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The popular social networking site MySpace says it will be the latest to open a direct-download music store, according to Reuters. The web-based service, an offshoot of MySpace Music, hopes that its access to 106 million existing MySpace users will give it an early advantage and offer a serious challenge to Apple. "Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative," says MySpace's Chris DeWolfe. Unlike most other services' attempts to compete in the digital music arena, MySpace promises flexibility: songs can be sold either through the main portal or on the user pages of artists and fans alike. MySpace will not dictate pricing but rather charge a distribution fee and leave the remaining pricing up to artists on MySpace, most of whom are independents currently unsigned to labels. Songs will be available in an unrestricted MP3 format that ensures compatibility with the iPod and other music players.
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