Users of Apple Computer's iTunes online music store will soon hear their favorite songs in even higher fidelity. EMI Group PLC, which distributes music by the Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Coldplay, and other acts, announced April 2 that it will make singles and albums available either with or without copy protection software.
Designed to combat piracy, the software, known as DRM, can make downloading music difficult. Songs without the software would be offered at premium prices.
Some analysts suggest that lifting the software restrictions will further boost downloading, which currently accounts for 10 percent of worldwide music sales.
While the move makes better quality music available for consumers, The Beatles remain a prominent holdout.
While EMI has distributed their music since the 1960s, the group's music holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., has to date refused to make their songs available on any Internet music services, including iTunes.