Market control -- free or fees

SDMI has far-reaching implications for record labels and consumers alike. Digital watermarks promise record companies unprecedented control over rights to their music as well as new ways to sell music, including rent to own, try before you buy and subscription.

Thanks to SDMI, you'll see digital downloadable music from top-tier artists fairly soon. Right now, legal MP3 tunes on the Web generally come from little-known artists trying to make a name for themselves by providing free downloadable music. With SDMI in place, the record labels will make music by major artists available for download -- at a fee, of course. But SDMI also raises many new questions. The standard lays down the framework for the industry, but the task of actually implementing the specifications for managing digital rights will be left to the individual companies.

From the consumer side, other issues loom menacingly on the horizon. For instance, what happens when your hard drive crashes and data gets corrupted? You can reinstall software, but what do you do about the lost folder full of music files that cost $500? And if you back up your music to a removable drive and then try to reinstall those music files, will your player reject the files as pirated? No one we spoke to in the industry could tell us how individual sites would handle these types of problems.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments


Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >


HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?