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Amazon Launches DRM-Free Music Store

Seattle — today launched a public beta trial of its new digital music download store, claiming it offers the biggest selection of a la carte DRM-free MP3 music.

The store, called Amazon MP3, has more than 2 million songs, all available exclusively in MP3 format without digital rights management. The songs may be downloaded to any MP3 player including iPods, Zunes, iPhones, RAZRs and BlackBerrys. Most songs are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents.

Amazon MP3’s catalog is derived from more than 20,000 major and independent record labels including EMI Music and Universal Music Group. Leading independent labels offering their catalog of music for the first time as DRM-free MP3s include Alligator Records, HighTone Records, Madacy Entertainment, Sanctuary Records, Rounder Records, Righteous Babe Records, Sugar Hill Records and Trojan Records.

Apple’s iTunes offers DRM-free music from the EMI catalog.

Bill Carr, digital music VP, said, “This new digital music service has already been through an extensive private beta, and today we’re excited to offer it to our customers as a fully functional public beta. We look forward to receiving feedback from our customers and using their input to refine the service.”

Amazon’s DRM-free catalog covers 180,000 artists including 50 Cent, Alison Krauss, Amy Winehouse, Ani DiFranco, Arcade Fire, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ella Fitzgerald, Feist, John Coltrane, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban, Koko Taylor, Lily Allen, Madeleine Peyroux, Maroon 5, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Morrissey, Nelly, Nickel Creek, Nirvana, Norah Jones, Paul McCartney, Philip Glass, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Radiohead, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Spoon, Stevie Wonder, The Chemical Brothers, The Decemberists and The Rolling Stones.