Play.com has just launched a music download service called PlayDigital in the UK, offering DRM free MP3 tracks. As these are MP3 format they can be played on any PC or any MP3 player, including iPods. At 69p, they’re cheaper than iTunes downloads. Coming after Amazon’s recent announcement that they will be launching an MP3 download service in Europe this year, Play.com’s launch shows that the market is starting to move away from restricted tracks that can only be played on certain devices with certain software. For example, 3’s music store allows copies of downloaded tracks to be played on your PC & your 3 handset, but not any other MP3 player or handset. Not user friendly!
Play.com’s website provides this definition of DRM.
DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. This is a method of restricting the type of computer or the number of players a music file can be transferred to. PlayDigital’s music does not use DRM technology and will work on whichever and however many MP3 players you own. You can also transfer or burn these files to a CD for your own personal use. However, all downloads available at PlayDigital are copyrighted. This means that the distribution or sharing of these files is a criminal offence.