Universal to test DRM-free music sales, snubs iTunes

In both shocking (and, frankly, kind of unshocking) news, Universal Music Group (whom we all know as the largest music conglomerate in the world) announced its intent to test DRM-free music through Real's Rhapsody, Wal-Mart, Amazon, even Google -- but not through long time begrudging online retail partner / frenemy Apple's iTunes Plus DRM-free music store. Apparently the restriction free Universal tracks will start popping up on those other music distributors next January, during which time the company intends to closely monitor sales, increases in music piracy, etc. before going all-in; for the time being we've no idea which artists Universal intends to free up or just how much of its total catalogue will be distributed in this little toe-dip of theirs. But one thing we do know: between EMI and Universal, two of the top four music businesses in the world have now announced or begun distributing music without DRM, and there's little we can find fault with about that.

[Thanks, somebody]