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Amazon MP3 Survey Asks Interesting Questions on Music Buying

Amazon MP3It’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):

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Amazon MP3 Expanding Internationally, More DRM-Free in 2008

Amazon MP3Amazon today has announced plans to take its DRM-free MP3 music store to countries beyond the United States. In the U.S., at least, Amazon MP3 is already the online music store of choice.

It’s hard to compete with the largest library (3.3 million songs from 270,000 artists) of restriction free music, much of which is priced lower than the going rate of $0.99/track. And it integrates seamlessly with iTunes (or other desktop music applications) plus works with pretty much any digital music player available.

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Apple TV: Top 10 Reasons You Should Wait

Apple TVI’m not usually one to go for the top 10 list method of discussing limitations of a product. But then again, products don’t usually have 10 weaknesses I care enough about to compile a list. Apple TV, on the other hand, falls into this category. And it’s not even a first generation product!

But to be fair, I should point out that this is a product I sincerely want to work. After all, I already use iTunes to manage my music, and the iPod is my music player of choice. Too bad, then, that Apple TV simply isn’t ready for prime time. Here are the top 10 reasons you should wait:

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DRM Officially Dead for Music: Amazon Now Offers DRM-Free Tracks from All Four Major Labels

Amazon MP3 LogoJust 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.

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Get Ready for DRM-FREE 2008: Amazon, Napster, Sony, Yahoo Music

DRM-free 2008Last year around this same time I wrote on the then current companies killing DRM (Digital Rights Management, music with restrictions). Coincidentally, this year has the month of January giving us even more news on the battle-for-unrestricted-music front.

Here’s the latest news about music within the context of Amazon, Napster, Sony, and Yahoo:

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Amazon MP3 One Ups Apple, Gets Warner Music MP3s DRM-free

Amazon LogoHot 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.

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Amazon MP3 Gets It Right: Cheaper, DRM-Free, Higher Quality, and No Switching Costs

Amazon MP3So 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.

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Wal-Mart Now Offers DRM-Free Downloads But Still Has Issues with Firefox

Wal-MartWal-Mart is trying to step up its competition with Apple iTunes. The retail giant, which is already the No. 1 seller of recorded music because of CD sales, will now sell digital downloads of songs without any copy protection (DRM) via walmart.com for 94 cents a track, or $9.22 an album. The service will launch with music from two of the major record labels: Universal Music and EMI.

The company plans to continue offering its existing WMA protected format for other music downloads, which cost 88 cents a track but won’t work with iPods and plenty of other digital music players. Here’s what Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart senior director for digital media, had to say, “As we consistently strive to help our customers shop smart at Wal-Mart, our new ‘DRM-free’ MP3 digital tracks give them the ease and flexibility to play music on virtually any device at a great value.”

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