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New Amazon digital music store
According to an article published in The New York Times, Amazon.com has finally launched its already announced digital music store with about 2.3 million songs, none of them copy-protected.
The store, Amazon MP3, will allow its users to buy and download both individual tracks and full albums. Tracks can be copied to different computers, burned to CDs, and played on most PCs and portable devices, including Apple's iPod and Microsoft's Zune.
Each song costs between 89 and 99 cents each and the albums between 5.99 and 9.99 dollars.
Two of the major labels, Universal and EMI, have already signed on to sell their music on Amazon, as have thousands of independent labels.
Amazon music downloads will compete with Apple
The Amazon store aims to compete with Apple's iTunes, the current market leader, which also offers some themes without DRM technology that prevents unauthorized copies from being played.
Although DRM technology helps curb illegal copying, it can also frustrate users by limiting the type of devices or the number of computers on which they can play the music they purchase. For example, copy-protected songs purchased from iTunes generally cannot be played on a device other than iPod, and iPods also won't play copy-protected songs purchased from other stores.
According to Bill Carr, Amazon's vice president of digital music, the record companies that still insist on using copy protection technology are “quite a few,” but for Jupiter Research analyst David Card, having landed two of the top four labels doesn't limit him. too.
Record labels Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment have not agreed to sell their music on Amazon MP3, and according to Card, Universal and EMI have only agreed to sell part of their catalogs without copy protection.
Source: New York Times