But will it actually take much of a bite out of the Apple?
More than 2 million songs – including those by Amy Winehouse, U2 and 50 Cent – will be made available for download from Amazon’s US site, with tracks costing either .89 cents or .99 cents, and albums between $5.99 and $9.99.
The songs are set to be sold through a store called ‘Amazon MP3’. It will have no copy protection technology attached (HUZZAH!) meaning the songs can be played on a variety of devices and not just Apple’s iPod. Hmmm…$1.29 versus .99 cents (ok, more like .99 vs .89 for most songs). Maybe Amazon is on to something there?
Major music labels Universal Music Group and EMI Music have signed on to sell their tracks on Amazon, as have thousands of independent labels but they still lack several of the biggest labels such as Warner Music Group Corp. and Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
Bill Carr, Amazon’s vice president for digital music, said some record labels add a digital watermark to MP3 files that indicate what company sold the song and Amazon adds its own name and the item number of the song for ‘customer service purposes’. He added that no details about the buyer or the transaction are added to the downloaded music file. Yeah, sure. We trust you buddy. About as far as I can throw a truck load of ipods.
If you love music you tend to want a permanent copy but music bought from iTunes is fundamentally shackled: Nearly everything you purchase from the store will never work on any device not made by Apple. Good for them. Sucks for you. If they just didn’t make it so dang easy and seamless to buy the stuff…
Most of the tracks on iTunes are gummed up by Apple’s copy-protection scheme, called FairPlay. Under these restrictions, you can put your songs on just five computers at a time; make only seven CD copies of a particular playlist; and, if you want to go mobile, the iPod and iPhone are your only option.
Considering overall selection – Apple’s iTunes has Amazon by the short hairs : 6 million songs vs 2 million. Not even close. But Amazone is just getting started and competition is a GOOD thing folks. If all Amazon’s play does is make iTunes a better and lesss expensive experience…it’s all good.