Amazon touts DRM-free music downloads

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Amazon touts DRM-free music downloads has announced plans to 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.

Every song and album in the digital music store will be available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management software.

Amazon's service will allow customers to play the music on virtually any personal device, including PCs, Macs, Apple's iPod, Microsoft's Zune and Creative's Zen.

Amazon also confirmed that the service will allow users to burn songs to CDs for personal use.

"Our MP3-only strategy means that all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device," said Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive.

The web retailer struck a deal with EMI Music this week to make the label's digital catalogue the latest addition to the store.

"We are excited to have EMI joining us in this effort and look forward to offering our customers MP3s from amazing artists like Coldplay, Norah Jones and Joss Stone," said EMI chief executive Eric Nicoli.

"We think that a trusted destination like offering a high-quality digital music product that will play across a number of devices gives consumers more options and will be a significant boost for the overall digital music market."

Daniel Schreiber, a senior vice president at SanDisk, which makes MP3 players and Flash memory cards, welcomed the news.

"This is the first time that a major record label and a major retailer have come together to offer consumers the freedom to buy music compatible with all MP3 players," he said.
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