Good DRM!

Good Digital Rights Management (DRM) does what you intuitively expect it to do. You license some music for $0.99 and you expect to listen to it forever on as many devices as possible. You expect (probably) to be able to share the music with your family.



You would like to be able to share the music with friends. Maybe they can "listen once" or maybe they get a reduced bit-rate version of your music. But it's important that a limited amount of sharing be encouraged otherwise the ever-so-important word-of-mouth about a great song can't happen. In the old days, AM radio provided this shared experience. Then FM and cassette (mix) tapes. Since the quality was always degraded from the original, people were still motivated to buy the original music on LP or CD. (To be fair, cassette copying freaked out the record companies too.)



Now that MP3 or other compression methods are close enough to CD quality, music can spread with no degradation and there is no reason (other than good manners) to purchase music when you can get it for free.



iTunes has shown that people will pay for electronically distributed music. iTunes, however, is a ticking time-bomb, because someday those licenses will stop working, as people upgrade their computers or reformat their hard drives.



Smart people burn everything to CD - nearly every service supports that - so they have a backup copy that isn't tied to a server. It's a pain to have to go to that extra effort, but it beats losing all of your music someday. You can re-rip it as MP3. There is a slight quality degradation from recompressing (which you may not be able to hear) but it's certainly better that than losing all your music!