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The iTunes Music Store has been around since 2003. It has been three years since all DRM has been removed and files are 256kbit/s AAC.

Granted, this happened despite the music industry's efforts, it took a lot of pressure from Apple to get there. But still, I very much prefer the current situation over when Napster reigned. (Does noone remember the amount of garbage on Napster? The malware, the fake files, the low quality files? Not to speak of the terrible speeds -- many peers were still on dial-up...)

With iTunes, you can find new music easily, download high quality files, and get the album art and liner notes. Downloading and purchasing is fast and safe. You get to pay a fair price and know that the rights holders are being compensated.

Actually, SNOCAP started selling DRM-free music on MySpace exclusively back before DRM-free music was a glimmer in Apple's eye. We were mostly doing indie music when we had all the major labels come to us and ask how they could sell music on MySpace and eventually negotiated deals for it to all be DRM-free.

After that, it was relatively easy for Apple to go DRM-free (though oddly, they still refused to do it for some time after).

* Note: Shawn Fanning and I founded SNOCAP after Napster blew up.


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