Amazon prepping DRM-free downloads?

[intro]Could the DRM tide continue to turn? Rumours suggest that Amazon is prepping a DRM-free download store, with content from Universal[/intro]

There’s a rumbling in the world of music download stores. It’s not just the sound of hunger for more DRM-free music, but also the sound of the rumour mills spinning with speculation over a new MP3 store from Amazon.

According to US sources, the etailer is not only prepping a download store, but is also in talks with the Universal Music Group over selling some of the label’s catalogue as unprotected MP3s. That could mean artists such as Kanye West, U2 and Beck available to download, no matter what side your MP3 player toast is buttered on.

If it turns out to be true, it could signal the start of a predicted shift in the legal download arena, triggered by EMI’s decision earlier this month to sell DRM-free tunes. It’d also be the second (and largest) of ‘the big four’ record companies to ditch DRM. Surely that’d mean all others would have to follow suit? We can but hope.