Looks like someone is finally going to offer iTunes some real competition. Amazon has a press release out announcing that it:
will launch a digital music store later this year offering millions of songs in the DRM-free MP3 format from more than 12,000 record labels. EMI Music's digital catalog is the latest addition to the store. Every song and album in the Amazon.com digital music store will be available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. Amazon's DRM-free MP3s will free customers to play their music on virtually any of their personal devices -- including PCs, Macs(TM), iPods(TM), Zunes(TM), Zens(TM) -- and to burn songs to CDs for personal use.
"Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO.
I've been happily buying music from iTunes because they have most of the music I want, at what I consider a fair price, with DRM that's at least manageable. If I can get all that without any DRM, well, that would be even more awesome.
I'm not surprised Amazon is doing this. They're one of the few companies big enough to stand up to the recoding industry and push back against their ridiculous demands. And if Amazon can get a decent selection of music available, then this will be a major shot across the bow of Apple.