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2008-11-30

Buying unprotected music in Germany

It's more difficult than you think (amazon.com). ;-)
I hate DRM. And I also think that as long as legal downloads are simple and cheap enough, people will not bother with piracy. In the United States, one already has quite a few options for downloading unprotected (what a strange word in this context) music. But for the internationally available iTunes, it's more complicated: From what I've read, record labels were scared of Apple getting too much power, so they withheld unprotected versions of their content (which is on Amazon.com). Thus, only a few songs are available in a DRM-free format (hopefully this will change soon). Fortunately, there are online music stores that can be used from European countries and that have more unprotected music:
  • eMusic. Pros: all songs DRM-free, cheaper than iTunes. Cons: subscription-only (14.99 EUR per month for 30 songs, 16.99 for 50 songs, 20.99 for 75 songs, 29.99 for 100 songs).
  • PayPlay. Pros: all songs DRM-free, cheaper than iTunes, no subscription. Cons: Billing happens in chunks of $5.
  • iTunes. Pros: precise billing, no subscription, cheaper than CDs. Cons: many songs are DRM-only.
Now, if only video content was as readily available in Germany.

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