EMI Offers DRM-Free To More Retailers, 7Digital And PassAlong First

EMI has begun offering its expanded, DRM-free MP3 repertoire to some of the first retailers other than than Apple Store. 7Digital announced it would stock the entirety of EMI’s 320Kbps line-up, which now includes Paul McCartney’s back-catalog, at £0.79 ($1.56) per track or (or promotional tracks at £0.50 ($0.98), albums at £5 ($9.80)) – pricier than the $1.29 US iTunes Store equivalent but cheaper than in 7Digital’s native UK, where Apple prices are higher. Tracks had previously been available as 192Kbps WMA files. More after the jump…

Meanwhile, EMI is also selling the the repertoire through Nashville-based PassAlong Networks, whose distribution software powers for the likes of f.y.e.. PassAlong said it, too, would take on the entire catalog of over 100,000 tracks for all its clients, who will set their own prices (Release). Apple apparently had first call on the line-up for its May 30 iTunes Plus unveiling. While the 320Kbps MP3s offered by the new stores appear higher-quality than the 256Kbps sold by Apple, iTunes’ AAC files are better than MP3s anyway.

7Digital: The retailer also announced it had renewed the deal under which it is the sole retail partner for users of Last.fm to buy music. Last.fm will include purchase links for all tracks in the 7Digital catalog. Combined with 7Digital’s EMI additions, that effectively means the CBS’ new acquisition gets to be a storefront for the new DRM-free offerings. 7Digital also announced an expansion of its TV and movie downloads catalog and the addition of a web-based digital locker, in which customers could store songs they had purchased and play them from any web browser (Via Guardian.)