Christmas has come and gone and many individuals are now in possession of fancy phones and stylish media players, all in need of new music.Â You could go to the local record store, and actually purchase a CD.Â Of course, then you need to go through the arduous (5 minute) process of ripping that music into a format that the new player can handle.Â Why not simply download a few songs instead?
Nothing is ever quite as easy as it should be so now begins the which-song-in-which-DRM-format-will-work-with-my-new-player game.Â Apple, Microsoft, SanDisk, Creative and other manufacturers of portable media players all support some form of DRM (Digital Rights Management) that prevents you from using the music in a way that is deemed ‘naughty’ by the record companies.Â iTunes was the first to champion the idea of this music-with-a-catch mentality, and with its ubiquitous iPodâ„¢ seemed to have the market all wrapped up… that is until customers became tired of not being able to actually listen to the music in places other than at their computer or on the iPodâ„¢.Â In response to this anti-DRM feeling, Apple decided to offer DRM-free music, for an additional price and at suspect levels of audio quality.Â Enter the Dragon, or river if you will… Amazon.
Everything e-tailer Amazon has announced the unveiling of its MP3 download site, Amazon MP3, which features songs that are available in “high-quality and free of DRM software, which means they’ll play on any player including iPodsâ„¢.”Â Amazon MP3 is currently offering free songs from Dashboard Confessional, Sophie Milman and Los Straitjackets among others to introduce you to their newest service.
Tech blog Endgadget points out that it is an early version of the software so there may be issues that crop up periodically.
“Sure, it’s beta but so is that gMail account you’ve been using for the past 4 years.” Endgadget
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I’ve been using eMusic since last year and whilst I do appreciate uncompressed orginals I am kinda to lazy to buy CDs regularly. The subscription almost forces me to listen to new music or at least legitimise more of my MP3s.