back to article Orange UK drops DRM

Orange UK is jumping on the anti-DRM bandwagon as the centerpiece of a "major refresh" of its Music Portal's Orange Music Store. The de-DRM-ing will begin with 700,000 tracks, and will be "enhanced in the coming months," according to a statement on the company's website. The new pricing plan was secured through deals with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Orange...

    How about stop f*cking about with all the bollocks you have been doing recently, and just release the now very overdue N97.

    We (all long standing Orange customers) know that the delay is because you will insist on installing your own version of the firmware, which will no doubt cripple the use of voip via a wifi connection, exactly as you did with the N95. Not to mention introduce new bugs, and hold up any future firmware releases (if of course you ever release them). This will require us to change the model number with NSS to a generic N97 and then flash with the next firmware from Nokia to get it back to how Nokia intended.

    You are a dumb pipe. Get over it, and accept this.

    Thank you, and good night.

  2. Sean MacMhaoinigh
    Thumb Up

    never a truer word said

    Too true

  3. Anonymous Coward

    One of the reasons why I don't use Orange

    is because of the shite firmware the insist on creating and deploying on their handsets, causing it to crash more often than it should usually.

    On the Nokia N80 you could disable the shite Orange "home screen" and then when you switched the phone off and back on the home screen reappeared.


  4. The Original Steve

    @Dear Orange

    Let me buy you a beer....

    After waiting a couple of months and after seeing Voda and 3 release the N97 I though balls to it and asked for my PAC from Orange. (After being a loyal customer for 11 years)

    Called again to confirm that's all I needed and another chap ended up bending my ear and suggesting the N85 instead. Not touchscreen, and not the latest version of Symbian - however it's an upgrade and El Reg has it down as 85% on the reviews. (Although I don't really trust Reg Hardware as much for mobiles as the scores have been fucked since they fell in love with the iPhone)

    Also kept it on 12 months, and got a whopping discount on my tarrif to boot.

    Not what I want, but it was just enough to prevent me from jumping ship... But Orange.... you keep fucking around with the handsets you can kiss my custom goodbye. Voda is looking increasingly promising.

    On a side note - I didn't even know Orange flogged music..? Am I really too set in my ways to think of Mobile Operators as the same as BT (e.g. give me telephony and a web connection) and ISP's as a fat pipe to the outside world....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Couldn't have put it better


  6. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Now how about...

    ... they drop this ridiculous "equivalency" that assumes that £1 = $1 and stops charging us 79p for a track that the Yanks can buy for 79c?

    Hint 79 cents is 48 pence...

  7. Gilbo
    Thumb Up


    That's exactly how I feel about Vodafone as well.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Seconded on Orange

    Bought an LG Viewty from a friend and replaced the badly scratched screen. Orange wanted the reasonable sum of around a billion pounds (or something) to unlock it or I could buy an Orange SIM and use it for 6 months and then get the unlocking code for free.

    This was great until I tried to top the thing up. A brand new Orange SIM, bought from an Orange store and receiving texts welcoming me to Orange couldn't be topped up with credit because the people on the Orange Customer Dis-service Helpline insisted that it didn't exist. Fuck me sideways, what an absolute bunch of clueless tools.

    Perhaps the snazzy marketing, shitty lock-in deals and fannying about with 'branding' a generic handset could take a back seat for once to a network which works when all the fancy bells and whistles are taken off.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    RE: @Dear Orange #

    Vodafone are just as bad for branding handsets! In fact they are worse in many cases. Many Sony Ericsson handsets have the amazingly useful (for a 'dumbphone') task manager DISABLED!! So you can't minimise your java applet, internet session, or whatever you wish, because Vodafone decided you'd rather use that key as a green or red call/answer button, and for the main large buttons, a Vodafone live button!!!!!!!! Utter rubbish.

    Sony Ericsson's do not even HAVE a red/green call hang up button thankfully, it's an unnecessary add on that is integrated well into the menu system for calling and hanging up, leaving the other array of buttons for useful features.

    A word of warning to those using NSS (Nemisis, check b-phreaks dot co dot uk for information) to change product codes on nokia mobiles, in order to download non-branded firmware. If after changing code you use NSU, Nokia Software Updater, Nokia *know* that your handset was, for example, Vodafone previously, as the Vodafone product code is printed on the label inside your phone underneath the battery beside the IMEI.

    If you change the product code, it registers, and invalidates your warranty with your provider! At nokia service centres product codes are checked with IMEIs as a matter of routine, a quick web search will confirm that for anybody thinking of doing it. Only way I can see to make your handset your own is to use phoenix/JAF with some USB tool to ensure that you debrand the product code, don't use Nokia Software Updater, and if possible if the phone gets shafted later on in life, get a chance to change back to your original product code using the same method, which means no Nokia logs for Nokia to peruse.

    Recommendation for unbranded hansets with just a theme: o2 - they don't bastardise firmware it would seem.

    Any sane person would want to debrand their Nokia mind you, even if just for the better more stable firmware, let alone the excellent VOIP/SIP functionality.

  10. Martin 71 Silver badge

    I think I'm set in my ways too

    Mobile phone companies supply service to mobile phones. Period. I haven't suffered with orange since 1999 when they insisted I cancel my contract by calling their number from my orange mobile. Despite being (at the time) being approximately 3000 miles from the nearest orange base station. I refused to pay the bills, they eventually agreed to leave me alone. I would have no desire to deal with them again.

  11. Andus McCoatover

    Outsourcing again??

    <<The new pricing plan was secured through deals with Universal, EMI, and a group of indies>>.

    West Indies, so it's going to the ashes, or just Prince-Phil-the-Greek's Indian fusebox fitters?

    OK, gorrit.

  12. Bod

    Operators all alike

    They all pretty much do the same with branding, if they're allowed to.

    Or they're like O2 and have exclusive deals and the manufacturer ensures the phone is locked down tight (in breach of EU guidelines to allow operator unlocking).

    Answer is simple. Buy sim-free and unbranded/locked/tied-down outside of the operator. So long as you're not after the iPhone that is ;)

    Many people pay over the value of their phone anyway on overpriced contracts they don't fully use. It's worth checking the full price of the phone and comparing that against a contract.

    Anyway, question is, what bitrate and quality are the non-DRM tracks?

    Still more expensive than a physical CD these days though. Most CDs I buy are £5 and excellent quality that I can rip lossless and store on my media server.

  13. Simon Beck

    Sod music...

    Sort out a decent data allowance with your call packages! I've got 6 months left on my contract, then a loyal 8 year customer is history. >(

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ the complainers

    You could always fork out for your own sim free handsets and go sim only.

    Paris cos I'd bet she does a lot of forking

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps the reason for the DRM cancellation is the cost and maintenance of an unwieldy and awkward DRM rights system? The number of customers unable to transfer purchased tracks? The inability to use the songs as ring-tones? Maybe it's that their overloaded systems just can't cope with it?

    After all they are probably dealing with system crashes as mentioned before?

    All theories of course...

  16. Paul Hates Handles

    Me too

    After crappy service, my last phone being utter rubbish and Orange being unwilling to help and a rubbish range of phones I'm walking after almost 10 years as an Orange customer. Fuck Orange.

  17. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Paris Hilton

    Too little, too late

    79p a track!!!! So that would be £7.90 for a CD worth of tunes with out the physical disk or the inlay cards. What a rip-off, I'm buying CDs an DVDs for a fiver (sometimes less) in HMV and the other high street retailers.

    That's 5EUR, about 4.30GBP, in Dublin's Grafton street, allegedly one of the most expensive bits of retail real estate in Europe.

    methinks 0.50EUR/0.40GBP is probably a more realistic price if they want to compete in the real world.

    And they wonder why people won't buy…..

    Paris, who knows a thing or two about being cheap

  18. Martin

    Why we put up with contracts.....

    "Answer is simple. Buy sim-free and unbranded/locked/tied-down outside of the operator....Many people pay over the value of their phone anyway on overpriced contracts they don't fully use. It's worth checking the full price of the phone and comparing that against a contract."

    Quick sum. HTC Magic new = £500 PLUS the price of calls and data. HTC Magic = free, plus £25 per month for all the calls and data I'll ever need for 18 months = £450. (Just picked this at random as it's the phone I want when my current contract expires).

    That's why people stick with contracts.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Bod "in breach of EU guidelines to allow operator unlocking"

    Do you mean legislation? Just asking. You cannot of course "breach" guidelines, you can disregard them. A more accurate sentence would be "in breach of EU law" or "in breach of EU legislation", which the lock/unlocking of mobile phones isn't, it's unlawful to lock any mobile phone in Belgium. Guidelines are unenforceable unless they are backed up with legislation. Of course, I realise that you have an ulterior motive in as much as you don't like either iPhone or O2 or both. The only way that I can see your comment relating to the article is the mention in the article of the iTunes store, which we all know has been DRM free since January. In any mobile phone/operator article you can bet your house that someone is going to have a pop at iPhone, regarless if it mentioned in the article or not. The obsession with it is unhealthy.

  20. Witty username


    Ill unbrand my N95, not too fussed about the warranty as it was £50 off a mates aunt and the battery cover is held on with duct tape after an altercation with a pub floor :D

    as for unlocking, im not sure what would posess anyone to go to Orange/Tmob/Vodafone/O2/etc, pay £1337,000,000,000 to get it unlocked (which involves it being sent away for months to perform this hideously difficult task), when you can go to any market stall/dodgy looking high street phone shop, hand over £10 (cash of course) and your phone, and come back in 10 minutes, to find it magicly unlocked, no questions asked.

    Allegedly of course >_>

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