The e-commerce giant Amazon.com has launched their own music service: AmazonMP3. AmazonMP3 now offers DRM-free tracks in the MP3 format from a variety of artists on their website. Amazon has chosen the widely supported MP3 file format which ensures comparability with iPods, Zunes, most modern cell phones, and virtually any computer or digital audio player users wish to use.
The MP3 files weigh in at 256kbit so they won’t sound quite as good as iTunes 256kbit AAC files, but certainly will sound good enough for anyone but the most golden-eared audiophile. The fact that the MP3 files are DRM-free ensures not only broad compatibility, but also that users won’t ever have to worry about authentication or license revocation. It is currently unknown if Amazon will be adding audio fingerprints or other watermarks to the music to tie an individual file to the downloader to help cut into piracy.
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There is never enough time to read these days, at least not for those of us that spend most of our days writing. So we are exceptionally pleased at this new site that must have been designed with us (and partying college students) in mind. LazyLibrary searches for books that are 200 pages or less. Type in your subject and the site will show you books with total pages, the exact page number that information can be found on, and consumer ratings. You then can pick your purchase from Amazon’s selection of either new or used books by link.
Read More | LazyLibrary
If you still have your eye on one of the larger iPods but cannot afford the lofty price, Audible is giving a $100.00 coupon for anyone who signs up with their Listener Gold or Platinum subscription service starting at $14.95 a month. You can use it to discount any AudibleReady gadget on their sister site Amazon. Included in the deal are selected PMPs, PDAs, GPS systems, and SmartPhones. Audible offers over 23,000 audiobooks, newspapers, magazines, radio, and original programs for download. The promotion is available until September 30.
Read More | Gadget Madness
Looks like Assassin’s Creed may be taking a chunk of time out of your beginnig-of-quarter studying schedule, for all you gamer-students out there. If Amazon.com‘s listing is correct, the game will be launching on September 25th this year. Currently, you can pre-order the Ubisoft game for either Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3, from Amazon’s website, for $59.99. Interestingly, there’s also an Assassin’s Creed DS listing over at Amazon, but we’re not going to give that too much credibility.
Personally, I can’t wait to see if there’s any difference between the 360 and PS3 versions of the title. Given that the game was one of the most visually impressive demonstrations of the PS3 hardware, it’ll be interesting to see how the worst-kept non-exclusivity secret in gaming plays on supposedly inferior hardware.
Read More | Amazon.com
Personally, it seemed like a strange move to me when Microsoft announced the Xbox 360 “elite” edition. For a console that had really carved out a position for itself in the current-gen competition, it seemed like the Elite was just M$ trying to make their console look more like a PS3. Well, color me wrong, because it seems like the Elite may be selling like hotcakes.
According to videogame news site Punch-Jump, the Xbox 360 Elite edition was posted on Amazon.com yesterday for pre-orders (good luck getting it on Sunday!), and sold out “within hours” of being listed. Of course, it’s not clear whether or not this actually represents M$ increasing their market share… are these truly *new* gamers, or just folks upgrading from their Platinum edition 360’s? We’ll be keeping a close eye on the NPD numbers next month… could this be the edge that Microsoft needs to beat out Sony in this round?
P.S. For those of you that weren’t madly refreshing the Amazon.com homepage on Thursday, you could always try your luck getting a Wii or Elite 360 at Target this week!
Read More | Punch-Jump.com
As predicted and speculated, Amazon’s Unbox Video Download Service has gone live, offering full-length movies and TV shows they day after they are premiered. Apple, however, doesnt necessarily have to be worried quite yet. Unbox’s prices are a little on the high end of the spectrum, with the lowest priced films at just under $10 whereas recent releases are nearly $20. Prices on TV shows though match that of iTunes, available for $1.99.
Unsurprisingly, the downloads have a Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme to them, but Amazon says that the videos are PlaysForSure compatible. Unfortunately, rentals are rather restictive. Upon download, there are a 30-day time limit to begin watching the video and after the video has been opened, it will delete itself after just 24 hours. The files can also only be played using Amazon’s Unbox Video Player, which currently is only Windows-compatible.
As a starting incentive and to celebrate their store opening, Amazon is offering a free video or rental with a $1.99 instant rebate on your first purchase.
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It looks like some sort of pages and screenshots related to the upcoming Amazon.com digital video download service has surfaced. Gizmodo has all of the goods on this, including copies of the images of the pages as well as actual working links to pages on the Amazon Web site. Check it out while it’s hot!
Read More | Gizmodo: Amazon Digital Video Info