Feeds

Amazon opens DRM-free music store

Almost music-free, too

The Power of One Infographic

Amazon.com has opened its DRM-free music store for business. Songs are available for $0.89 per song, or $6 to $10 for an album.

Amazon applies "fingerprints" rather than "locks" to music, the idea being that music exchanges can be tracked at a later date, rather than prevented from the outset. Files are encoded in the (old) MP3 format, at 256 kbps bit rate.

Amazon claims that several labels - Sugar Hill and Trojan - have never sold digital music in unprotected form before.

It's a challenge to iTunes - which not only uses DRM, but a DRM that only Apple devices can decode - but also to eMusic, the popular DRM-free subscription service. The concept isn't new: Bleep, which began life as an offshoot of Warp Records in 2004, now sells unencumbered music from hundreds of independent labels.

However, the repertory on offer at Amazon is smaller than its biggest rivals. Amazon says two million songs are available, while eMusic and Apple claim 2.7 million and three million are online on their stores, respectively.

Mac and PC clients are available. And in common with its rivals, except Apple, Amazon is offering a pure web-only interface.

What are its chances of success?

It's competing with free, of course - and free gets better every day: unlicensed music has the largest repertory on the "market". While the low price may satisfy impulse buyers, eMusic still looks better value - ranging from 43¢ a song, to 28¢ a song. DRM-free subscription services don't penalize you for discovering new music.

Have a go here; we'll compare notes below.

Last week, one of the high street's best known music retail names Virgin threw in the onlinetowel. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.