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Amazon Launches DRM-free Music Download Service
Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 at 10:50 AM - by
Amazon is finally throwing its hat into the music download arena with the beta launch of its Amazon MP3 store on Tuesday. Amazon claims that it has over 2 million songs available, and that all are available in MP3 format without copy protection restrictions.
Amazon MP3 is compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows, most portable media players including the iPod, and songs can be purchased and downloaded from a Web browser. Users wanting to purchase complete albums, however, will need to download the free Amazon MP3 Downloader application.
Unlike Apple's iTunes Store, Amazon's tracks are priced on a sliding scale. While some songs come in below Apple's US$0.99 a track at $0.89, many cost as much as tracks at the iTunes Store, and in some cases even more.
Amazon is hosting music from a wide range of artists including 50 Cent, Ani DiFranco, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ella Fitzgerald, Feist, John Coltrane, KT Tunstall, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, The Chemical Brothers, The Rolling Stones, and more. The service is also offering songs from several independent record labels including Alligator Records, HighTone Records, Sugar Hill Records, and Trojan Records.
The wide range of music coupled with Amazon's platform agnostic approach to digital music sales could put Amazon MP3 in a position to compete with Apple's iTunes Store. If Amazon MP3 is plagued with the same complaints Amazon Unbox suffered from when it launched, however, Apple won't have to worry too much about the new player in the music download game.
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