Amazon Upgrades DRM-Free Music Downloads, Now Includes Warner Music Group

Last year, we reported that downloading music from somewhere like iTunes had a lower carbon footprint than picking the album up at your local record store. One caveat of the Apple-based virtual mega-store is the DRM (DR-wha? Read Wikipedia's explanation for an overview), which locks down your tunes and limits the amount of different computers and users that can access the files (and remember, burning a CD bumps up the carbon footprint of your tunes by more than five times, according to the Guardian's study).

Amazon has removed the pesky DRM from all of their nearly 3 million music files (and have, ever since they launched the download service in September of this year), letting you download tunes from artists like Cloud Cult, Jack Johnson, Kelley Stoltz and many, many more; just yesterday, they scored files from Warner Music Group, leaving Sony as the only "major" record label without representation on Amazon's MP3 store.

The super-sized e-tailer is quick to point out that their files will work with any MP3 player, from the ubiquitous iPod (which Apple swears are eco-friendly) to Microsoft's Zune to just about anything that'll interface with your computer. MP3 players have certainly changed the way many of us listen to music; will DRM-free downloads change the way we buy it? The full release is below the fold. ::Amazon MP3 via ::GizmodoAMAZON MP3 ADDS MUSIC AUDIO DOWNLOADS FROM WARNER MUSIC GROUP

Customers can now choose from more than 2.9 million MP3 songs on Amazon MP3, including music from Warner Music's renowned catalog of artists

SEATTLE AND NEW YORK--December 27, 2007--Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) today announced that DRM-free music audio downloads from Warner Music Group are now available to customers on Amazon MP3, Amazon's a la carte MP3 digital music store where every song and album is playable on virtually any personal digital music capable device. Beginning today, songs from WMG's digital audio catalog will be available for purchase and download from Amazon MP3. In addition, Amazon and WMG will make available to consumers digital music products such as album bundles containing exclusive tracks.

"Our customers are delighted with our DRM-free MP3 service. We have received thousands of emails from our customers since our September launch thanking us for offering the biggest selection of high-quality, MP3 audio downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future," said Bill Carr, Amazon.com Vice President of Digital Music. "With the addition of great Warner Music Group content, our customers will discover even more of the music they love on Amazon MP3."

"Consumers want flexibility with respect to what they can do with music once they purchase it, and we want them to have that flexibility, which is why we're pleased to offer our artists' music on Amazon MP3," said Michael Nash, Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development for Warner Music Group. "We believe that giving consumers the assurance that the music they purchase can be played on any device they own will only encourage more sales of music. Amazon shares our vision with respect to offering feature-rich music based digital products, and we look forward to making available an array of exciting new digital products over time that will transform the relationship between and among consumers, labels and artists."

About Amazon MP3

Launched in September 2007, Amazon MP3 (www.amazon.com/mp3) offers Earth's biggest selection of a la carte DRM-free MP3 music downloads with more than 2.9 million songs from over 33,000 record labels.

* Every song and album in the Amazon.com digital music store is available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. Amazon's DRM-freeMP3 format enables customers to play their music on virtually any personal digital music capable device--including PCs, Macs™, iPods™, iPhones™, Zunes™, Zens™--and to burn songs to CDs for these customers' personal use.
* Most songs available on Amazon MP3 are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, with more than 1 million of the over 2.9 million songs priced at 89 cents. The top 100 best-selling songs are 89 cents, unless marked otherwise. Most albums are priced from $5.99 to $9.99. The top 100 best-selling albums are $8.99 or less, unless marked otherwise.*
* Every song on Amazon MP3 is encoded at 256 kilobits per second, which gives customers high audio quality at a manageable file size.
* Buying and downloading MP3s from Amazon MP3 is easy. Customers can purchase downloads using Amazon 1-Click® shopping, and with the Amazon MP3 Downloader, seamlessly add their MP3s to their iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries.

* Taxes may apply in certain jurisdictions.

About Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, Bad Boy, Cordless, East West, Elektra, Lava, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc., (Nasdaq: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as health and personal care, jewelry and watches, gourmet food, sports and outdoors, apparel and accessories, books, music, DVDs, electronics and office, toys and baby, and home and garden.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and the Joyo Amazon websites at www.joyo.cn and www.amazon.cn.

Tags: Electronics | Jack Johnson | Music

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