Amazon Launches UK MP3 Store To Rival Apple's iTunes But Still No Podcast!

After nearly six months of gestation, Amazon has finally released its competitor to Apple's iTunes store, Amazon MP3, which unlike its popular rival is free of any Digital Rights Management scheme.

The online retailer offers unprotected tracks from as little as 59p and album prices start only from £1.99. And there are quite a few very recent and popular albums like Take That and Kings Of Leon available for only £3.

But there are a few household names missing from Amazon MP3 like Oasis or Arctic Monkeys but expect more songs to be added to the 3.5 million songs - which are encoded in 256kbps MP3 Format- already online as Amazon MP3 gets more popular.

Users will be able to download the tracks using Amazon's own nifty little application.

The launch coincides with the collapse of Woolworths and its distribution arm which acts as the music backend of retailers and supermarkets like Asda, Zavvi and Sainsbury's.

Still, for some reason, Amazon did not integrate Audible, our favourite podcast service provider, given that it acquired the company back in February 2008. It is also not known whether Amazon MP3 will, like its US counterpart, offer free MP3 songs as well.

As for video - like Amazon's Unbox - and software applications, well only time will tell whether Amazon will have the will power to take on iTunes across a wider spectrum.

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