This week Amazon released their much anticipated competitor to the iTunes music store. Downloads are in MP3, and do not include DRM; though I bet they include fingerprinting of the purchaser…
Amazon’s prices for popular songs are ten cents less than iTunes, which I guess is cause for celebration?
The Amazon website though, is particularly suited for demonstrating just how broken the ‘flat rate’ model pioneered by the iTunes store is when compared to ‘real-world’ items. For example, visit the following page and note the price of the CD, and the price of the MP3 download. $7 for the CD, and $22 for the MP3 download. I may be an instant gratification kind of person, but for these prices I’ll buy a few CDs off of Amazon and spend and evening ripping to MP3 rather than pay 3x the price to let Amazon do it for me.