Mac-, iPod-, and iPhone-compatible Amazon MP3 adds DRM-free music from Warner Music Group

Amazon.com and Warner Music Group today announced that DRM-free music audio downloads from Warner Music Group are now available to customers on Amazon MP3, Amazon’s a la carte MP3 digital music store where every song and album is playable on virtually any personal digital music capable device. Beginning today, songs from WMG’s digital audio catalog will be available for purchase and download from Amazon MP3. In addition, Amazon and WMG will make available to consumers digital music products such as album bundles containing exclusive tracks.

“Our customers are delighted with our DRM-free MP3 service. We have received thousands of emails from our customers since our September launch thanking us for offering the biggest selection of high-quality MP3 audio downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future,” said Bill Carr, Amazon.com Vice President of Digital Music, in the press release. “With the addition of great Warner Music Group content, our customers will discover even more of the music they love on Amazon MP3.”

“Consumers want flexibility with respect to what they can do with music once they purchase it, and we want them to have that flexibility, which is why we’re pleased to offer our artists’ music on Amazon MP3,” said Michael Nash, Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development for Warner Music Group, in the press release. “We believe that giving consumers the assurance that the music they purchase can be played on any device they own will only encourage more sales of music. Amazon shares our vision with respect to offering feature-rich music based digital products, and we look forward to making available an array of exciting new digital products over time that will transform the relationship between and among consumers, labels and artists.”

Launched in September 2007, Amazon MP3 offers the world’s biggest selection of a la carte DRM-free MP3 music downloads with more than 2.9 million songs from over 33,000 record labels.

Every song and album in the Amazon.com digital music store is available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. Amazon’s DRM-free MP3 format enables customers to play their music on virtually any personal digital music capable device — including Apple Macs, iPods, and iPhones — and to burn songs to CDs for these customers’ personal use.

Most songs available on Amazon MP3 are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, with more than 1 million of the over 2.9 million songs priced at 89 cents. The top 100 best-selling songs are 89 cents, unless marked otherwise. Most albums are priced from $5.99 to $9.99. The top 100 best-selling albums are $8.99 or less, unless marked otherwise. Taxes may apply in certain jurisdictions.

Every song on Amazon MP3 is encoded at 256 kilobits per second. Buying and downloading MP3s from Amazon MP3 is easy. Customers can purchase downloads using Amazon 1-Click shopping, and, with the Amazon MP3 Downloader, seamlessly add their MP3s to their iTunes library.

More info here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dallas” for the heads up.]

Only Sony seems to be the lone major holdout from Amazon’s DRM-free offerings which is pretty much par for the course. We’ve used Amazon’s music download service and it works well for Macs, iPods, and iPhones. If you want to do some comparison shopping vs. Apple’s iTunes Store, Amazon MP3 is the place. We just wish Amazon would use the superior AAC instead of the ancient MP3 format* for their DRM-free music.

We do not believe that Steve Jobs really cares if you buy tunes at Amazon or iTunes, as long as you don’t buy something encoded with Microsoft DRM and as long as you play it on Apple hardware (Macs, iPods, iPhones, Apple TV). It’d be nice if you used iTunes Store, but it’s not at all essential to Apple’s success.

* AAC (Advanced Audio Coding codec or MPEG-4 Audio) provides higher-quality results with smaller file sizes and better decoding efficiency (requiring less processing power for decode) than the old MP3 format. More info here.

30 Comments

  1. I think that this is a great consumer development, and I’m very impressed that Amazon executed it in a way that supported ALL formats! OSX, Windows, Linux, BeOS, Unix, etc

    A new standard is developing, and it’s OPEN for business.

  2. I’m all for it. I Bought a song from Amazon mp3 last night. It works great with the mac and instantly sinks to iTunes. I can’t wait until Sony drops their DRM that will be the official end of DRM forever.

    MS Zune still far behind.

    Buy from whoever, store on whatever, play it whenever, take it where ever. Forever.

    DRM-Free for life.

  3. Why are the labels (except EMI) not offering Apple the same deal to sell non-DRM songs? It’s because Apple wouldn’t let them f*ck over consumers with bundling and similar schemes, so they’re trying to kill iTunes. If they succeed in killing iTunes, non-DRM songs will disappear and Amazon will let them do whatever they want. Apple’s Fairplay has never really gotten in the way of what I want to do, so I’m sticking with iTunes. Any consumer who doesn’t want to hand the reins back to Bronfman and his ilk should do the same.

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