Today Amazon launched its public beta of Amazon MP3. Amazon MP3 is Amazon.com’s foray into the digital music scene…and a it’s an extremely solid effort to say the least.
Pricing per song is between 89 and 99 cents and albums between $4.99 and $9.99. The Top 100 albums are being priced at the lower amounts, which I assume is to try and give themselves a little bit of competitive advantage.
The really big kicker here is that this music is DRM free. Yes, free. There is nothing tying in the files to a specific player, application, or operating system.
On top of the music being DRM free, it’s all encoded at 256kbps. On iTunes you’ve gotta fork over an extra 30 cents if you want the 256k bringing the total to $1.29 for a 256kbps encoded song. Talk about a punch in the gut.
The obvious downside to Amazon MP3 at this point in time is that it only has a selection of 2 million songs, compared to iTunes 6 million+ songs. I would imagine Amazon will have significantly more work ahead of them to reach the size of selection iTunes offers mainly because record execs are stuck in the dark ages and won’t wise up to the digital age of music.
Amazon MP3 really is the first solid effort at tacking on the beast that is the iTunes Store. It will be exciting to see where Amazon takes things.