MusicGiants Adds Unprotected Downloads

By Joseph Palenchar On Jun 18 2007 - 6:00am

MusicGiants became the first download site to sell unprotected music in WMA lossless format with the debut today of the Paul McCartney's "Memory Almost Full" album.

The company plans to supplement the title with "a tremendous amount of DRM-free music by late fall," with some titles available during the summer, MusicGiants CEO Scott Bahneman told TWICE. The company, he said, is talking to Concord Music Group, which partnered with Starbucks to bring the McCartney album to market. MusicGiants is also talking to EMI, which began offering its catalog DRM-free on the Apple iTunes site, he said. Concord's repertoire includes "some of the world's best blues, jazz, classic rock, and classical music," a spokeswoman added.

The album price for "Memory Almost Full" is $18.98. An extended version with commentary by McCartney is for $24.98.

McCartney's album is in the site's HD format, which consists of WMA lossless files encoded at a data rate up to 1.1Mbps to deliver what the company calls "true CD quality." MusicGiants also offers 2.0- and 5.1-channel "Super HD" downloads at 88.2kHz and 96kHz sampling rates with 24-bit resolution, also in WMA Lossless format but at data rates up to around 11Mbps. A number of Super HD files will be available DRM-free during the summer, Bahneman said.

MusicGiants offers more than 500,000 tracks in HD at $1.29 per song or $15.29 per album. The company also offers about 100 albums in stereo and multichannel surround in Super HD. These tracks cost $1.99. Super HD albums cost $19.99. The albums are remastered DVD Audio and SACD titles available in either 5.1 surround sound or 2.0 stereo.

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