Amazon enters the music download business

Another victory for the anti-DRM camp; Amazon's long rumoured online music store will shun nasty, restrictive digital rights management for clean, fre

Another victory for the anti-DRM camp; Amazon's long rumoured online music store will shun nasty, restrictive digital rights management for clean, free livin' MP3s.Like Apple's recent conversion to the cause, it's all thanks to EMI's decision to offer up Coldplay et al without the unnecessary restrictions. But unlike AAC-loving iTunes, Amazon will use MP3 – playable by just about every player under the digital sun.Amazon also reckons a further 12,000 labels will be on board by the time it launches – mainly small independents – to bulk out the offering to 'several million' songs, but early talk that another of the 'big four' record companies would be joining Amazon to go DRM-free appears to have been idle rumour.It'll be hard to match iTune's 256kbps AACs for quality but here's hoping a bit of friendly competition will see Apple drop its 20p premium for DRM-free files.Sadly there's no word on how much Amazon will fleece us for when it launches in the US later this year or on whether Amazon.co.uk will be joining the party, but it looks like DRM-free music is now here to stay.