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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Times Online reports that Amazon has approached all the major music studios about selling unprotected MP3s online.

According to the article, Amazon is aiming to launch this new music store next month in order to challenge Apple's own iTunes store. Apple and EMI made headlines earlier this month by announcing that they would be selling EMI's music catalog on iTunes without any form of digital rights management (DRM).

Not all other studios appear to have adopted this model and Times Online expects only "EMI and independent labels" to join Amazon's initial launch.

The use of DRM in digital sales has been due to industry concerns about unrestricted piracy of music files. The use of DRM, however, also has limited interoperability between music stores and music players. At present, Apple's iTunes protected songs can be played only on Apple's iPod or Apple TV. Meanwhile, protected content from other online music stores (Napster, for example) cannot be played on the Apple iPod. The launch of unprotected music sales would eliminate these artificial limitations.


macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
interesting development. competition is good though.

i wonder what the quality of the tracks would be. anything under 192kbps MP3 and i'm not buying at all.


macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2003
Calgary, AB
Competition is good. I'll buy from anyone who can give me at least 192 kbps and no DRM. For underground electronic music, I'd also recommend Bleep. Fantastic quality, no BS.


macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
Florida Resident
I wish AAC was called MP4 for marketing reasons. Anyways I hope this puts some pressure on the other record companies. I hope this model makes a ton of cash and nobody steals this music in a big way.


macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
Redondo Beach, California
mp3 aac, it's all the same

Not really. 256K AAC is more like 320K MP3 in terms of quality.

I like the way "" works. After you select the track you want you can have any bit rate you want. You pay then by the bit so 256K cost double what 128K costs. They should all do that. Then you can have lossless if you want to pay for the bits.


macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
is this its new business? I never knew amazon actually was selling musics?:eek:


macrumors member
Oct 31, 2006

yeah, I know there is a lot of backend restructuring to do to make this all happen, but come on... tell us when we are going to be able to actually start buying the non-DRM music? next month? next year? ever?:confused:


Aug 16, 2005
New England
i think this could possibly hurt apple, so i really don't like it. i really don't see how this could help apple anyways

You have no idea how many people I talk to want an iPod, but don't want to "buy into" the whole iTunes bit, at least that's an excuse I often hear.

Amazon sells plenty of Apple gear, so it would be in their best interest to highlight the fact that it'll work with your existing iPod, or buy one from us.



macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
Depending on price, that may not be good news for eMusic.

That was my first thought when reading the story, too.

eMusic has always been a favorite of mine (especially going back to when they had an "unlimited downloads" subscription plan), but their customer support leaves a whole lot to be desired. I can see Amazon (which has pretty decent customer support) wooing away eMusic's customer base.

Sure, some people will stick with eMusic just to support an old favorite, but many more will likely jump ship to Amazon. I know I would (and I've been a "loyal" eMusic member since 2000).

This development should be interesting to watch.


Apr 1, 2005
Space The Only Frontier
IMO this will actually help iTunes..

It's the "coolness" factor of the iPod that drives the sells off of iTunes.When music becomes DRM-Free on iTunes all the iPod owners will stop buying from other music services and importing into iTunes and instead go directly to the iTunes store.

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
It would make sense, especially since M4A is short for MPEG-4 Audio. Instead of MPEG-1 Level 3. :p


This cuses a lot of confusion. The other day I was listening to a story on NPR about Apple and EMI's plans to sell unprotected music files in "Apple's AAC format."


macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2006
Not really. 256K AAC is more like 320K MP3 in terms of quality.

I like the way "" works. After you select the track you want you can have any bit rate you want. You pay then by the bit so 256K cost double what 128K costs. They should all do that. Then you can have lossless if you want to pay for the bits.

stuff that

digital music sellers need to start using lame and the V0 setting

better quality and smaller than 320


macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2006
Brighton, UK
This is good news

I've never bought a single track from any purveyor of DRM files, and I'm damned if I will ever in the future.

I do like the idea of buying the music at a decent quality - 256K or greater - and *without* DRM of any kind.

If that happened I could well start buying music as it begins to match the quality of a CD.

But; the price. I'm fecked if I'm paying the x2 loading for Europe. If Amazon will allow me to download the track from the US at US prices (plus VAT if necessary), then I'll definitely be buying. If it's $2/track, forget it!


macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2007
I predict that the next thing you see is that Amazon starts selling downloadable software packages from their site. In fact maybe I should just start a big rumor about it! ;)



macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2005
The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
Strangely enough....

there were a few "anti-apple" segments in the times today, Amazon was quite a small article whereas Sony had quite a larger presence which is also via times online,

Best quotes from Howard Stringer (Sony's Welsh born chief-exec of Sony) has to be:

The lack of an internet-savvy digital platform — “the missing element that left us behind in the iPod stakes” — would not damage Sony in the video stakes, said Stringer. When downloading films and TV programmes over the internet becomes commonplace, Sony will be ready, he insists.

“Steve Jobs [of Apple] is running round trying to line up [deals with] studios; I’ve already got one. I ought to be able to use the content of the studios, both in Hollywood and worldwide.”

I wonder what The Times has to gain, other than that they are owned by Sky (Satellite) Media Grp.......Coincidence??


macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2005
I really hope the new standard with music sellers is 256 kbps+
The day Apple made the announcement with EMI, I changed my importing preference from 128 AAC to 256 AAC in iTunes. I think that's the way to go.
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