Amazon MP3

amazon_mp3.jpgToday Amazon raised the stakes in the realm of online music sales with the beta release of Amazon MP3. I know there are a ton of places to buy online music out there with iTunes leading the pack. The thing that could make this one different though is the lack of DRM. Amazon’s store will sell actual high quality 256kbps MP3’s. There’s no DRM here folks. You’re not locked to any particular player for these songs. Just about every player out there will play an MP3 file. The big question in all of this is going to be selection. According to their press release:

“Amazon MP3 is an all-MP3, DRM-free catalog of a la carte music from major labels and independent labels, playable on any device, in high-quality audio, at low prices,” said Bill Carr, Amazon.com Vice President for Digital Music. “This new digital music service has already been through an extensive private beta, and today we’re excited to offer it to our customers as a fully functional public beta. We look forward to receiving feedback from our customers and using their input to refine the service.”

I’ve taken a glance through the site and found several songs that I’d be interested downloading… especially at 89 cents and without DRM. Amazon even provides an optional MP3 Downloader tool that looks to be just a download manager so you don’t have keep hitting save in your browser. Given the terrible experience I had with their “Unbox” movie download service, I pray that this doesn’t take the same path. If given the choice between this and iTunes, I’d happily pay less for a better (DRM FREE) product.

5 Comments

gravatar Kieran

Holy cow, $0.89 AND DRM-free? Buh-bye market share to iTunes! That’s an amazing rate, and even iTunes lacks in selection, so I suppose it’s just a matter of time before Amazon hits critical mass with this . . .

gravatar Scott

I think this is the results of the music industry trying to break Apple’s back. They must be giving better deals to some of these other players (Amazon, Wal-Mart). Plus some of the labels available at Amazon right now are NOT DRM-free in the iTunes Music Store. It should be interesting to watch and see if Apple continues to dominate the portable media player market when/if the iTunes Music Store isn’t the best deal for buying music.

gravatar Jon

Another great step in the right direction. The files are encoded with the LAME encoder (which is great). The files are watermarked, but only to identify that they have been downloaded from Amazon, not with personal information. I was a bit disappointed with the selection, but I’ve never shopped I-tunes so I can’t really compare. As Scott already said, good price, DRM free, and competition for I-tunes. Go Amazon!

gravatar Kieran

It looks like they raised the price to $.99 now . . . too bad, just one more reason they had a leg up on iTunes until they did that.

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