Amazon launches DRM-free MP3 store

Amazon on Tuesday launched a beta of its DRM-free music store with two million songs available. The effort is the latest in several milestones pointing to the death of digital rights management software for music.

Amazon on Tuesday launched a beta of its DRM-free music store with two million songs available.

The effort is the latest in several milestones pointing to the death of digital rights management software for music.

Amazon is offering a la carte songs along with its CDs. Amazon's general idea is to offer both downloaded music and physical CDs.

Over time, it would benefit Amazon to move toward a download model so it could cut shipping costs. Amazon is charging 89 cents to 99 cents per song with most priced at the former level. Albums run from $5.99 to $9.99. The songs are encoded at 256 kilobits per second.

The details--and the requisite quotes from the usual suspects--can be found in the statement, Techmeme and Amazon blog. I focused on ease of use and how Amazon ports songs to your player of choice.

Overall, I found the MP3 integration decent, but the download option didn't exactly jump out at me on the overall music search. But once you find the button it worked fine.

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Any download requires a small Amazon application that grabs the song and puts it in your library of choice.

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The downloader application makes the process easier and moves the song to your music library and player of choice.

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