Playing (and winning) the MP3 game

For a long time there hasn’t been a viable option for linux users to buy main-stream DRM-free music in the UK. I have looked at the various independent stores out there, but they simply don’t have the music I want. I have been eagerly waiting for Amazon to launch its MP3 store - something they recently confirmed would happen at some point this year.

Adele - 19

But today, out of nowhere, have just launched their own music store. That’s right - I didn’t say ‘announced’ or ‘promised’; they have actually launched it today and I have bought my very first MP3 album (for the record, Adele’s 19).

Their FAQ have all the gory details; music is availble at either 192Kbit/s or 320Kbit/s depending on the recording, can be redownloaded a (limited) number of times and are unencumbered of any DRM. They only have content from EMI and some independent labels at the moment, but this is certainly a good start.

According to The Register, where I first heard the news, all tracks will be 320Kbit/s eventually, with the average price being 70p/track or £6.99/album.

All considered, play have won the race as far as I am concerned. Amazon will have to do something pretty special to make me look their way.