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Amazon.com announced it will take its DRM-free music downloading service international sometime this year

Amazon.com 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.

Amazon.com has not yet announced the timeline for the rollout of its international websites.



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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. :)




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