The new Amazon.com Music Store

Jon Gruber reviews Amazon.com’s new online music store. Same track prices as the iTunes Music Store, 256kpbs MP3s, no DRM. Sounds like a good deal to me.

I just installed the download software and bought an album. The album cost $7.99 and the purchase process was simple. The only problem I ran into was that the download didn’t kick off on the download page. I navigated around to see if there was an alternate means to get the files, but it turned out that there wasn’t. When I used the back button a few times to get back to the download page, the download started automatically as expected.

Amazon.com restricts you to one download of the tracks you purchase, much like the iTunes Music Store. Here’s what their FAQ says:

Your Amazon MP3 Music purchases can only be downloaded once. After you have successfully downloaded the file to your computer at the time of purchase, we recommend that you create a backup copy. We are currently unable to replace any purchased files that you delete or lose due to a system or disk error. If you encounter a problem with an MP3 file immediately after purchase, please click the Customer Service button in the Contact Us box in the right-hand column of this page so we can determine how to help you.

eMusic’s policy of letting you download any tracks you’ve already downloaded as long as they’re available on the site is much friendlier.

The new Amazon MP3 store is a welcome addition to the market anyway. My new order of preference in obtaining music online will be to check eMusic first, then check Amazon.com for purchasable MP3s, and then if neither of those work out, purchasing a physical CD. Life is getting better for those of us who reject DRM.

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