Amazon Launches Public Beta of DRM-Free Music Store

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Amazon announced the public beta of a new service called Amazon MP3, a music download store that sells MP3 music downloads that do not include any Digital Rights Management (DRM).
    The MP3 formatted files are compatible with a wide range of music players, including the Apple iTunes, iPod and iPhone. Songs are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, and albums from $5.99 to $9.99. All MP3s are encoded in 256kbps format and are now available at Amazon.

    This represents the latest trend in the online download industry to move towards DRM-Free downloads that are playable in a number of different media players and not tied to a particular vendor. Apple launched DRM Free songs on the iTunes store in May, 2007.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Hard to argue with competition. It won't hurt iPod sales, that's for sure.
  3. macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  4. Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Pretty sweet... and one of the first Mac-compatible stores outside iTunes?

    Now... how much of the music is no-name or strictly EMI, we'll have to examine more closely...
  5. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 2, 2007
    The post is coming from inside the house!
    Good news for consumers. I agree that everybody wins here.
  6. macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2006
    Now to see how easy the experience is. 256 or not, mp3s are still a no-go for me, but most folks will just see the number and think it's the same as iTunes.

    But what's up with KT Tunstall being quoted on the press release? A little swipe at Apple after she played at their event, I imagine?

    Let the fun begin.
  7. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
  8. macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2003
    I have to say, I don't really care about DRM-free. I have an iPod, like most of the developed world, iTunes... DRM restricts nothing for me. Selling music DRM-free really will hasten the recod companies' demise, so somebody needs to explain to me why they would do it. If they really wanted to provide competition, how about DRM-free and full CD quality? Now that's something I'd be interested in...
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2003
    this is great

    256 is a good compromise between quality and filesize...
  10. macrumors 65816


    Dec 9, 2003
    If other labels aside from EMI are participating in this, then why don't they release DRM free music on iTunes? It's weird how record execs and Apple always seem to be fighting over price, yet Amazon sells high quality DRM free MP3s for equal or lower prices? Something's weird.
  11. macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2007
    Tulsa, OK
    Excellent alternative to buying from iTMS. And guess what, it works with iTunes, so no reason to whine at all.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would love this.. I never liked itunes to keep my music only in my work computer or my home computer now I can have all my songs in both places.. that will be wonderful!
  13. macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2006
    The labels are simply trying to remove Apple from their position of power in the digital download industry so Apple will no longer be able to dictate such strict terms in negotiations. And they're going DRM-free only because lack of iPod support will pretty much kill any new music service instantly.
  14. macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    I'd rather have DRM-free AAC at 256kbps... newer technology, smaller files.
  15. Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    There's been eMusic for a long time now. :)

    And they have quite a few artists-- most aren't mainstream, but quite a few of the lesser known names have gotten bigger and eMusic still has their music available (one that comes to mind is Spoon).

    At any rate, I'll definitely have a poke around to see Amazon's offerings.

    Ah, just in case people start whining in a few (insert time period here):

  16. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 2, 2007
    The post is coming from inside the house!
    LOL! As if they need a reason to whine. :rolleyes:
  17. macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy part of the Pacific NW
    It looks like the same artist list that's in iTunes Plus. Has anyone found anything that's on Amazon's DRM-free store but not on iTune's?

    I love the marketing - "world's largest catalog of DRM-free MP3s". Well, yeah, because iTunes doesn't sell MP3s. :D

    Regardless of the marketing silliness - this is only good news for the consumer.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Nicky G

    Mar 24, 2002
    Baltimore & NYC

    My favorite online music store, Warp Records', has been selling DRM-free VBR MP3s since its inception. It's awesome, especially as they distribute tons of electronica labels other than Warp through the site. Generally works well, the pricing is fair, and I am happy with the quality of recordings (they also sell FLAC files at a slightly higher price.) My guess is that Apple cares nothing about this, OTHER than the fact that Universal is being a douche and not offering them a similar arrangement (purely out of spite, it would seem.)
  19. macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2005
    AAC is in theory more efficient than mp3, but in practice you only really notice a real difference at very low bitrates. In the last public listening test at Hydrogenaudio, Lame even at 128kbps put up a pretty good fight. I believe the number of people who can consistently tell the difference between Lame -V0 and 256kbps CBR AAC is extremely small. (That doesn't prevent everybody on the internet claiming that they can easily hear the difference with their music samples on their equipment though :rolleyes: )
  20. macrumors 68040


    Feb 24, 2006
    A viable competitor (finally!?) means cheaper iTunes prices (please!?)

    Two thumbs up, here. :D
  21. macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2004
    tristate area
    inevitable. the iTMS is a velvet rope around a piece of sidewalk. Thats the reason content companies are turned off. The only thing standing between them and the market is apple's brand. being the most user friendly should not bring the entire music and motion picture industry to a stand still
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2006
    Sometimes here mostly there
    I found a lot. specially artist like Manson, Perfect Circle etc. iTunes hardly has any rock in 256 which is pretty bad cos they are loosing a lot of money I would eventually spend there. but I refuse to buy 128 AND DRM music :(
  23. macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    Seems like this is more competion to a Windows DRM online store then apple.

    I mean we buy stuff here or the itunes.

    Now if Amazon starts to rack up tons of exclusives... but even then its not like apple is going to sell less ipods*. Maybe lose some on itunes but it is peanuts compared to ipod hardware.

    Except for those ogg vorbis freaks that insist on putting linux on their mp3 players with crappy interfaces.
  24. macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    Wow this is exciting! I like the iTunes direct compatibility, where you can automatically add downloads into your iTunes library without any clicks, cheaper prices than the iTMS ($1 less for Sigur Ros' "()" album!!), and of course DRM free at great quality.
  25. Mal
    macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    More options helps us consumers, so I'm all for it. I just bought an album, in addition to the free song that they give you for downloading the downloader (heh). We'll see how good it sounds (I'm in class so can't test it now), but I can't imagine anything but good. If they have sales on albums to make them cheaper than iTunes (the album I just bought was 10 songs, but only $8.99, so already a dollar less than iTunes), then they'll definitely make an impact.


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