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Amazon mp3

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Amazon mp3

Amazon MP3
250px
Opened September 25, 2007
Pricing model variable pricing per album
Platforms Windows, Mac OS X
Format MP3 (.mp3) @ 256 kbit/s VBR
Restrictions None
Catalogue 16,024,267 songs
Preview 30 Seconds
Availability United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, Spain
Website

Amazon MP3 is an online music store owned and operated by Amazon.com. Launched in public beta on September 25, 2007,[1] in January 2008 it became the first music store to sell music without digital rights management (DRM) from the four major music labels (EMI, Universal, Warner Music, and Sony BMG), as well as many independents.[1][2][3][4] All tracks were originally sold in 256 kilobits-per-second variable bitrate MP3 format without per-customer watermarking or DRM; however, some tracks are now watermarked.[5] Licensing agreements with recording companies restrict the countries in which music can be sold: Amazon.com only sells music to US customers while Amazon.co.uk only sells music to UK customers.[6]

After the United States, Amazon MP3 was launched in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2008, in Germany on April 1, 2009, and in France on June 10, 2009.[7] The German edition has been available in Austria and Switzerland since December 3, 2009.[8] The Amazon MP3 store was launched in Japan on November 10, 2010.[9][10] The Spanish and Italian editions were launched on October 4, 2012.

Amazon launched Amazon Cloud Player as an extension to Amazon MP3 store in the United States on March 29, 2011.

Catalog availability

At launch, Amazon offered "over 2 million songs from more than 180,000 artists and over 20,000 labels, including EMI Music and Universal Music Group", to customers located in the United States only.[1] In December 2007 Warner Music announced that it would offer its catalog on Amazon MP3[2] and in January 2008, Sony BMG followed suit.[3][4] The current catalog is 14.8 million songs.[11]

In January 2008, Amazon announced plans to roll Amazon MP3 out "internationally".[12] Amazon limits international access by checking users' credit card issued country. The first international version was launched December 3, 2008 in the United Kingdom. German, French, Japanese, Italian and Spanish versions of the store followed.

Supported platforms

Amazon MP3's catalog is accessible from the Amazon.com web site by searching for an artist or title name. To download purchased music, Amazon.com offers the Wine.

It saves purchased music into a particular folder and can, at the user's discretion, add purchased tracks to the library in Windows Media Player (Windows only) or iTunes (Windows and Mac OS X only) automatically after download.

An Amazon MP3 application is available for BlackBerry[17] and for the Android operating system is preloaded on T-Mobile G1 and Droid smartphones. The application allows mobile phone users to download individual tracks and albums when on a Wi-Fi network.[18][19] Palm phones based on webOS have a preloaded Amazon MP3 application as well[20] and users may download tracks over Wi-Fi or cellular networks. The Amazon MP3 app cannot be removed without rooting the phone and voiding its warranty.

The media management application doubleTwist for Mac OS X and Windows also has an integrated Amazon MP3 store which enables users to search, buy and sync MP3s directly to non-Apple devices.[21]

Partnerships

On February 1, 2008, Pepsi introduced a Pepsi Stuff promotion in partnership with Amazon MP3.[22][23] Customers can exchange points offered on 4 billion Pepsi bottles for, among other prizes, MP3 downloads from Warner, EMI, and Sony BMG (though not Universal).

Rockstar Games' 2008 title Grand Theft Auto IV connects to Amazon MP3. Players can register on the Rockstar Games Social Club web site to receive e-mail outside the game containing a link to buy marked songs from Amazon MP3.[24]

MySpace has sold music from Amazon MP3 as part of its MySpace Music feature since September 2008.[25]

Reaction

Initial reaction to Amazon MP3 was generally positive. The unofficial Apple Weblog praised the lack of DRM especially given that track prices were cheaper than iTunes Plus songs at launch, but the reviewer considered the user experience better in iTunes than on the Amazon web site.[26] Om Malik of GigaOM also praised the lack of DRM and the high bitrate but disliked the need to install another application to download albums. Overall, the reviewer said "…I think it makes sense for everyone to browse the Amazon store before hitting the 'buy' button on iTunes."[27]

A 2007 study by Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired News's "Listening Post" blog investigated whether Amazon MP3 was watermarking tracks with personally identifiable information. Van Buskirk quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying, "Amazon does not apply watermarks. Files are generally provided to us from the labels and some labels use watermarks to identify the retailer who sold the tracks (there is no information on the tracks that identifies the customer)." The study concluded that although tracks may be watermarked to indicate that they were purchased on Amazon MP3, there is no data to indicate which specific customer purchased a given MP3 file.[28] This observation reflected Amazon's policy at the time.[28]

By 2011, however, the policy had changed and certain explicitly labeled tracks embed "Record Company Required Metadata" including, among other information, unique identifiers:[29][30]

Embedded in the metadata of each purchased MP3 from [Universal Music Group] are a random number Amazon assigns to your order, the Amazon store name, the purchase date and time, codes that identify the album and song (the UPC and ISRC), Amazon’s digital signature, and an identifier that can be used to determine whether the audio has been modified. In addition, Amazon inserts the first part of the email address associated with your Amazon.com account

Amazon Cloud Player

Main article: Amazon Cloud Player

The Amazon Cloud Player is integrated with the MP3 store and allows users to store and play their music from any supported web browser. Cloud Player is available on the website and within the Amazon MP3 Android and iOS application.

Amazon Cloud Player comes with Amazon MP3 Uploader which is an Adobe AIR application that allows a user to upload their iTunes library or Windows Media Player library to Amazon Cloud Drive.

Amazon Cloud Player allows 10 devices (computer, browser, mobile, etc.) to be authorized. Customers can deauthorize their old devices via a web interface.[31]

References

External links

  • Official website, US
  • Official website, UK
  • Official website, Germany
  • Official website, France
  • Official website, Italy
  • Official website, Spain
  • Official website, Japan
  • Twitter
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