updated 08:35 am EST, Wed February 13, 2008
Jamba DRM Free Phone Music
Mobile entertainment firm Jamba (known as Jamster in the US) today claimed it would be the first company of its kind to offer cellphone music without digital rights management (DRM) in Europe. The firm says it has signed a deal with music label EMI that allows the company to be one of the few to sell music without copy protection both for computers and for many cellphones, and has developed a unique dual-format delivery system. On computers, the service supplies larger but more universal MP3 files; cellphones are sent more tightly compressed AAC+ files that more readily fit on their limited storage without losing as much quality as other formats.
Jamba does not indicate a change in price for its music, which typically sells in Europe for about 79 Euro cents ($1.15) per song. The feature should be available first in Jamba's home country of Germany but is set to spread to the rest of Jamba's European and Middle Eastern stores in the near future. Plans for the US have not been announced.
The initiative provides Jamba with a slight edge over Apple, which was one of the first to offer DRM-free music for a cellphone in the continent through iTunes access with the iPhone using O2, Orange, or T-Mobile Germany. However, the Apple service is limited to its own device and is inaccessible without using Wi-Fi; the Jamba service supports several manufacturers and is accessible from most cellular connections. AT&T in the US also offers eMusic Mobile, which supplies unprotected MP3 music to most non-iPhone devices.