September 25, 2007

Music download - Amazon selling music now without DRM

Matter of time and it finally happened: Amazon is selling music and to sweeten the deal all of the music (2.3 million with UMG and EMI signed on) is unprotected (no DRM). And to cap it off, it;s cheaper than iTunes.

Amazon Launches Digital Music Store -

Amazon Launches Digital Music Store
Associated Press
September 25, 2007 1:59 p.m. Inc. launched its much-anticipated digital music store with nearly 2.3 million songs, none of them protected against copying. The Web retailer also set song prices that undercut Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.

The store, Amazon MP3, lets shoppers buy and download individual songs or entire albums. The tracks can be copied to multiple computers, burned onto CDs and played on most types of PCs and portable devices, including Apple's iPod and Microsoft Corp.'s Zune.

Amazon's songs cost 89 cents to 99 cents each, and albums sell for $5.99 to $9.99 apiece. Apple's iTunes store, which has also taken steps to offer some songs without so-called digital rights management technology, charges $1.29 for DRM-free tracks and $11.99 for most albums without copying restrictions.

Major music labels Universal Music Group, a unit of Vivendi SA, and EMI Music Publishing have signed on to sell their tracks on Amazon, as have thousands of independent labels. The company said several smaller labels are selling their music without copy protection for the first time on the Amazon store, including Rounder Records and Trojan Records.

Although DRM helps stem illegal copying, it can frustrate consumers by limiting the type of device or number of computers on which they can listen to music. Copy-protected songs sold through iTunes generally won't play on devices other than the iPod, and iPods won't play DRM-enabled songs bought at rival music stores. Inc., another popular download site, also sells tracks in the DRM-free MP3 format but, like Amazon's store, doesn't offer music from some major labels that still require anti-piracy locks.

Bill Carr, Amazon's vice president for digital music, said it will be up to customers to use the music they buy legally.

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Posted by staff at September 25, 2007 01:37 PM