Friday, April 04, 2008

Death of CDs, or DRM, or Both?

So I go into a shop, pick up an ‘empty‘ box and buy a book token, which I take home and it enables me to download an MP3 file of a audio book? Sounds reasonable and will enable traditional outlets who don't wantto go down the download in the store approach the ability to sell the tiles.

This as we understand from today’s Bookseller article,'language MP3 from OUP' is the process that Oxford University Press (OUP) is planning to deploy to launch their repackaging of their Take Off In’ language series aimed at travellers. The previous CD/book boxsets have been shrunk to a more "travel-friendly and robust"size, with cardboard packaging redesigned to ‘minimise environmental impact’. The courses priced between £22.99 and £ 26.99 will be in : Italian, French, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Russian, German and Portuguese.

The consumer will buy an access card/token that they then use over the Internet to download MP3 files from a dedicated website (www.ask

We welcome yet another MP3 convert as this is yet another nail in the old DRM model. The question of what devices can activate the token is not clear, but we presume it will be downloadable to any device. We also presume that consumers will be able to buy direct from the site. The interesting point is that anyone can buy the CD today rip it and get the same result - an MP3 file that they can transfer between devices. If therefore the digital file exists, the CD exists the MP3 file exists is the news one that OUP is stopping producing CDs and that this is how they intend to promote audio titles into the retail channel? We await the launch to test the service.