Amazon Goes Head-to-Head with iTunes (and How to Get iTunes Freebies)

amazonmp3.pngThe dig­i­tal music mar­ket is big, and so far Apple has owned it. But now Ama­zon may be quick­ly emerg­ing as a viable com­peti­tor.

Tues­day, Ama­zon launched Ama­zon MP3, which gives you access to 2 mil­lion songs and more soon to come. Ama­zon’s prod­uct has sev­er­al nice advan­tages over iTunes. Let’s list them briefly:

  • It deliv­ers songs in MP3 for­mat, not a pro­pri­etary for­mat, with the real plus being that you can play songs on any music play­er — the iPod, the Zune, you name it.
  • There are no dig­i­tal rights man­age­ment (DRM) restric­tions, so you can take the music you buy and download/burn it to CDs. And it does­n’t expire.
  • The songs have bet­ter sound qual­i­ty on aver­age.
  • And the prices are gen­er­al­ly low­er. Many songs go for 89 cents; while many albums are in the $5.99 to $9.99 range, and the 100 best-sell­ing albums are all under $8.99.

Give Ama­zon MP3 a hard look and, for more details, check out these reviews — here, here, and here.

Relat­ed Note: From Oct. 2 to Nov. 7, Star­bucks will be giv­ing away 50 mil­lion free dig­i­tal songs to help pro­mote a new wire­less iTunes music ser­vice that’s being rolled out in con­junc­tion with the recent release of Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. Songs by 37 artists will be fea­tured. Artists include Paul McCart­ney, Joni Mitchell, Dave Matthews, John May­er, Annie Lennox and Bob Dylan. Get more info here.

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