EMI, the world's third-largest record company, will become the first of the five majors to sell a huge chunk of its catalog by download beginning Tuesday (July 18), including albums by Everclear, the Smashing Pumpkins, Bonnie Raitt, Frank Sinatra, D'Angelo and Snoop Dogg, the Associated Press and Reuters reported Friday.
The music, which will be released in Microsoft's Windows Media format, will be sold through various online retailers, the news services said. According to Reuters, EMI also will use the Liquid Audio format in the future.
The sound files will be encoded with digital restrictions, which will determine how many times the files can be copied or burned onto a CD, the reports said.
EMI, whose list of record labels includes Capitol, Virgin and Blue Note, said Tuesday's introduction of downloadable albums is part of an ongoing effort to make music available for purchase online, according to Reuters.
"Digital delivery will eventually become part of our standard release pattern, and we are committed to making high-quality music available to the consumer in a wide variety of media," Richard Cottrell, president of EMI Music Distribution, was quoted as saying by the news service.