Amazon's DRM-Free MP3s

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | 08:39 PM


Amazon has been fairly effective in using its platform -- recall they were originally a  book store -- as a launching pad for other ideas and online business concepts.

The latest brainchild? Digital music downloads, challenging Apple's iTunes via DRM free MP3s (now with variable pricing!)

As we have seen, none of the previous challenger shave managed to dent Apple's dominance in digital music. Wal-Mart? Gone. Real, eMusic, Sandisk? Pshaw. And what about the mighty Zune? Don't make me laugh.

All that said, Amazon's MP3 store, now in public beta testing, has quite a few things going for it:

1) Embedded purchases right in the Amazon CD pages, complete with all of the things -- reviews, commentary, etc. -- that make Amazon an enjoyable online shopping experience.

2) Music that can be played on and freely moved between multiple devices

3) ~2 million songs (1/3 of iTunes) from independent labels, EMI Universal Music Group.

4) Songs encoded at 256kbps (higher quality);

5) Priced from 89 to 99 cents, with albums $5.99 to $9.99.

6) Oh, and music free of digital rights management restrictions

If nothing else, this is proof that the digital download business is maturing, and that Apple's competition will be continually challenging their dominance.

I can't say I will be using this much -- I prefer to buy CDs, rip them myself, make a few backup copies, then store the original somewhere safe  -- but its an intriguing concept.


I almost bought this song -- First Night -- but instead, bought the full CD, Boys and Girls in America. Go figure . . . 

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | 08:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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There was an article, I believe in the WSJ, about MP3 sacrificing quality to compression. Many modern artists are gearing their work to sound good on MP3. You're correct to stick with CD.

Posted by: Steve Johnson | Sep 26, 2007 9:33:22 PM

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