Print 14 comment(s) - last by diablofish.. on Jan 29 at 2:19 PM announced it will take its DRM-free music downloading service international sometime this year announced today its plans to take its DRM-free MP3 digital music store international in 2008.  Amazon MP3 offers DRM-free digital music that can be played on any music device such as PC, Microsoft’s Zune, or Apple’s iPod, according to a press release.  The online bazaar currently has agreements with over 33,000 independent music labels as well as the big four.

"We have received thousands of e-mails from Amazon customers around the world asking us when we will make Amazon MP3 available outside of the U.S,” said Bill Carr, Vice President of Digital Music at Amazon. com.  ”We are excited to tell those customers today that Amazon MP3 is going international this year."

Amazon hosts up to 3.3 million songs from over 270,000 artists, exclusively in MP3 format.  Each MP3 is encoded at 256 kbps and can be played with most software along with hardware.  Most MP3’s hosted by the site are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, with full albums priced from $5.99 to $9.99.

With the international rollout of its DRM-free music download service, the company hopes to become the top seller of digital music over other services such as Apple’s iTunes music store.  With the initial launching of its service in late September of last year, Amazon MP3 has grown into a powerhouse, offering cheaper downloads. The company also hosts a wider selection of DRM-free digital music than any of its top competitors.

Yahoo plans to open a similar service to rival that of Amazon’s.  It faces the challenges of building agreements with major labels as well finding measures to separate itself from competitors. has not yet announced the timeline for the rollout of its international websites.

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Amazon vs. ITunes
By cplusplus on 1/28/2008 5:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to comment on which is better, as I have never used Amazon, but, it seems like the record labels really want someone to step up to challenge Apple. From all four majors going DRM free with them (when no more than 2 are DRM-free in ITunes), to working to get it out internationally, I think we might finally have a serious challenger to the throne.

RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By anotherdude on 1/28/2008 6:20:07 PM , Rating: 5
I'm pulling hard for Amazon. I don't think anybody really wants all the power with Jobs, except the iflock of course.

RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By mindless1 on 1/28/2008 7:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, it's pretty much inevitable that Amazon overtakes iTunes unless Apple backs down and offers same thing, same or lower price. On the other hand Amazon's website has become quite a mess over the years, they need some serious streamlining. I really don't want to see randomly chosen album covers taking up 20% of the screen nor 1/4th of the page devoted to trying to sell me another paring knife similar to the one I bought two months ago!

RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By xsilver on 1/28/2008 8:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
i think there is an underestimation of the amount of iPlebs that exist.
most mums/dads just buy an ipod for the kids.
kids install itunes in order to load their cd collection.
new music is bought via CC or prepaid cards.
hard to break that simple chain.

Amazon is trying to appeal to the more savvy users who really know what their doing and are looking for something specific.

RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By AlexWade on 1/28/08, Rating: 0
RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By kelmon on 1/29/2008 5:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I want all the power with Amazon either. However, competition is good and I'm happy to go with the service that provides me with the best catalog, ease of use, and price. Since I'm coming to this from the Mac side that tends to give Apple and iTunes the edge but since Amazon has provided an application that enables tracks bought to be added automatically to iTunes and therefore your iPod it definitely has a shot. I'll be very interested to see what the product is like when it finally becomes available for the UK.

RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By BMFPitt on 1/29/2008 1:27:45 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see how reasonably priced DRM-free music has affected my music purchasing.

1980-1994 (Childhood): ~$20
1994-1998 (High School): ~$10
1998-2003 (College): ~$10
2003-2007 (Real World): $0
Past 6 months: ~$25

It seems that not forcing me to buy tons of overpriced tracks I don't want, and not trying to tell me what I can and can't do with music has been profitable for them.

RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By diablofish on 1/29/2008 2:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
Here's my only gripe with music downloads from Amazon (or iTunes for that matter, but I also don't want iTunes DRM): I can't get an entire album in many cases! For example, I'm a huge Counting Crows fan and I wanted to get the remastered double disc "August and Everything After" album. I looked into purchasing it via AmazonMP3 to save money and reduce clutter. However, there were two tracks I couldn't download - they are listed as "only available with purchasing CD". So I can't download the entire album with all the tracks intact.

That's my only gripe: if you really want this to take off, give me the option of getting exactly what I want, not exactly what I want minus two tracks.

PS - I don't know if that's an Amazon restriction, label restriction, or RIAA restriction, but it's a big reason why I haven't downloaded albums from them yet. And I know iTunes has similar problems in this regard. So to whoever is responsible for these missing tracks in downloadable albums: FIX IT.

RE: Amazon vs. ITunes
By mindless1 on 1/28/2008 7:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I will be buying MP3 from the big 4 at Amazon, after the RIAA stops the mass lawsuits for a fair period of time. Until then there's no way they'll get my money as a consumer. Spend your own money any way you like.

It isn't a bad service
By aftlizard01 on 1/29/2008 8:33:27 AM , Rating: 2
What gets me that with their service and all of these claimed labels attached to their service is why in the heck can't I download Seether or SOAD? They sale their CD's but you can't download them. Anyways I like the service except for the small issue of not having all of the music I like available.

RE: It isn't a bad service
By BMFPitt on 1/29/2008 1:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
Your beef is with the labels, not Amazon.

I'd be much more inclined to buy..
By goku on 1/28/2008 8:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
if they offered the music in an uncompressed format and for a lower price. I don't want to be paying the same amount for digital distribution as I do for a CD.

Amazon MP3 is great
By hellokeith on 1/29/2008 11:18:36 AM , Rating: 2
I've purchased over 1GB of music on Amazon MP3. It really is a great service. Found 75% of the bands/songs I've sought, and another 15% will be available soon because of Warner's and Sony BMG's recent agreements with Amazon MP3.

4-5 times I've had download/audio quality issues, Amazon MP3 support has promptly credited my account.

The interface needs a little work, the downloader app is ok (not great but it works), and their genre categorization is poor (Pink Floyd is not metal or hard rock).

I hope Amazon MP3 crushes iTunes. :)

By kileil on 1/28/08, Rating: -1
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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