Orange unlocks music downloads

Orange has overhauled its online music offering to allow users to buy digital rights free music.

Orange recharge tent
Orange recharge tent

The mobile operator, which has deals to supply digital rights free tracks with record labels EMI, Universal and some independent labels, has also introduced new tiered pricing levels for the music with downloads starting at 79p each.

The removal of DRM encoding on tracks takes away restrictions on how music can be stored and played once it has been downloaded.

The offering currently covers 700,000 tracks which are formatted to be compatible with PC, Mac and mobile player software.

It has also “refreshed” its music portal to improve navigation and browsing. It says it will make further changes “in the coming weeks”.

The move follows rival operator Vodafone’s decision to unlock the music it sells and handset manufacturer Nokia’s move to unlock tracks downloaded onto its phones so they can be transferred to other devices.

“We have long held the vision that DRM-free was the best way forward as it limits the use of content by a user and a terminal, preventing the free use of content  legally ‘owned’ by customers,” says an Orange spokesman,

“In recent months, record labels have moved to a DRM-free model, allowing providers to deliver rights-free, sharable tracks which customers can use freely, however they wish,” he adds.

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