Amazon threw down the guantlet to iTunes today when it launched its digital music store, Amazon MP3. Roughly 2 million songs are available for 89-99 cents each, with albums going for $5.99 to $9.99. Not only do those prices beat iTunes's, but all the files are DRM-free. Selection is limited, however, by some major labels' refusal to let their music be sold unlocked.
Amazon MP3 gives users free 30-second previews of songs, allows them to purchase music with Amazon's one-click feature, and can add new music directly to preexisting iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries. Consumers have chafed under Digital Rights Management restrictions on what kind of players the songs will work on and how many times they can be copied or burned.