Amazon Launches Public Beta of DRM-Free Music Store

Amazon announced the public beta of a new service called Amazon MP3, a music download store that sells MP3 music downloads that do not include any Digital Rights Management (DRM).

"Amazon MP3 is an all-MP3, DRM-free catalog of a la carte music from major labels and independent labels, playable on any device, in high-quality audio, at low prices," said Bill Carr, Amazon.com Vice President for Digital Music. "This new digital music service has already been through an extensive private beta, and today we're excited to offer it to our customers as a fully functional public beta. We look forward to receiving feedback from our customers and using their input to refine the service."

The MP3 formatted files are compatible with a wide range of music players, including the Apple iTunes, iPod and iPhone. Songs are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, and albums from $5.99 to $9.99. All MP3s are encoded in 256kbps format and are now available at Amazon.

This represents the latest trend in the online download industry to move towards DRM-Free downloads that are playable in a number of different media players and not tied to a particular vendor. Apple launched DRM Free songs on the iTunes store in May, 2007.

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