Nerd Dollars Matter Too
This is a somewhat older post by Ted Wallingford about how “us nerds” need to realize that to a large company like Apple, it’s the mainstream that matters. And while I agree with that, I think there’s a point being missed here. What Apple is doing, by offering un-DRMed songs for $1.30 a song, is they are giving people a choice they didn’t have before.
I agree that the mainstream probably won’t care about this. The iTunes DRM is so easy to get around anyway that it’s a non-issue for most people. Also, 128k AAC is fine for most people. I ripped most of my CD collection at 192k MP3 (which is about what 128k AAC is equivelant to) and to be honest, it sounds just fine for the vast majority of my tracks.
Even so, money is money. Whether it comes from a nerd buying a high-quality DRM-free track or a FairPlay-protected song, it’s still money. I’m sure Apple’s cut isn’t that big when compared to what the labels warrant, but I’m sure they’re making something.
The interesting question that hasn’t been answered: since the cost of albums won’t change, will all albums be offered at DRM-free high bit-rate downloads by default?