Amazon takes on iTunes: launches MP3 store for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Looks like Amazon’s trying to take a bite out of Apple’s dominance of on-device music sales. The online retail giant today launched a new HTML5 MP3 web store for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Amazon says store, which is specially formatted for the devices, is designed to run seamlessly on Safari. It also reportedly offers personalised recommendations, Amazon ratings and bestseller lists.

According to The Next Web, as soon as a user makes a purchase, the track is transferred to their Amazon Cloud Player account and can be played back using the Cloud Player Music App, which is available on Android and Kindle Fire as well as the various iDevices.

Running the service using HTML 5 is a clever move on Amazon’s part. Running a web store means that it circumvents Apple’s regulations forcing it to share 30% of its download revenue with Cupertino-based giant.

According to Amazon vice president of music Steve Bloom, the launch comes after serious demand from Amazon customers using iPhones and iPod touches:

Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices. For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that — now they can access Amazon’s huge catalog of music, features like personalized recommendations, deals like albums for US$5, songs for US$0.69, and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere.

The announcement potentially sheds new light on Amazon’s decision to give away free digital copies of music when they buy the physical CD. Large numbers of people apparently still by physical CDs from Amazon, so the promotion could be a neat way of familiarising them with the Cloud Player.

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