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Things are about to heat up (and get dirty) between Amazon and Apple’s digital music venture as Amazon announces that it will soon be launching its DRM-Free MP3 digital store. Amazon’s digital music store boasts of around 3.3 million songs from the four major U.S. music labels as well as around 33,000 independent labels. This could be yet the biggest threat to Apple’s iTunes music store, which offers those MP3 with the DRM restrictions.
Amazon’s digital music store was launched sometime in September 2007 and since then has become the only online digital music store that sells MP3 without digital rights management software. Amazon sells these MP3s at the rate that ranges from 89-99 cents and that’s without sacrificing music quality as these MP3s were encoded in 256 kbps.
Bill Carr, Amazon VP of Digital Music said that the announcement was brought about by thousands of emails sent to Amazon asking about when the Amazon MP3 will be available outside of the U.S.
“They can’t wait to choose from the biggest selection of high-quality, low-priced DRM-free MP3 music downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future, We are excited to tell those customers today that Amazon MP3 is going international this year,” says Carr.
Although there is no definite date of the launch yet, we could just imagine the impact of these Amazon move to the digital music industry. But a good question to ask is, will Apple follow suit and remained steadfast on its decision to continue employing DRM protection to their digital music?