Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Amazon MP3 service goes live

updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue September 25, 2007

Amazon MP3

Amazon today launched its long-delayed digital music store, offering one of the first major, completely DRM-free music stores beyond eMusic. Now known as Amazon MP3, the service offers every one of its songs as 256Kbps MP3s, allowing both owners of iPods and Zunes alike to buy music from the store with knowledge that it will work on their players and with audio quality above many competing stores. In contrast to some DRM-free outlets, the store will also have a large catalog courtesy of EMI's new DRM-free policy as well as Universal's pilot project that trials DRM-free content. Over 20,000 independent labels are also onboard, while major labels include previous holdout artists such as Radiohead, Amazon says. To streamline the process, the company lets its 1-click buying process work with tracks and offers an MP3 Downloader program that automatically shuttles songs to either iTunes or Windows Media Player.

Official pricing is also extremely low, confirming claims made by the New York Post last month. While exceptions are allowed in the price system, most tracks are either 89 or 99 cents with more than half of the entire two million songs on the store selling for 89 cents. Most albums also top out at $10 with some costing as little as $6, according to Amazon. The pricing contrasts sharply with iTunes, where iTunes Plus tracks sell for $1.29 each.

Amazon MP3 is described as being in public beta, but is also fully functional and readily accessible to anyone with an Amazon account. The company does not say when it expects the store to leave the beta phase but asks customers to provide feedback on the initial experience to help for the final launch.



By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. powerbooks

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    89 cent

    That might be a iTune competitor...

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    mp3 vs mp4

    mp3 is an old technology, compared to mp4 directly on any decent speakers, mp3 sounds like mud.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    hallelujah

    not one single use of the phrase, 'iTunes-killer'

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    mp3 v mp4

    most people don't care (unfortunately), look how long they put up with VHS.

  1. jmelrose

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Mar 1999

    0

    Tried it

    Sounds fine, works great.

    I love iTunes but I'm annoyed with customer service issues with them, and having to work through 4 cut-and-paste'd responses before getting one that actually seems like some time, care, and attention was spent on the issue.

    Case in point: my Pre-order of the new Athlete album STILL isn't available to me, despite the store having it for sale since about 2 am. I am running errands later, and will gladly spend the money on the CD if the pre-order isn't in my queue by the time I leave. Then they asked me to email them my password and billing information. I told them asking someone to email it over an non-secure connection (and I'm on gmail's webmail) is one of the dumbest things I'd be asked to do yet by the iTMS. Plus, I still don't understand why they couldn't just do it themselves on their end. They ARE the store, after all.

    Anyway, Amazon has over 3 million MP3s available so far. 256K w/out DRM = I'm interested. I hope they give iTMS some competition so the bar is raised over there. Too much sitting on laurels, I think, these days. Amazon is definitely good and easy enough for most people, just like Itunes has a reputation of being.

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    A real competitor

    My only complaint before purchasing is I have to hear murky previews. There's no good reason for that. I'm going to give this a try today. I haven't seen $6.99 albums since the early 80s and considering the quality at 256 mp3, very good although it will take more space. Amazing to see a 17 song 1 hour+ album selling for $6.99.

    This is obviously a major hit back after iTunes sales eclipsed Amazon in the top retailers this year. I would think Amazon might take a bit of a hit on their CD sales but maybe they're betting on stealing share from iTunes more so. Also, how did they get this deal to sell for less and also without DRM with so many labels before Apple? And I'm glad Amazon recognizes mp3 as a standard format even if somewhat inferior. It can be used to make mp3 cds for those players too. And I'm glad they were smart enough not to take the Walmart and Napster route of needlessly excluding Mac users. They have non-DRM higher quality stuff of the same albums Apple still has as DRM lower quality!

    If my buying experience proves as good as how this looks so far, I'm going to say this is going to drive changes with iTunes for sure. Hooray.

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    256 mp3 beats 128 mp4

    Let's not be silly. AAC mp4 is a better format. But 256 mp3 is better quality audio than 128 mp4 AAC just like a bicycle going 25 mph is faster than a motorcycle going 15 mph.

  1. simdude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004

    0

    not bad

    Just found an album by Liquid Tension Experiment I wanted for $4.95. Compared to iTunes at $9.99 and it's 256 mp3 which as someone pointed out is better than 128 bit AAC.

    I would gladly buy from iTunes instead even at the higher price if they just made it 256 AAC. I'm sure this is a record industry thing, but why are the record companies letting Amazon sell 256 bit non-DRM when Apple has to stay at 128 bit DRM and a higher price? Either Amazon is eating some of the cost to build market, or they are getting a better deal than Apple. Perhaps the record company want Mr. Jobs to have more competition?

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    0

    Not bad

    Thanks, Amazon, for having New Age section which iTunes Store originally had and later took it down. To buy New Age music in iTunes you have to go through the stupid Browse mode which is useless. I complainted to Apple and they still don't give a c***.

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    Missing a lot

    On further analysis, Amazon is missing a lot of major label material yet. I was thrilled to see Cinemechanica and lots of other little indie bands on here but for the public that wants to hear only big label bands like U2 or Depeche Mode, they won't find it. If yesterday's news about how Vivendi is upset about how getting 70% revenue is a bad deal is exemplary of these labels, I can see why they aren't here.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Life n Soul 8 Driver Bluetooth headphones

When it comes to music on the go, consumers generally have some options to consider when looking for the best experience. While Blueto ...

Tesoro Tizona G2N Elite gaming keyboard

The market for gaming keyboards is getting crowded, starting off with some fairly simple keyboards and diverging into the land of modu ...

GX Gaming DeathTaker mouse

Gaming is a serious endeavor for many people, driving them to look for the best performance in their system and interface devices. Fro ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News