Today’s big announcement comes from Rhapsody, the online music service previously known for its subscription-based streaming music for a monthly fee. Well, turns out people are more interested in owning their music rather than renting. So now we have another major competitor for iTunes and Amazon MP3.
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It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Amazon MP3, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. And I’m glad the Amazon MP3 team doesn’t think so either. Here’s a copy of an email I received from them asking me to fill out a survey. Check out some of the more interesting questions asked followed by commentary (after text of the email below):
Just a few days after our coverage of DRM-free music options for 2008 comes news of Sony BMG now offering its music on Amazon restriction-free. Sony BMG represents artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Santana, and Justin Timberlake. And this makes Amazon the first online music store to offer DRM-free songs from all four major labels: Sony BMG, Warner, EMI, and Universal Music.
Hot on the heels of news of Apple soon offering rental movies via iTunes, Amazon has some even better news (in my opinion). Another sign that DRM (Digital Rights Management, music with restrictions) is on its way out: Amazon MP3 now offers DRM-free MP3s from Warner Music Group’s catalog.
This makes Amazon’s MP3 download store the first to offer DRM-free music from Warner Music and brings Amazon’s library up to 2.9 million songs, all without restrictions. And Warner’s catalog includes some of the most popular artists: Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Madonna, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.
So everyone and their dog is talking about Amazon’s announcement today to offer MP3 downloads. In brief, Amazon MP3 songs are DRM-free and start at $0.89/track with the top 100 best-selling albums priced no higher than $8.99. The store opened with 2 million songs from 80,000 artists. EMI and Universal are the two big labels on board. Song quality is even very high – 256 kbps. All of this, of course, is available via iTunes for $1.29/track or $9.99/album.