"Sony BMG Music Entertainment will crack open the door to its music vaults on Jan. 15, taking the DRM copy-prevention wrapper off a limited selection of downloadable tracks.
The tracks will be offered in MP3 format, without DRM (digital rights management), from Jan. 15 in the U.S. and from late January in Canada.
The move is far from the all-digital service offered by its rivals, though. To obtain the Sony-BMG tracks, would-be listeners will first have to go to a retail store to buy a Platinum MusicPass, a card containing a secret code, for a suggested retail price of $12.99. Once they have scratched off the card's covering to expose the code, they will be able to download one of just 37 albums available through the service"