Amazon.com releases MP3 Download store

Amazon.com has finally released its MP3 Download store.

A few cool things:

  • It appears that there is a healthy dose of EMI, Universal, and indie albums.
  • Most songs are $0.99 apiece (with the top 100 songs $0.89 apiece).
  • Most albums are $9.99 apiece (with top 100 albums $8.99 apiece)
  • All files are 256kbps MP3 VBR files and DRM-free
  • Amazon uses special software called MP3 Downloader that allows you to download songs and have them automatically added to your media player. Even works on Macs and a Linux version is being developed.

So far, I have bought 2 songs and it has worked flawlessly. Very good execution. I hope iTunes reduces the prices of iTunes Plus to compete (isn’t competition grand?).

I'm back and a few assorted related things

Yesterday afternoon Katie and I returned home after our week long honeymoon, which went very well (perfect weather in the Western Caribbean). I really enjoyed visiting Grand Cayman, Cozumel (Mexico), Belize, and Roatan (Hondorus) and have a sunburn to prove it.

Today Katie and I spent doing name change stuff (for her, as she is taking my last name). A few things I have learned about this:

  • It is a lot of manual work (for the city clerks) to get a marriage license & certificate from the city (about 20-30 minutes of waiting time). It is all manual data entry from what I observed. Wonder if this is something that IT could really help them save time with.
  • The DMV part went pretty smooth considering they could have used one more person on duty to help with the long line. Maybe 1/2 wait to be helped, about 10 minutes to actually get Katie’s drivers license changed and her registration changed.
  • Social Security was a nightmare wait, with about 30 people in line and one person at the counter. Once we got to the counter, it went pretty quick.

Good news is the hard stuff is done and will never have to be done again if we can help it.