No-nonsense MP3 downloads

Amazon MP3 offers a simple, online retail outlet for digital music and video files.

Amazon's MP3 store has been one of the most straightforward, no-nonsense digital music download sites since its inception. The service offers DRM-free MP3s a la carte or as entire musical albums, with every file digitized at an impressively high bit rate of 256Kbps. Also, you can expect each track to have fully fleshed-out ID3 tag information, including album art. Because there's no DRM, the files can be played on any portable media player, which has helped Amazon become one the top-five music sellers worldwide.

In order to complete a purchase on the store, users must install a small helper program that lets you download several tracks at the same time. This app is quite light, and it can be set up to automatically add tracks to your iTunes and/or Windows Media Player libraries. This comes in particularly handy for those who are using one of the two jukeboxes to sync content to a portable device.

In addition to MP3s, Amazon's digital store offers a selection of video content, including movies and TV shows. The entire experience is unapologetic in its retail overtones: this is simply a spot to buy content. As such, extra features are minimal (and not necessarily wanted anyway), and you mostly need to rely on external software jukeboxes for enjoying your purchases. The retail giant's simplicity--and one-click purchasing option--carries over into the digital store, which makes it a good choice for those who are new to digital media.

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