add value for anyone! Only for Apple for forcing people to buy their iPods!!! I hope record companies do realise that DRM is useless but how much will they care as long as their music is selling?

221.7.2006 5:24

I am not an expert here but doesn't AnyDVD stop DRM? (I know I know AnyDVD cost $$$$)

321.7.2006 5:51

I say anyone that is fighting DRM technology is a hero and well done to them

421.7.2006 6:28

Download a program called tunebite, it works great with any and all types of copy protection and is not illegal in any way. It plays your songs (even a music folder with 100's of them) in Media Player and then records them with it's own "lame" mp3 encoder. You can do this in 4x speed and all while you sleep, at least that is what I do... It works great, and is fairly fast at doing it, and as far as I know this is not against the law because you are not really breaking DRM. I just sold my 60G Ipod Video for nearly what they cost new... and I could'nt be happier! I dont hink I will buy another Ipod when there is so much cool stuff out there. For my bike rides I bough a full sized portable CD/Mp3 player for $14.00 and it works flawlessly and it seems to me to be nearly the same weight as the Ipod anyway. just my two cents

521.7.2006 8:33

AlBundy: AnyDVD decodes the copy protection on DVDS and CDs, but no, it is not designed to work on the DRM on downloaded music files.

621.7.2006 10:24

There are other ways to defeat iTunes' DRM, but I don't know if I can mention them without getting the boot.

721.7.2006 11:45

u can go the long route and burn ur itunes music to cd then rip it off there lol.

821.7.2006 11:55

That's not what I do...

921.7.2006 11:58

I hope that this sets a trend in download options, if more people pay a hair more for this than the DRM companies, they will take notice. Or instead of Yahoo you could go to

1021.7.2006 12:07

The only reason Apple, Microsoft or any of the vendors follow DRM is to make the Studios more comfortable selling content online. I am sure Apple and the others, just like Yahoo, don't care much for DRM but only Yahoo has the balls to stand up against it and trying to get something goinging. The article does say they are having a difficult time getting songs without using DRM.

1121.7.2006 12:38

$2 is OK, but I want 3 things: - A huge song selection. - Lossless CD-quality encoding. - NO DARN DRM.

Download a program called tunebite... It plays your songs... in Media Player and then records them...
Or, you can do that with any other recording software that you happen to have, but not at 4X speed. You'll get better quality at 1X, but in any case you'll get some qualty loss with the analog recording (technically its digital-to-analog-to-digital) and the extra MP3 decode/re-code cycle. If you've purchased iTunes, or purchased the 99 cent songs from Napster, you can burn a CD. Of course, the CD is not copy protected, but the CD made from an MP3 is not "CD quality", and you've got that additional decode-recode loss if you make a new unprotected MP3 from that CD.

1221.7.2006 12:47

If your worried about losing quality with the cd burning method, just create a cd image, then mount, and re-rip, that has worked fine for me

1321.7.2006 13:18

Dude, its not the CD burning part that causes loss of sound quality, its the re-encoding of the file to another (technically inferior) format.

1421.7.2006 13:59

Yahoo for Yahoo. They are not taking this position out of the goodness of their hearts. They know full well that a good share of the market will flock to any high visiblity on-line vendor who offers unrestricted .mp3 format (read: nearly universal application and device support) files for purchse/download. If the labels were not so intent on price gouging and got price points in line with reality I think the combination would by default "help" to reduce what they consider to be the file sharing "problem". So what if people can make unrestricted files available on P2P networks. It's not like they are not there already. BUT, if I could just get what I wanted (the songs I want in an unrestricted mp3 format) at a fair price I would not screw around with P2P. Yahoo...

1521.7.2006 13:59

The other way to get around MS DRM technolnogy is not to download that specific update on windows update which i did for my sisters computer mainly because of her Ipod and she has had no issues so far.

1621.7.2006 14:19

Ok, so $2 a song. But it's DRM free. That's $24 for an album. Very nice... Or you could go to Amazon, get a cd half that price, and it would still be DRM free. I agree that a non DRM soing is worth more than the crap they sell on iTunes, I guess it's just that iTunes is too damn expensive. Also, does anyone know if you can get the song in anything other than 128kb/s? That's my other main gripe with iTMS.

1721.7.2006 14:36


1821.7.2006 15:35

People People!! calm down a second. Its JESSICA SIMPSON singing that song. THAT'S why it DRM free!! :)

1921.7.2006 15:42

'People People!! calm down a second. Its JESSICA SIMPSON singing that song. THAT'S why it DRM free!! :)' the geezer has a point there. i cant see them doing this on the next U2 or Madonna single.. hehehe..

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Jul 2006 @ 15:45

2021.7.2006 16:31

People People!! calm down a second. Its JESSICA SIMPSON singing that song. THAT'S why it DRM free!! :)
No truer word has been said. Should have figured that out at the start of the article. Give the man a prize.

2121.7.2006 16:43

I can. This idea of DRM free content is new to the labels but it should not be. If the russian sites can get American's to buy content legally without DRM then it proves that not everyone likes the hastle of p2p anyway. Especially if you have a router that doesn't like to open all the ports for p2p or your Internet connection doesn't like multi UDP apps. Either way this is a step in the right direction. Next just lower the price or better yet the RIAA should make an ad bannar supportive p2p app or server at a subscription rate. So this way their greedy little pockets can be filled.

2222.7.2006 13:32

natony - yahoo sells music at 192kbs wma. As far as other music services go, I think they all sell at 128kbs. This is the reason I always use yahoo music unlimited.

2322.7.2006 17:20

Seems to defeat the purpose to pay twice the amount for something that takes less to produce. Don't get sucked into the frenzy of DRM free music until the price is the same or less as DRM crap.

2423.7.2006 1:27

I have to agree with natony. WHY would someone download an album for $24 when you can order the CD online or go to the store and get it for ALOT LESS? As for the jessica simpson personalized song, THE only reason they are producing it is because her target audience is 5-12 year old girls. the same children that child molesters go after (sorry, but its true) they are the only ones naive enough to buy into that sh!t. Deadrum has it right, WWW.ALLOFMP3.COM is where i get the Music i "pay for".

2527.7.2006 8:43

YAHOOOOO!!! Finally, some legal DRM-free music!

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