Skip to content

Zune Jumps Aboard DRM-Free Bandwagon

Last Monday (April 2), EMI, one of the world’s four largest music distributors, announced its partnership with Apple to offer digital downloads without Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection via iTunes, a landmark effort towards the future of lateral music consumption.

And now, roughly one week later, Microsoft, Apple’s biggest competitor, says that its equivalent to iPod and iTunes, the Zune player and marketplace, will also soon be offering DRM-free music from EMI’s catalog.

Meanwhile, Zune users are celebrating the move towards universal digital music consumption, while many Mac devotees recognize the insightful move but criticize Microsoft for jumping on Apple’s back. But most bloggers and music fans are reveling in the idea of soon trading tunes with their previously digitally incompatible pals and sounding off on which online music supplier or label will be next to join the DRM-free movement.

Here’s what bloggers are saying about Zune’s move to DRM-free distribution:

“Apple leads, Microsoft follows. (Again)” — Spamosophy,

“Thank God, Zune is a much better player than iPod, long live Microsoft.” — Josh,

“Where there’s a good idea, you can always find Microsoft wanting some of the action. While some might characterize this in a bad way, copying Apple to sell DRM-free music is a great decision.” — Fajar,

“How is this player [Zune] relevant even in the tiny alternative market? Does anyone even know a guy who knows a guy who owns one?” — Clayton,

“It’s no surprise. Imagine if they stick with DRM. That’d be a catastrophe!” — Jesse Du,

Talk: Which online music supplier or record label will be next to abandon DRM protected music?