Amazon DRM Free MP3 Store - gHacks Tech News

Amazon DRM Free MP3 Store

I always wondered which company would be able to compete with Apple's iTunes store and only a handful companies came to my mind. Besides Microsoft and eBay Amazon came to my mind. They are a established brand and I do not know a single person who does not have an Amazon account already.

With the right strategy and advertisement they could build a service that would be able to compete with iTunes. Before I go on I would like to add that I personally think that all services are inferior to P2P even with the risks involved but it will be a long time before the Music Industry will acknowledge this.

amazon drm free mp3 storeBack to Amazon. To compete they have to do better than iTunes otherwise not many users would want to make the switch to Amazon considering Apple's coolness factor with the kids and nerds.

Amazon tries to achieve this by offering DRM free albums that have a maximum price of $9.99 while most are sold for $4.99 to $8.99 compared to Apple's price of $9.99. Some albums are even priced lower than this. The cheapest that I was able to find was priced at $0.99.

The license agreement grants the user the right to copy, burn, store and transfer the music downloaded for private use not mentioning any maximum number of computers or devices that you can transfer the music to. Every song can be listened to for thirty seconds before deciding whether to purchase it.

I did make a test purchase of course and have to say that the speed is excellent. I paid $0.89 for Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana. The song is using 256 Kbps and has all the mp3 tags needed as well as cover art included. Amazon does store a song Id in the mp3 tags.

Visiting the site again it told me that I had purchased that song already at today's date.

Amazon does offer a download manager that users could use to download the songs but this is not a must. I decided to download the song without the download manager. I suppose it could be a good idea if you do download a lot of albums from Amazon.

The download manager can automatically add the songs to iTunes or Windows Media Player when the download finishes.

The only real problem that I see at the moment is that the amount of songs that are offered is inferior to Apple's catalogue. Several major labels are not represented yet at Amazon's Mp3 store. This should be a top priority for Amazon.

Users should compare prices between iTunes and Amazon Mp3 if the album or song is available at both stores and most likely the Amazon store will be cheaper if the song is available there.

Read More:

Amazon MP3 Beta

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Comments

  1. Chris said on September 26, 2007 at 9:14 pm
    Reply

    I was very happy to see this news. While I really like iTunes, I’m glad they now have some competition. This also pushes us further down the road of getting rid of DRM.

  2. Thinker said on September 26, 2007 at 9:26 pm
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    Yeah, very good step in destroying DRM

  3. martin english said on September 27, 2007 at 12:36 am
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    FWIW, I’m in Australia – while the store is supposedly unavailable outside the US, when I bought an Album, it just asked me to change my billing address to a US based one.

    It didn’t verify against any of my shipping addresses or against my credit card address.

    oh, and BTW, While you can download singles directly, I beleive you need the Download manager to download albums.

  4. Martin said on September 27, 2007 at 8:10 am
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    Martin yes that seems to be right. Changing the shipping address, use New York and Zip 10002 for instance works fine and lets you download the songs without difficulties.

  5. cristino said on January 14, 2010 at 9:16 am
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    Oh its really great musical blog. I love to hear songs and used to download my favorite songs using freemp3. Well here i must share that i came to know about new free mp3 toolbar that allow to convert you tube videos to mp3 and allows you to download them to your computer.

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