7digital.com goes DRM-free for MP3 downloadsMP3 download sites to rival iTunes

17 September 2008

MP3 7digital.com Amazon Tesco digital

Established in 2004, MP3 download site 7digital.com announced this week that it will now offer now 4 million MP3 files from all the ‘big four’ music publishers.

The big advantage to consumers is that they will be 100% DRM-free 320kbps MP3 files. This means they are compatible with any music player, including iPods, iPhones, Blackberries, MP3 players and mobile phones, and can be legally copied between multiple devices.

Good news for existing customers is that previously purchased Sony BMG music in WMA format will be upgraded to MP3 for free. To entice in new music downloaders, 7digital.com are also giving away two free MP3 albums and offering selected MP3 albums from £2 from artists including Queen, The Magic Numbers, We Are Scientists and Sigur Rós.

Which? technology editor Matt Bath said ‘more choice for the consumer is always good news, and the big media sites are realising that DRM-free MP3 downloads offer better value to music lovers.

Alternative sites include:

Passionata.com

A new DRM-free classical music MP3 site, launched this week, with Which? news coverage here.

Amazon.co.uk

New Media Age (NMA) reports that Amazon.co.uk will launch an MP3 music download store within a month. This follows Amazon’s September 2007 launch in the US with 3.3m unprotected (DRM-free) tracks at 89 cents each.

Tescodigital.com

NMA also claimed last week that Tesco’s existing download site, Tesco Digital is ‘in talks with content providers including BBC Worldwide, ITV Worldwide and Fremantle Media to launch TV and film content via its digital download store. The service, which is hoped to launch before Christmas, is set to rival iTunes and offer visitors the opportunity to download TV shows and movies to their PC.