It’s been about a day since Amazon launched the Public Beta of their DRM-Free Music store called Amazon MP3, and so far the reviews are extremely positive and users are happy with the ease of use, and the prices. Their slogan is “Play Anywhere, DRM-Free Music Downloads” but they should have added “for cheap” on to it. Prices for these DRM-free songs range from 89 cents to a maximum of 99 cents while iTunes charges $1.29 for their DRM-free music.  Most full albums range in price from $5.99 to $9.99, although there are some sold for $4.99 and under. Amazon may have actually caused Steve Jobs to get a bit concerned because now iTunes has a real competitor! A little healthy competition for Apple may actually be good.

DRM-Free means that once you download a song or album, you can play them on multiple devices like your computer (PC or Mac), your iPod, Zune, iPhone, BlackBerry, and the list goes on. Amazon’s library includes over 2 million songs by 180,000 artists with 20,000 major and independent labels. On the downside, while this may sound like a lot of songs, it’s really not. Most big name labels aren’t a part of this like Sony, and given that content is king, they’ll need more music.  If Amazon were able to ink a deal with some of the other companies, this would be huge.

When you click on a song or album, you’ll be able to preview the music (30 second clip) before buying. On the same page, you’ll also be able to rate the song, read customer reviews, leave feedback about the service, or view your recent history which shows your recently viewed products and recent searches. And of course there are advertisements and other product offers from Amazon. Below is an image of what the Amazon MP3 downloader looks like:


While I worked my way around the web today getting reactions from people, I saw comments like “the experience is fantastic!” or “Wow, this is amazing.” Their MP3 Downloader allows you to easily add the music you’ve downloaded to iTunes and Windows Media Player which leaves me wondering if iTunes will be able to remain the top digital music store for long?

Source: Amazon Earworm’s Blog

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