Linux downloader for Amazon MP3 store

Amazon's launched a Linux-based downloader for its DRM-free MP3 music store -- fantastic news! Now if they'd only change the terms-of-service for the store to something sensible like "Don't do anything illegal with this music." Link (Thanks, Pete!)

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  1. It’s great, but still nothing for us Europeans.

    The only site I know of to buy legal DRM-free MP3s is play.com. They have a nice system (direct download, no special software required), but a fairly limited library. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. bleep.com. It’s specialist, but if you like electronic music it’s an absolute Mecca – and they sell their music as DRM-free 320kbps VBR MP3s. Highly recommended.

  3. I see that the downloader is not required for single songs (you can just download over HTTP), but is required for entire albums.

    Since it’s required, then it’s good there’s a Linux version (Free or not), but that just begs the question of why is it required in the first place? I can guess at the reason, but does someone know what it actually is?

    I understand Amazon has to prevent abuse, so for instance there is a time window after purchase before the song becomes unavailable, and they need to be able to restrict access to users in particular countries. Are the record companies involved in negotiating these sorts of requirements (it makes sense that they would be)?

    I can suggest of a couple of similar countermeasures that would be inadequate and still allow abuse — restrict to the purchaser IP wouldn’t work, restrict to user account/browser session wouldn’t work, restrict # of downloads isn’t sufficient by itself.

    Sun has a very slick GUI downloader, all in Java, that works seamlessly for me on Mac and Linux (have not tried Windows, presume it works there, and Solaris/BSD), and doesn’t require an install of any kind since it’s just a .jar — too bad Amazon didn’t borrow this. I do not want a standalone app.

  4. I’m not so bothered about this being non-free software (MP3 isn’t a free format anyway), but more concerned about regional restrictions – the biggest problem for digital downloads as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m in Spain, so can’t use Amazon to download music, but also can’t use Play, even though they’re the source for most CDs and DVDs I buy.

    This doesn’t really bother me right now as I’m buying more great music than I can listen to through eMusic anyway. I fear for the future of this region-controlled music selling (if an album isn’t available to my country, why wouldn’t I just use P2P instead. How does this make sense?) but this is a nice gesture for those deemed worthy enough to give Amazon their money.

  5. Even though Amazon’s TOS maybe restrictive, how can they track an mp3 that you purchase from them? If I look in the tag for their mp3, the only Amazon-identifiable info that I see is a comment that says:

    Amazon.com Song ID: xxxxxxxxx

    (The xxxxxxxxx is a number)

    There’s nothing stopping me from removing this. Amazon’s TOS seems like it is kinda like the speed limit; how can anyone prove you are speeding if they don’t catch you while you are doing it? Am I missing something here?

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