There are cracks caused by the legal issues that we covered when the phone currently-but-probably-not-inevitably-known-as-the iPhone came out. And, here, there is an update from Ars Technica today...
Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon told the Associated Press that France's consumer lobby group, UFC-Que Choisir, and Germany's Ferbraucherzentralen are now part of the European effort to push Apple into an open DRM system, with more countries considering joining the group.
Way more interesting to me is real competition that offers better content at a higher bit-rate in MP3 format. Enter Other Music.
if you aren't an indie rock geek, you might know that Other Music is a revered Manhattan record store that has a highly selective and quality offering. Now, according to Wired News, Other Music will soon be offering MP3s to compete with iTunes and the more indie-friendly (yet subscription) eMusic. The model according to Other Music co-owner Josh Madell:
We will be selling high-quality files without DRM copy protection (our music is encoded at 320 Kbps rather than 192, the iTunes model, so the sound will be much better). All our pricing is not set yet, but we will definitely have to be a little more expensive than iTunes -- probably $10.99 per album rather than $9.99. I hope we can more than make up for the price with our selection, service, knowledge, features and, of course, the quality files. As for the label deals, this business works on percentages; you split revenue with the label for sales, and typically labels make 65 to 70 percent of the retail price.
The store will be here. Long tails make cracks, too.