With the potential to pull a lot of money away from iTunes, on paper Amazon look to have a winner on their hands.
The downloader tool is reported to be very easy to install and use and will automatically add the downloaded tracks to your Windows Media Player or iTunes.
Prices seem reasonable, with single mp3 files starting at £0.59 and typically around the £0.69 or £0.79 area. Full albums start at £0.49, with recent hits like Kings of Leon's "Only By The Night" setting you back only £3. Some more classic albums (like Michael Jackson's "Thriller") will cost £8 or more. Some artists are missing at this moment in time, but it should not be long before the majority of artists are on board.
iTunes have generated criticism for it's use of Digital Rights Management (DRM), making it difficult for people to copy their music onto CDs and between MP3 players. The Amazon MP3 downloads, however, are free from any DRM, enabling the users to freely transfer their music wherever they want! The 256kbps encoding is also good quality so should sound nice and clear on any top-end hi-fi system.
Amazon also have a 1-Click Buy system running (just like iTunes) to make the download process even quicker.
It will be interesting to see how much revenue they can build for themselves (and take from iTunes).