Friday, December 19, 2008

Amazons DRM free MP3s

A couple of nights ago I finally found some time to check out Amazon's new MP3 service and so far I'm pretty impressed.


My interest in the Amazon MP3 service was piqued when I discovered all their tracks are DRM free (unlike some other crippled offerings). The songs are encoded at 256 kbps which is a pretty respectable bit rate.

Linux support!

I got even more excited when I went to the getting started page and in the "Buy and Download" section they mention they have a Linux version of their Amazon MP3 Downloader application. And they haven't gone for some budget "one size fits all" Linux solution, but they have binaries for most of the major distros.

It's really encouraging to see this sort of first class support for Linux by companies like Amazon.

What if I'm running 64 bit linux?

If like me you are running the amd64 build of your distro you will need to convince Amazons MP3 Downloader to run against 32 bit libraries. If you use Ubuntu then I suggest the excellent getlibs tool for installing your 32 bit dependencies. After you've downloaded the Ubuntu deb file, install it using:
sudo dpkg -i --force-all amazon*.deb

Then install the 32 bit dependencies with getlibs:
getlibs /usr/bin/amazonmp3

It's dangerously easy to use

Amazon certainly seem to have a great range of music on offer. To test things out I purchased by Kruder & Dorfmeister using 1-click. The 3 track EP cost me £2.37, you can get full albums for around £6-7 (or $9-11 US). The Amazon MP3 Downloader is a simple but effective app downloading Shakatakadoodub to my machine in a matter of seconds. From there it was a simple job to import into Banshee. One mouse click was all it took to purchase and download a DRM free EP!

I'm a happy camper

Overall I'm really impressed with this offering and can't understand why it hasn't had more press. It amazes me that people stick with crippled solutions like the iTunes store when you have a DRM free alternative like this available. I know where I'll be buy my music from now...

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