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Amazon MP3 launches with albums from £3
Thursday 04 December 2008 10:14:38 by Andrew Ferguson

The choice for legal music that does not use Digital Rights Management (DRM) has just increased with the launch of AmazonMP3 from the website that at one time just sold books.

Prices are competitive with Albums starting at £3 and tracks priced from 59p. The files are MP3 format encoded at 256Kbps and for downloading albums the Amazon MP3 Downloader software is required, which is available for Windows XP, Vista, Linux and Mac OS X.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Hmm may have to check this out, finally a service where the tracks are resonably priced for what they are (well atleast compared to other services TBB has covered in news before), thankyou to the TBB team for the story :)
Posted by dema_reborn over 8 years ago
I tried it last night and couldn't get to buy anything,everytime i went to checkout it went back to homepage.....
Posted by doowles over 8 years ago
Shame they are not doing full 320kbit or lossless tracks, seems poor a poor compromise to me.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
256k MP3? Meh. Wouldn't be quite so bad if it was WMA but still a bit poor. Presumably the software is P2P as well - probably where the low cost is coming from.

I give the service 5/10 and my business stays with Play.com.
Posted by andysm over 8 years ago
I purchased a few albums last night. The ones I bought were around half the price of the CD versions (but the CDs are imported). 256K MP3 is fine for an ipod, though the 'golden ears' audiophiles will probably turn up their noses. No problems downloading the files either. Looks like a good service to me.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Just spent a tenner on there and the savings for once are significant over the CD version.

For those wondering about the download software its small 644K, and appears to be a direct download rather than any P2P system.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Direct load? Cool. I'll give it 8/10 then :)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
256k isnt bad quality, those thinking it is have read one too many web pages. If the encoded has been done properly most music you wont hear any difference between a 256k encode and a CD. To even come close to doing so you would need some serious hifi gear costing thousands which i doubt many here have.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The point at which MP3 starts to become more easily tellable between it and an original cd is between the 128k-192k mark and even then it will only be tellable with some stuff that has a full and wide variation in the frequency range of the tune. Some music i could play the so called fragile ears here in 160k MP3 along with a cd version and you wouldnt know the difference, that i can guarantee.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Oh?

I think I'd be able to find the difference very quickly with a music program and some quick wave analysis.

Sensitivity to the compression methods used in MP3's vary. I can notice a difference between 192k and 256k if I try hard, below 192k it's noticeable.
Posted by andysm over 8 years ago
The files are variable bit rate up to 256k, and Encspot says they are encoded with Lame 3.97 - generally regarded as one of the best MP3 encoders (yes, the encoder does make a difference).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
People obviously still dont realise how good compressed music sounds isnt just down to the bitrate. Your hearing is not a dogs and the frequency rates you can physically differentiate can be easily fooled with something as minor as amplification to the waveform concerned. If i took a copy of a 256k MP3 and normalised the amplification level (if it hasnt been done already) i dont care how supersonic you think your hearing is you would think the normalised and non-normalised version is from a different source or a different bitrate. CONT...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Bitrate with regards to sound has very little to do with the actual "SOUND" your ears hear... If it did a 256k flac or AAC file would sound the same as an MP3, which it doesnt. Incidentally PCM music (atleast with regards to whats on a CD) is only 192k anyway..... Its the way things are compressed and the source that makes a difference.... If these are as stated above VBR 256K MP3s and have been encoded using high quality analyst the quality will as good as a match of a CD.... Atleast to a degree your ears wont know the difference.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Well ive finally got round to trying this and while the service is far from perfect the small software needed is pretty un-obtrusive, the download was fast, sensibly priced and the quality is on par with the cd version.... Im actually amazed to say it, but for a service from a big well known organisation im pretty impressed, simple solution which worked fine for me, much better than some services from big known names.
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