Amazon has launched its new digital download storefront, Amazonmp3. Surprisingly, it’s great. Here’s why:
1.) The mp3s are not copy-protected.
2.) They are actually mp3s, not a proprietary file format–so they can play on any mp3 player.
3.) They’re cheap: Some albums are as low as $7.99, with individual songs as low as $.89.
4.) The download software plugin required is quick and easy to install, and makes downloading mindless.
5.) The selection is great. Most, but not all, of the major labels have signed up for the DRM-free download format.
I suggest getting in on the action while it’s still new. With DRM restrictions lifted (as they are at emusic.com) I’ve been much more open to making the shift toward downloading albums instead of buying cds. CDs are striking me as more and more antiquated: a circular disc that needs to be physically spun to work. Its form is as primitive as the wheel (and matches its description exactly), even though its operation is technically digital. Mp3s are purely digital, and not linked to a physical form (but is still shy of live music in this regard). Though I used to view them as ethereal and too impermanent for this reason, the tide is starting to turn…