New Rhapsody To Go DRM = 40,000 terabytes of new downloads?

The PC enthusiast site ArsTechnica reports this week that RealNetworks will use their own digital rights management (DRM) technology, dubbed Rhapsody DNA, on the Rhapsody music and media service.

It will be available intially on the Sansa Rhapsody music player, which is a customized Sandisk Sansa e280 8GB media player.

Reports Ars Technica, “the new DRM format will be used at first for the company’s Rhapsody To Go subscription music service, which allows subscribers to move downloaded tracks to a supported portable player and listen to them for as long as the subscription remains active… The player will still support other file formats—including Microsoft’s protected WMA files—but with RealNetworks moving to Rhapsody DNA for its own subscription service, the focus will be on compatibility with Rhapsody To Go.”

This approach follows the MSN Music and Apple iTunes music ecosystem, a one-stop-shopping approach for a unified user experience, DRM, content and content management. It’s not clear what will happen to the content I’ve already downloaded with my Rhapsody To Go subscription service, which has now balooned My Music folder to nearly 25GB in DRM subscription content alone. If Rhapsody’s claims of being the most popular music subscription service more than 1.6 million users, then I see a lot of old and new content being downloaded… around 40,000TB based on my usage.

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