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    Amazon launches 2 million track MP3 store, Including Coldplay Tracks

    ipod.jpgOnline retail giant Amazon.com has launched a DRM-free music store with 2 million songs from 180,000 artists and 20,000 labels.


    The music is encoded in 256Kbit/s MP3 format, and Amazon says most songs are priced from US89 cents to US99 cents ($AU1.02 to $AU1.14), with more than 1 million of the 2 million songs priced at 89 cents.


    The top 100 best-selling songs are 89 cents, while most albums are priced from $5.99 to $9.99 ($AU6.89 to $AU11.49). The top 100 best-selling albums are $8.99 ($AU10.35) or less. Amazon did not announce when its MP3 store would be made available outside the US.

    It is the biggest challenge to Apple's iTunes Music Store yet. Although Apple recently started offering DRM-free downloads, they are considerably more expensive than the DRM-protected versions and are only available from one music label so far.


    Amazon counts two of the four major labels -- Universal Music and EMI -- among its suppliers, meaning that a large amount of popular music will be available in the DRM-free format. However, Sony and Warner are still absent from the line-up, and they're not commenting on whether they're interested in getting into bed with Amazon without protection.


    "This new digital music service has already been through an extensive private beta, and today we're excited to offer it to our customers as a fully functional public beta. We look forward to receiving feedback from our customers and using their input to refine the service," said Bill Carr, Amazon.com's Vice President for Digital Music.


    Amazon was keen to point out that music purchased from it would workon PCs, Macs, iPods, Zunes, Zens, iPhones, RAZRs, BlackBerrys, many car head units and all sorts of other devices, and the music can of course be organised in iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, Linux, or customers can simply burn songs to CDs.


    Amazon is offering purchasing with its patented 1-Click system, which allows purchase and download of an entire album with a single click once the customer has signed up to an account. Amazon is also making available software called the Amazon MP3 downloader to make it easier to get the files.


    The artists Amazon will be selling music from include 50 Cent, Alison Krauss, Amy Winehouse, Ani DiFranco, Arcade Fire, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ella Fitzgerald, Feist, John Coltrane, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban, Koko Taylor, Lily Allen, Madeleine Peyroux, Maroon 5, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Morrissey, Nelly, Nickel Creek, Nirvana, Norah Jones, Paul McCartney, Philip Glass, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Radiohead, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Spoon, Stevie Wonder, The Chemical Brothers, The Decemberists, and The Rolling Stones.



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