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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,690
16,867


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).
"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."
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
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,877
1,538
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...
 

RidleyGriff

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2006
211
7
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.
 

Ted Witcher

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2003
202
6
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...
 

narco

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2003
1,155
0
California.
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.
 

iomar

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2001
254
0
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!
 

RidleyGriff

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2006
211
7
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.

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.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,584
1
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...
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):

Amazon's FAQs said:
After you have successfully downloaded the file to your computer at the time of purchase, we recommend that you create a backup copy. We are currently unable to replace any purchased files that you delete or lose due to a system or disk error.
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,946
3,425
The soggy side 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.
 

Nicky G

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2002
1,011
1,006
Baltimore
bleep.com

My favorite online music store, Warp Records' bleep.com, 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.)
 

em500

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2005
152
5
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: )
 

BoyBach

macrumors 68040
Feb 24, 2006
3,026
8
UK
A viable competitor (finally!?) means cheaper iTunes prices (please!?)

Two thumbs up, here. :D
 

puuukeey

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2004
327
1
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
 

Mydel

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2006
790
627
Sometimes here mostly there
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.

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 :(
 

plumbingandtech

macrumors 68000
Jun 20, 2007
1,993
1
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.
 

rockthecasbah

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,395
2
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.
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,249
17
Orlando
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.

jW
 
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