Amazon launches public beta of DRM-free music download store | iLounge News

Amazon launches public beta of DRM-free music download store

Amazon has launched a public beta of Amazon MP3, its new digital music download store offering DRM-free 256kbps MP3 files. According to Amazon, the service boasts “Earth’s biggest selection of a la carte DRM-free MP3 music downloads.” The service currently offers over two million songs from more than 180,000 artists. Individual tracks are available for $.89 or $.99, with full albums available from $5.99 to $9.99. In addition, the company is offering its Amazon MP3 Downloader, a helper application that seamlessly adds users’ MP3s to their iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries.

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Just installed and downloaded Amazon’s free sample song.  Awesome sound quality and ease of use.  Lots of stuff available for <$0.99.  Many albums for $7.99 or less.  Download transferred directly into iTunes library.  I like this.  I can play on my iPods and Sansa players. Love it.

Posted by audioguyBOB on September 25, 2007 at 12:42 PM (CDT)


Not a bad start.  The catalog of available needs A LOT of work.  Half of my collection is not available.  For some artists they have only 1/10th of their available albums. Look at Van Morrison, for example. Until they flesh it out, it’s not all that useful.

Posted by Paul on September 25, 2007 at 12:55 PM (CDT)


On second look, the catalog is a little disappointing depending on your preferences.  Some surprizes though, like Radiohead.  Its worth keeping an eye on.  If it helps establish more DRM free music I’m all for it.

Posted by audioguyBOB on September 25, 2007 at 1:08 PM (CDT)


I hope this makes some waves in the digital music industry.

Posted by Joshdude on September 25, 2007 at 1:30 PM (CDT)


Why don’t they also offer DRM-free AACs? More and more devices play those now, even phones (e.g. Sony Ericsson, Nokia).

Posted by The Doctor on September 25, 2007 at 1:47 PM (CDT)


I noticed these mp3 offerings this morning, and while I think it’s great to offer DRM-free songs, I’m still a fan of iTunes and will continue to buy digital tracks from Apple. They did it first, and in my opinion, better.

Posted by bookcase on September 25, 2007 at 1:52 PM (CDT)


@The Doctor:

At that bit rate, if you use iTunes to convert to AAC I doubt you will notice any change in audio quality.

Posted by artMonster on September 25, 2007 at 1:54 PM (CDT)


It seems like a cool service, but the main problem I see is the limited selection - if I find something in iTunes, I can be confident that i can download it, while in Amazon you don’t know if it’s available as a download until you’ve searched for it already.

Love the no DRM, and I’ll use it for sure if I want an album that is also available

Posted by Amighty on September 25, 2007 at 2:11 PM (CDT)


This is fantastic news.  You would have to be a mindless apple fanboy to buy anything from the iTunes store for more money, in lower quality, with DRM that you could buy from Amazon cheaper at fantastic quality with no DRM.  I recognize that this is a very incomplete catalog at this point, but it behooves us all to find music we like at Amazon, and buy it and stop supporting anybody selling DRM-laden junk.  If a significant chunk of the market shifts to Amazon, it won’t be long before all record labels follow.

Posted by caldjeff on September 25, 2007 at 3:11 PM (CDT)


Is this service available for Canada? (without going through the FAQ’s - at work).

Posted by timmer on September 25, 2007 at 3:26 PM (CDT)


Just what the market needs. Any chance of it coming to Europe?

Posted by drevo_uk on September 25, 2007 at 3:38 PM (CDT)


I am really surprised that they have as much as they do.  I wonder how this will affect eMusic?

Posted by superape on September 25, 2007 at 3:40 PM (CDT)


I much prefer iTunes. The selection is very limited (at least in the Jazz category) and the site is not the easiest to negotiate on the Amazon site…But this is only their startup. Does everyone think Apple WANTS DRM? Because this is simply not the case…

Posted by RNB on September 25, 2007 at 3:43 PM (CDT)


They obviously either want it or don’t care enough to do anything about it. More and more services are offering DRM free mp3 downloads.

But as always, I will continue to get my mp3’s direct from Russia at 19 cents a song.!

Posted by SAF on September 25, 2007 at 3:51 PM (CDT)


Sorry, but why don’t you spend a word about is or not available only in U.S.?
European and non-U.S country will be grateful!

Posted by IL_MORUZ on September 25, 2007 at 3:52 PM (CDT)


@audioguyBOB- 7digital has Radiohead albums for 6.99 Pounds in 320kbps DRM-free MP3.  A bit more expensive perhaps but even higher quality.  And this is available in England (of course) and I believe internationally.

Anyway, I plan on giving this a try.  I’ve already bought some DRM-free tracks from Wal-Marts store.

Posted by dodo on September 25, 2007 at 3:59 PM (CDT)


Not available outside the U.S i don’t see why not as i can buy cds from Amazon or dl from 7digital U.K
or emusic U.S

Posted by StevieB on September 25, 2007 at 4:02 PM (CDT)


No sales tax!  Woo-hoo!

Posted by zyzyzyzyzyzyx on September 25, 2007 at 6:27 PM (CDT)


At the moment, the selection is lame and the design is godawful.  Can you say “fugly”?

I certainly hope they address the design aspect ASAP, since those coming from the slickness of iTMS will turn right around and not even give it a chance.

Posted by The Raven on September 25, 2007 at 7:20 PM (CDT)


thats all well and good, but I still like cds better.

Posted by stevenjuke on September 25, 2007 at 9:05 PM (CDT)

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