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×’s Blum Launches Music Download Site

Aliso Viejo, Calif. – Scott Blum, founder/CEO of pure-play e-tailer, has launched a separate site for authorized music downloads., the self-described ‘world’s largest legal music download store,’ is initially offering 300,000 songs from the top five record companies plus thousands of independent labels, and promises to grow its selection daily.

Prices begin at 79 cents per song and $7.95 per album for unlimited personal usage on the same PC on which they were downloaded. Permission to burn files to CDs and transfer them to portable audio devices, which must be Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) compliant, varies with each record label.

Universal Music Group’s Interscope label, for example, allows unlimited transfers and burns of rapper 50 Cent’s album ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin,’ which can be downloaded for $9.99, or 99 cents per track. But songs from The Ataris’ ‘So Long, Astoria’ on Sony’s Columbia label, which are also available for 99 cents, are limited to five burns and transfers each.

Tunes are downloaded from the Microsoft-powered site as Digital Rights Management (DRM)-encrypted, 128-bit Windows Media Audio (WMA) files, and PCs require Windows Media Player (WMP) version 9.0 and the Internet Explorer browser.

The service, which follows the launch of Apple’s iTunes Music Store by two months, is not Mac OS compatible.

‘ will help turn the music industry right side up,’ Blum predicted. ‘There is no other site legally offering anything of this magnitude. The recording industry is behind us 100 percent.’

Indeed, Joe DiMuro, executive VP of BMG’s strategic marketing group, said the company is ‘pleased to make our catalog available to what will be an important addition to the online marketplace.’ Added Ted Cohen, senior VP of EMI’s digital distribution and development unit, ‘It’s a win-win proposition. Record labels, artists and consumers will all benefit.’

Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), also applauded the site’s launch, observing that ‘This is what our multi-pronged campaign against illegal file sharing is all about.’ has no legal affiliation with, although it is operated by the e-tailer’s subsidiary, BuyServices, and shares the same parentage.

The site also sells Creative Labs’ Nomad line of personal digital music players and an assortment of external hard drives and CD burners, software and media.