Offering ‘MP3 music downloads for any media player’, Amazon rolled out its download music service on 25 September. Heavily dependent on the EMI catalogue (Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Beach Boys etc), the store professes that the music clear of any DRM … but … actually there are tracks on offer carrying watermarking. However, the watermarking, according to Amazon is identify that the music has been bought from Amazon and doesn’t identify the purchaser.

At 89 cents and offering 256 Kbps files, Amazon is aiming squarely at the iTunes market but without the close integration with the hardware. There is also an Amazon MP3 Downloader for Mac and Windows, which is required for album and single track downloads. What Amazon does bring to the party is their brilliant and simple ‘if you like this, try…’ familiar to millions. Expect matching developments in iTunes etc, while Amazon is sure to ramp up its store, if the numbers add up.

Tracks are only available to US-based users or those with US credit cards currently.