RUMOUR: iTunes to add DRM-free Sony music


SonyBMG, soon to be Sony Music Entertainment Inc, is one of the four major music labels, and features bands and artists like the Ting Tings, AC/DC and Dido. If rumours are correct, then music from those bands and many others will soon be available on the iTunes store DRM-free.

Currently, EMI are the only major label to offer MP3 files on iTunes Plus – Apple’s name for their DRM-free, slightly higher quality, offering that costs 25% more per track than DRMed files. If Sony’s music is added, it will be a plus for Apple, but they still lag far far behind services like 7digital, who are 100% DRM-free, and remain my a la carte MP3 download provider of choice.

While we’re at it, do you know what the most downloaded catalogue song ever on iTunes is? Soundscan, over the weekend, determined that it’s the epic “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. Classic. I’ve embedded a video of them playing it live just after the jump. Power Ballads first thing on a Monday morning are just what everyone needs.

EMI adding over 400,000 new tunes to We7's free streaming library


We7, the free-to-use ad-funded music site that’s famously the brainchild of musical wildcard Peter Gabriel will, finally, soon feature the Peter Gabriel back catalogue in its listings.

This is thanks to music goliath EMI announcing a deal to stick 400,000 of its songs up on the streaming service before the end of the year, a move which will significantly boost the amount of content on the rapidly-growing free music site. Sony BMG…

Qtrax redeems itself with a June 18th relaunch date for Universal and EMI downloads


After the initial controversy surrounding Qtrax, they’ve managed to improve upon their image and actually become a fairly legitimate download service. Having signed up their second major record label, they’ve now announced that June 18th will be the relaunch date for the beta version of the service.

Currently you’d be hard pressed to actually find a song that’s worth downloading on Qtrax – if you can find any that actually will download – however in just five days songs from Universal Music Group and EMI will be available to download, although it’s still unclear whether EMI songs…

EMI joins Universal in promising tracks for Nokia's 'Comes with Music' service


A loose-lipped EMI representative revealed yesterday that they were in talks with Nokia about collaborating on their upcoming ‘Comes with Music’ plan, where handsets will be bundled with an unlimited music download plan.

If EMI signs on the bottom line, they’ll be joining Universal, who announced in December last year they would allow their artists’ tracks to be sold. EMI seems fairly confident they’ll be joining Nokia…

After a wobbly start, Qtrax announces licensing deals with EMI, Sony and TVT Records


The ‘world’s first free, legal P2P service’ Qtrax has redeemed itself since it ‘launched’ at the end of January, when they failed to deliver music from Universal Music Group, Warner Music, Sony BMG and EMI as promised.

Wired’s Listening Post scored an exclusive scoop on the Service That Embarrassed Itself, and reported that Qtrax has succeeded in signing up EMI, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and TVT Records. Not quite the big four as first claimed, but it’s a good start for what’s essentially a legal BitTorrent.

The files contain DRM, however…

Opinion: Free music file sharing was never going to hit the right notes with record firms

Jon_smal.gifJonathan Weinberg writes… You don’t get anything in life for free. So the saying goes.

And so, I’m not surprised that a website which promised us the world’s first legal file-sharing service has had to backtrack on the plans after the record companies said they were not yet supporting it.

Qtrax made a big song and dance about their launch over in Cannes with stars including James Blunt there. They secured quite a bit of coverage in all the national newspapers too in Britain.

But maybe it would have made sense to secure the record firms first, after all, as the gatekeepers of the industry, they are pretty important don’t you think? It’s like saying you’ve got a No1 song, without actually having the lyrics written or the musical score penned… launches free on-demand music platform in UK has today announced that it is the first website to offer free, global, on-demand access to the largest licensed catalogue of music from Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, Warner and EMI, plus CD Baby, IODA, the Orchard, Naxos and more than 150,000 independent labels and artists.

The service is ad supported, which means that they can implement the second part of their master plan: paying unsigned artists each time one of their tracks is played on the service.