For an extra 30 cents you will be able to get songs from EMI on itunes without DRM - for 30 cents less you can get the DRM version. It will be interesting to see how many people buy the DRM version and remove it themselves...The EMI press release is here
The new higher quality DRM-free music will complement EMI's existing range of standard DRM-protected downloads already available. From today, EMI's retailers will be offered downloads of tracks and albums in the DRM-free audio format of their choice in a variety of bit rates up to CD quality. EMI is releasing the premium downloads in response to consumer demand for high fidelity digital music for use on home music systems, mobile phones and digital music players. EMI's new DRM-free products will enable full interoperability of digital music across all devices and platforms.
A good summary of why DRM infested music is an inferior product.
Let's hope the other record companies follow EMI's move.
As for me, I will stick to emusic.com, magnatune.com and cd stores. Why? Well, emusic.com gives me 60 mp3 songs a month for something around 14 dollars. It's a great (and cheap!) way to discover new (or old) artists. If I *really* like them, I buy the CD in a CD store. Why? Because a physical CD provides a high-quality source for possible future rippings in case some revolutionary codec appears or I lose my music collection. Of course, Magnatune's business model (lossless downloadable albums for anything I want to pay above 5 dollars) gives me the best of both worlds. However, from the Magnatune artists that I like, there are not many that motivate me to buy the album.
It would be really wonderful if I could get any MP3 (or Vorbis) DRM-free in a subscription service like emusic and buy albums in something like Magnatune.