Amazon announces DRM-free MP3 music store

Just as the Times Online predicted last month, is set to strike a potentially major blow against DRM by launching a download store later this year that will offer millions of songs in unprotected, MP3-only format. Leading the list of a claimed 12,000 record labels is none other than Apple-buddy EMI, which has been widely praised for its decision to distribute unlocked 256kbps tracks on iTunes -- but the lack of any other participating majors means that Amazon just doesn't have the catalog yet to compete with other established megastores. However, a profitable showing from EMI's 'experiment' may very well convince the other labels to accede to consumer demand and start joining the free music party too, meaning that this move by a player like Amazon is certainly nothing to sneeze at. So, here's to Jeff Bezos for his decidedly anti-DRM philosophy (this time around, at least), and to that wonderful day in the future when we'll actually be able to watch all those Lost episodes from iTunes that don't play right on any of our three computers.