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BigPond is now offering DRM-free MP3 music downloads; a format that is compatible with all standard music players including the popular iPod as well as Sony Walkman and a wide range of portable digital music players and home media centres.

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And in what could only bee seen as a major slap in the face for Apple, the DRM free MP3 format is also compatible with all standard music player software including Windows Media Player, iTunes and RealPlayer and can be played on all types of iPod.

 

Furthermore, according to sources, the cost of the BigPond MP3 downloads will be the same as Apple iTune tracks — $1.69 per track.

“BigPond now gives iPod users an alternative place to purchase their favourite music in a format that will work on their player. And if they are BigPond customers they will save money on the tracks and download them free of data charges,” BigPond Group Managing Director, Justin Milne, said today.

“Until now many people found it complex to download music legally, and ended up frustrated when they discovered their music was locked onto a single device or was impossible to transfer to the player of their choice. But from today BigPond’s new service means consumers can transfer tracks from their computer to almost any device they care to use,” Milne said.

 

“We are confident the popularity of the MP3 format, our Australian-first agreement with all the top music labels and the power of the BigPond brand will mean customers will be clicking and downloading from us because we are the only place in Australia to offer legal downloads in MP3 format from all the major labels,” Milne added.

The agreements will see BigPond offer music from record labels Sony BMG, Universal Music, Warner Music and EMI, as well as leading Australian independent record labels and distributors including MGM, Inertia, Liberation, IODA, and AmpHead. It means BigPond will be the leading Australian online music store offering MP3s from the top record labels.

Chief Executive Officer of EMI Music Australia, John O’Donnell said: “EMI Music will always advocate a consumer focused offering, as exemplified with this store. We look forward to growing the Australian digital music market with our valued retail partner, Telstra.”

With all four major labels signed to BigPond Music for MP3s, and negotiations underway with more independents, the MP3 catalogue will grow significantly over the coming months.

According to IDC, Global digital music sales totalled an estimated US$3 billion in 2007, roughly a 40 per cent increase on 2006 (US$2.1 billion).

In other words Telstra 1 : Apple 0

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