The new Amazon MP3 store is awesome. $0.89 or $0.99 a song, $9 or so an album, and simple MP3 files with no DRM or iTunes nonsense. The MP3s come with great ID3 tags and excellent quality 256kbps encoding (sometimes VBR). The downloader app is even decent; I think it's there to make life simple for people who aren't download experts.

This store is it, folks. We've been whining for years that buying music online sucked and we got better results stealing it. Well, that's not true anymore. If Amazon sells a piece of music there's no advantage to stealing it other than thieving something for free.

Proper respects to Warp Records whose online store Bleep has been selling unencumbered MP3s for almost four years now. Bleep is awesome but it has a limited catalog. Amazon will be the big time.

Update: one wrinkle, the Amazon MP3 version of M.I.A.'s album Arular is a bowdlerized copy. The word fuck is radio-edited out in "URAQT" and "Dash the Curry Skit". Why am I being treated like a child? Presumably this is the label's fault, not Amazon's.

Update 2: thanks to rjrjr I see Amazon has now updated the store, offering both kiddie and normal versions.

Update 3: thanks to Amazon support for letting me "exchange" the album. Of course you can't really return a download, but they made an exception for me.
  2007-10-02 21:52 Z