Amazon dot mp3

In my ongoing effort to find more ways to clutter up my computers, I bought a couple of tracks from’s MP3 vaults yesterday.

Anyone who sells digital music has to contend with iTunes, and Amazon offers the following advantages:

  • No DRM. These are perfectly ordinary MP3 files with a 256k bit rate, which will load onto darn near anything.
  • A small (500k) download manager which automatically loads your purchase into iTunes or Windows Music Player. You don’t need it for single songs; you will if you buy an entire album. (Mac OS or Windows only. Linux is “under development.” Linux users, though, can still download individual tunes.)
  • A (slightly) smaller price. Most tracks go for 89 cents; albums run $4.99 to $9.99.

There is one downside, apart from the fact that this is still technically a public beta: if you lose a file somehow, you can’t download another copy. Needless to say, they recommend you back up anything you buy.

The two tracks I bought (one by Nine Inch Nails, one by Fergie, and make of that what you will) sounded pretty decent through my iTunes work-box installation.


  1. McGehee »

    3 October 2007 · 8:54 am

    My last download included a few .mp3-format tracks from, for slightly more than Amazon’s 89-cent price tag (they offer .wma-format downloads for 88 cents).

    As soon as I find the computer-interface cable for my .mp3 player, I’ll have to check out Amazon’s selection — I was surprised to see that lacks a number of the tracks I was looking for last time, in any format.

  2. Emalyse »

    3 October 2007 · 12:28 pm

    Not holding my breath for a UK mp3 store this side of Xmas (or the same prices come to that).I dream of those kind of prices. I’m off for a good cry.

  3. Sophistpundit »

    4 October 2007 · 7:35 am

    More on Amazon’s MP3 beta

    Some tinkering over at dustbury.

  4. CGHill »

    4 October 2007 · 3:01 pm

    I poked a little deeper, and found that the predominant price per track is 99 cents, though anything “featured” on the front page(s) gets the 10-cent break. And I noticed that some items (over 10 minutes or so) run $1.94 or thereabouts.

  5. McGehee »

    4 October 2007 · 8:20 pm

    Hmm. Well,’s .mp3 offerings are still less than 99 cents. But if Amazon has tracks Walmart doesn’t, paying the extra few cents to get them is better than not having them at all.

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