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January 29, 2008

Amazon to Begin International Rollout of Amazon MP3 in 2008

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Amazon.com (News - Alert) has announced that in 2008 the company will begin an international rollout of Amazon MP3, Amazon's DRM-free MP3 digital music store where every song is playable on any digital music-capable device, including the PC, Mac, iPod, Zune, Zen, iPhone (News - Alert), RAZR, and BlackBerry.

Amazon MP3 is said to be currently the only retailer to offer customers DRM-free MP3s from all four major music labels as well as more than 33,000 independent labels.
Indicating that his company has received thousands of e-mails from Amazon customers around the world asking – “when we will make Amazon MP3 available outside of the U.S,” Bill Carr, vice president of digital music at Amazon.com, commented in a statement, “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.”
Carr pointed out that every song and album in the Amazon MP3 music download store is available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software and is encoded at 256 kbps to deliver high audio quality.
And, Amazon MP3 customers can download music using any hardware device; organize their music using any music management application, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player; and burn songs to CDs for personal use.
The company has not disclosed a specific launch timeline for individual Amazon international websites.
News reports suggest that Amazon.com through its latest announcement is hoping that consumers will use its offer instead of iTunes or Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Zune store in order to take advantage of a more open format. At present, music bought from Apple or Microsoft can’t be played on devices other than the iPod or Zune, respectively.

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Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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