Amazon Digital Music Store Goes Online (DRM-Free mp3 @ 256)
Amazon Digital Music Store Goes Online
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SEATTLE, Sept. 25 (AP) — Amazon.com introduced its widely anticipated digital music store on Tuesday with nearly 2.3 million songs, none of them protected against copying.
The store, Amazon MP3, will allow shoppers to buy and download individual songs or entire albums. The tracks can be copied to several computers, burned onto compact discs and played on most types of PCs and portable devices, including the Apple iPod and Microsoft Zune.
Songs cost 89 cents to 99 cents each and albums sell for $5.99 to $9.99.
Two major labels, Universal and EMI, have signed on to sell their music on Amazon, as have thousands of independent labels.
The Amazon store is intended to compete with Apple’s market-leading iTunes, which is also offering some songs without digital rights management technology, which prevents unauthorized copies from being played.
Although digital rights management helps to stem illegal copying, it can frustrate listeners by limiting the types of devices or the number of computers on which they can play music. Copy-protected songs sold through iTunes will generally not play on devices other than the iPod, and iPods will not play copy-protected songs bought at rival music stores.
Amazon’s vice president for digital music, Bill Carr, said it would be up to customers to use the music they buy legally.
To help stop music piracy, Mr. Carr said, some record labels add a digital watermark to MP3 files that indicate what company sold the song, and Amazon adds its own name and the item number of the song for customer service purposes. He added that no details about the buyer or the transaction are added to the downloaded music file.
Mr. Carr characterized the number of record labels that still insist on copy-protection technology as “a handful.” But David Card, an analyst at Jupiter Research, said that “having two out of four labels doesn’t cut it.”
The Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, which is owned by Sony and Bertelsmann, have not agreed to sell music on Amazon MP3, and Mr. Card pointed out that Universal and EMI have made only parts of their catalogs available without copy protection.
He said that Amazon’s entrance into the market represented serious competition for Apple. But he added that in and of itself, Amazon MP3 “isn’t enough to change any market share.”
“They have to do a good job at building their store,” he said.
i have already bought twice as much from these guys than from itunes.
i have to say i like this better than itunes, much of the music is cheaper and the quality is better even if the file sizes are much bigger, in today's world that matters less than when the itunes store launched.
that said amazon needs to fix their genre thingie because david bowie is NOT rap/hip hop.
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