Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Amazon launches download store

It's been rumoured, it's been predicted, and now: it's live. Amazon have put their US downloads store onto the internet, with something under a fanfare - you wouldn't know it was there from the front page.

The Amazon blog explains the pricing structure:

We've got over 2 million songs by more than 180,000 artists from over 20,000 major and independent labels, so there's plenty of great music to discover. Since our top 100 albums are priced at $8.99 and our top 100 songs are priced at 89 cents (unless marked otherwise, like, say, it's a double album or something like that), you can score high-quality mp3s from artists like Kanye West, KT Tunstall and Spoon at low prices.

You'll find more than just the bestsellers at those prices, though. More than 1 million of our 2 million songs are priced at 89 cents and most albums are priced from $5.99 to $9.99. We're bringing great selection and great prices to digital music.

We say explains; we didn't say it explains it well. Smells Like Teen Spirit can be yours for 89cents; the Lucksmith's World Encyclopaedia of 20th Century Murder is 99cents.

There's also a "downloader" tool which pledges to make downloading "even easier" - although we're not sure how complicated right-clicking and saving as can be.

It doesn't feel quite as pleasant to browse as the iTunes Music Store, but it's no worse than the usual sometimes-frustrating Amazon shopping experience. And, of course, it's not available in Britain yet. But this is the first download service which feels like we might have a duopoly ahead of us.


Duncan said...

I can buy albums from the Amazon American store, can I buy MP3s?

Anonymous said...

Also seems like you can buy Radiohead albums, which you can't presently on iTunes.

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