Amazon.com, Inc. has launched a public beta of its online store, "Amazon MP3," which Amazon says will allow users to purchase music online by downloading it or burning it to CD free of digital rights management restriction technology.
Amazon MP3 was launched to compete with Apple’s iTunes, and the Amazon MP3 music can be played on a variety of MP3 devices, including Apple’s proprietary iPod. Amazon MP3 reportedly offers 2 million songs from more than 180,000 artists. Most of its individual songs are priced in the US$.89 to $.99 range and music albums are priced from US$5.99 to $8.99.
While other companies have attempted to start MP3 companies to compete with iTunes, the licensing and revenue negotiations with the music industry companies have stalled them from launching. Amazon has successfully made it through the music company maze with two music companies, Universal Music Group (owned by Vivendi) and EMI.
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