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MP3 is Back!


Since I founded MP3.com in 1997, my personal goal was to make all music available in MP3 format. Much has changed since the late nineties when the RIAA paid people to clandestinely snoop on my talks and appearances, sued the first commercial MP3 player, and worked to block MP3 adoption at every step. Last year I decided it was time to revisit selling music in the MP3 format. I reached out to many labels and all were polite and open to meetings. My message was to use the MP3 format to boost sales by offering a new buying option for online music fans. If they purchase an album, they immediately get high quality MP3 files which they can own forever with the confidence that they'll work on any music device available on the market now, or that may come along in the future.

Some labels were receptive and we spent the next 6 months analyzing the strategy, figuring out how the economics could work, and building technology. Today I'm happy to announce the launch of AnywhereCD - a new music store dedicated to selling MP3 Albums and CDs. MP3 Albums are now available in a licensed, legal, and reliable manner along with a physical CD for one reasonable price. This isn't a couple of singles or obscure live tracks, but thousands of albums from popular artists. I'm sure you have lots of questions and I'll try to answer them below.

How does AnywhereCD work?

AnywhereCD sells MP3 Albums. When you purchase an MP3 Album you can immediately hear all the tracks on the album, download the MP3 files, and have them instantly added to your iTunes library. Those who like traditional CDs will be pleased to learn you can purchase both for one price and get the immediacy of digital music, plus a physical CD shipped to you with complete artwork and liner notes. We've made a series of videos demonstarting how AnywhereCD works which you can watch here.

What music is available?
Popular artists such as Madonna, Prince, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Bloc Party, The Shins, and thousands more are available at AnywhereCD.

AnywhereCD

Will you add other music to AnywhereCD?
Our goal is to sell all music in the MP3 format. AnywhereCD will continue to grow and new content will be added in the near future.

How much do MP3 Albums cost at AnywhereCD?

Prices for MP3 Albums vary similar to CD prices. Albums start at $9.95 and with every album you purchase, you'll have the confidence of knowing you own all the digital tracks forever and they will play everywhere.

Who can use AnywhereCD?

AnywhereCD's licenses permit sales to US residents. We certainly would like to expand to other countries.

Are the MP3 files encrypted?
The MP3 files are not encrypted and will work on all music devices from any manufacturer - MP3 players, phones, PDAs, etc. The songs will not time out. You are not limited to just certain devices. There aren't restrictions on the songs for your personal listening enjoyment. If others want these songs, please encourage them to buy their own music at AnywhereCD to gain the same unlimited, personal listening privileges.

Does this mean that record labels working with AnywhereCD are abandoning DRM?
No. While AnywhereCD purchases are available in MP3 format without DRM, other initiatives from labels are continuing with DRM.

Will MP3 Albums work with iPods?
Yes - absolutely! MP3 Albums will work with iPods because all iPods play MP3. Since MP3 is a global standard your music is guaranteed to play on all audio devices that play digital files -- this is why MP3 is the ideal format.

Will MP3 Albums work with iTunes software for Macintosh and Microsoft Windows?

Yes. MP3 Albums can be loaded directly into iTunes. There are several ways to do this. You can download individual songs however it's probably more convenient to use the MP3tunes Album Downloader. It will download your newly purchased albums with a single mouse click, and load them directly into iTunes. To do this you will need to install the MP3tunes software.

How does AnywhereCD compare with DRM stores like iTunes, Napster and Rhapsody?
With AnywhereCD you own the music you purchase -- it's not rented. The music won't become inoperable if you use one too many devices or don't pay a monthly bill. With AnywhereCD you have confidence you'll have the music forever, and it will play on any device. AnywhereCD is where you can own your music and have control of your musical destiny.

How does AnywhereCD compare with non-DRM offerings from iTunes and EMI?

Apple's new service is not available yet, so it's impossible to know for sure how it will be implemented. Apple has stated they will not use MP3, but will instead use a format called AAC, which is not supported by most non-Apple music players. This might be good for Apple because it makes it difficult for iTunes customers to use non-Apple products. AnywhereCD files are in MP3 format so they will work on every digital music player including phones, PDAs, DVRs and more, without inconveniencing customers with file conversions.

How is AnywhereCD related to MP3tunes?

AnywhereCD and MP3tunes are separate companies. They have partnered to provide the best customer experience. AnywhereCD is where you shop and purchase music. MP3tunes is where you can stream and download the music you own. MP3tunes provides a secure, password protected location for your music. This service is provided free with any AnywhereCD purchase. If you'd like to learn more about MP3tunes please go here.

What are the advantages to shopping at AnywhereCD?

There are many advantages to shopping at AnywhereCD. Here are a few:
1) For one price you can instantly hear all tracks, get MP3s to download PLUS get a CD shipped to you -- the ultimate bundle.
2) All digital files are high quality MP3s that will work everywhere with no modifications.
3) You can buy from any computer -- not just your own. You can be at your work computer, laptop or even at an Internet cafe and still purchase music.
4) You'll help entice all labels to sell MP3 Albums.

I hope you'll make a purchase at AnywhereCD and support MP3 music!

-- MR

Press related inquiries for AnywhereCD please contact Dianne Gleason at (858) 658-0646

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