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Amazon.com MP3 Downloads

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I see that today Amazon is now offering DRM-free mp3 downloads.

According to the site, the mp3's offered are 256 VBR or CBR mp3 files. This sounds too good to be true...any catches here that anyone's aware of? I want regular old mp3 I can use anytime with zero restrictions....this would be a great way to pick up a few of those oddball tunes that have escaped me over the years.

P.S.- I'm surprised this hasn't already been discussed on Head-fi...
post #2 of 24
From the website

"Bit Rate: Where possible, we encode our MP3 files using variable bitrates for maximum audio quality and smaller file sizes, aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second (kbps). Using a variable bitrate allows us to allocate a higher bitrate to the more complex sections of music files while using a smaller bitrate for the less complex sections. The average of these rates is then calculated to produce an average bit rate for the entire file that represents the overall sound quality. Some of our content is encoded using a constant bitrate of 256 kbps. This content will have the same excellent audio quality at a slightly larger file size."

and:

"Are there any restrictions on how I use the music I purchase?

When you make a purchase from the Amazon MP3 Music Downloads store, you are also accepting and bound by the Amazon MP3 Music Downloads Terms of Use. The albums and songs you purchase from Amazon MP3 Music Downloads are free of Digital Rights Management software so that you have the flexibility to play them on any of your media players and computers or burn them to CD."


So no catch really. Good prices for the most part too.

You can search by price. There are a ton of great jazz releases for under 4 bucks. Unlike itunes, albums under 10 tracks are still only 99 cents per track. Albums with just a few tracks are just a few bucks.
post #3 of 24
Ooh, it's even got Radiohead! iTunes: dead to me
post #4 of 24
I think this is a great option for people who don't want to deal with ITunes. It would be pretty cool if The Beatles showed up here first. Let's just hope it catches on and Amazon expands their inventory. They're probably one of the few sites that will actually be able to give ITunes a run for its money.
post #5 of 24
Yeah, I'm pretty excited about non-DRM and 256kbps. Their collection does seem pretty good so far. I'll be getting some more Pink Floyd tonight.
post #6 of 24
So I stopped resisting and downloaded something to test this out. I bought Röyksopp's "Remind Me" EP (for $2.77 as opposed to iTunes' $3.49).

It was encoded at 256k VBR with Lame v.3.97. Sounds pretty good to me.

No real hitches except for the fact that you have to use the Amazon download manager, similar to eMusic if you've used it. I'm sure there's a reason for this, but I can't figure it out. The best part, however, is that there's a Linux client in development - WOOT!

It seems like not all labels are on board with this, unfortunately, as I could not find some classic albums like Kind of Blue.
post #7 of 24
Definitely a step in the right direction - I'm still going to buy CDs for entire albums, but this might be reasonable for single tracks.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenratiophi View Post
So I stopped resisting and downloaded something to test this out. I bought Röyksopp's "Remind Me" EP (for $2.77 as opposed to iTunes' $3.49).

It was encoded at 256k VBR with Lame v.3.97. Sounds pretty good to me.

No real hitches except for the fact that you have to use the Amazon download manager, similar to eMusic if you've used it. I'm sure there's a reason for this, but I can't figure it out. The best part, however, is that there's a Linux client in development - WOOT!

It seems like not all labels are on board with this, unfortunately, as I could not find some classic albums like Kind of Blue.
I noticed that emusic uses LAME as well. It is truly amazing that a freeware encoder like LAME is being used by such large organizations. Kudos to the devs!
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtp View Post
I noticed that emusic uses LAME as well. It is truly amazing that a freeware encoder like LAME is being used by such large organizations. Kudos to the devs!
IIRC, eMusic is a few versions behind in LAME, making Amazon better in that respect.
post #10 of 24
So unfair. . . it's restricted to US customers only

I don't understand the reasoning behind it. I can buy CDs from Amazon.com for the same price as anyone else - but because I'm in the UK, I can't download anything from the mp3 section. I can see some odd tracks from different albums calling out to me, but I can't do anything.

It doesn't help that I got an e-mail from .com 'inviting' me to take advantage of the new facility, and it doesn't look like Amazon.co.uk is going to be following suit

Is it feasible that the whole Amazon catalogue might be available for download in the future? Or just selected albums?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by soozieq View Post
So unfair. . . it's restricted to US customers only

I don't understand the reasoning behind it. I can buy CDs from Amazon.com for the same price as anyone else - but because I'm in the UK, I can't download anything from the mp3 section. I can see some odd tracks from different albums calling out to me, but I can't do anything.

It doesn't help that I got an e-mail from .com 'inviting' me to take advantage of the new facility, and it doesn't look like Amazon.co.uk is going to be following suit

Is it feasible that the whole Amazon catalogue might be available for download in the future? Or just selected albums?
That sucks, but after all it's a first-day "beta."
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenratiophi View Post
IIRC, eMusic is a few versions behind in LAME, making Amazon better in that respect.
V3.96 for my emusic downloads, and apparently V3.97 for Amazon. Better? I don't think anyone would be able to distinguish between these two versions at 256kbps.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtp View Post
V3.96 for my emusic downloads, and apparently V3.97 for Amazon. Better? I don't think anyone would be able to distinguish between these two versions at 256kbps.
Hmm, I swear when I was subscribed they were in the 2.x versions...

wait, that was already an entire year ago? woah....
post #14 of 24
Just downloaded a radiohead ep and it was seamless. shows up in itunes at just over 256... this is a great find.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenratiophi View Post
So I stopped resisting and downloaded something to test this out. I bought Röyksopp's "Remind Me" EP (for $2.77 as opposed to iTunes' $3.49).

It was encoded at 256k VBR with Lame v.3.97. Sounds pretty good to me.
Encoded in Lame....now Amazon is really speaking my language! I'll try getting a tune now...

BTW, I think the download manager is only needed if you order entire albums (as opposed to single tracks).
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