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iTunes Challengers Wal-Mart, MTV, Rhapsody Line Up for Large-Scale Assault

August 21, 2007 7:08 PM ET

Last week Don Henley told Rock Daily that the forthcoming Eagles album would be sold solely via Wal-Mart stores for its first year after release. Now comes news that Wal-Mart will begin selling DRM-free MP3s (which can be copied and listened to on many kinds of players). Wal-Mart's songs will also be cheaper than iTunes copy-restriction-free tracks: iTunes charges $1.29 per DRM-free song, but Wal-Mart will sell its tunes for 94 cents per track -- which is even better than iTunes' 99 cent price for regular, copy-restricted tracks.

Also today, MTV's digital vendor Urge, RealNetworks (which runs subscription service Rhapsody and -- full disclosure -- does business with RollingStone.com) and Verizon announced they're partnering to form music service Rhapsody America. The service will be selling Universal's DRM-free tracks, and current users of Urge will be able to start using Rhapsody immediately.

In other DRM-free news: in the the U.K., listeners will have the first chance to snatch up DRM-free Rolling Stones albums. According to reports, twenty-four of the band's records on EMI will become available via London's 7digital service at a reduced rate of approximately $11 for the first month before reverting to their regular rate of $16.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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