Vodafone Music Store goes DRM Free & adds Subscription music.

Vodafone Music Store is Down

So Stuff.co.nz is reporting that as of today/tomorrow Vodafones Music store is about to loose it’s DRM laden WMA’s for 256k MP3’s and not only that but off NZ’s first true subscription service (still heavly DRM’d).

Apparently the costs will be the same at $1.99 a track and they don’t say whether previous purchases will be able to redownloaded DRM free. I do like the fact they are quoted as saying “…at 256 kilobits per second, which makes them “significantly higher quality” than those sold by many music download services, including Apples’ iTunes” although if you buy an iTunes Plus (AAC DRM free) track you get a 256k Unprotected AAC which is better compression at the same bitrate. Also from what I can tell iTunes is actually cheaper still – $1.79 for a DRM Free track.

For subscription you’re looking at $10p.month which certainly offers a sweet spot on pricing but sucks big time by only being available on VMUSIC compatible phones. If it is indeed only available to your phone and only your phone the advantage of subscription seems to go out the window and kids (VMUSICs main market) will just steal music as usual.
Of course theres no mention of iPhone compatibility for the subscription side of things, but its safe to say it won’t work.

No matter what, actually having an option other than iTunes and Amplifier for DRM free music in NZ can only be a good thing.

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