Amazon offering top-selling MP3 tracks for $0.69

Amazon has dropped the price of its top-selling MP3 tracks to $0.69, according to The Los Angeles Times. That's a 20-cent drop from its previous $0.89 price. The move by the internet retail giant is seen as an attempt to knock Apple from its perch as the top distributor of music in the world. Currently, Apple's iTunes store has a 70 percent market share, while Amazon is a distant second at 10 percent.

The LA Times article also highlights some facts about the effect of price changes to music in the iTunes store since last year. In 2010 Apple raised the prices for most new songs in the iTunes store to $1.29, up from $0.99. However, that price increase slowed music sales growth considerably.

In 2009 when the average music track cost $0.99, digital music sales grew 8 percent in one year. After the raise to $1.29 per track, digital music sales only grew a meager 1 percent in 2010. Of course, Apple's not to blame for the price rise; it's the music studios who insisted on a higher per-track average price.

It's unclear who is eating the cost of Amazon's price reduction, but an NPD Group analyst questioned whether a $0.69 price for hot songs will actually increase Amazon's market share, or if the price will just create a platform for "opportunistic cherry pickers."

Amazon offering top-selling MP3 tracks for $0.69 originally appeared on TUAW on Sat, 30 Apr 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Testing the Sonos-AirPlay solution

AirPlay is a very cool technology, but it's limited to the second generation Apple TV and a few receivers. Sonos, as I reported last week, has come up with its own way to integrate AirPlay into a multi-room music system, and the company was nice enough to lend me an Apple AirPort Express to try it out.

Since I already had a Sonos music system, the AirPort Express was the only missing piece. You plug AirPort Express in, connect it to one of your Sonos ZonePlayers with an Ethernet cable, and run a stereo mini-plug to stereo RCA cable from the AirPort Express to your Sonos unit.

From there, you open the AirPort Utility (it ships with OS X, and you can download a Windows version) and configure it in a couple of easy steps. You then move to your updated free ZonePlayer software version 3.4 to let the Sonos system know that the AirPort Express is there. That's it.

From that point on you can wirelessly stream audio from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into your Sonos system. The Sonos is smart enough to auto switch to the correct input, and then you can hear the music on any individual ZonePlayer or on all of them at the same time. Of course, since the playlists on my iPhone and iPad are subsets of the music that Sonos normally has access to from my Mac, there's not much advantage there. On the other hand, I went out running yesterday listening to a podcast, and when I got back to the house, I was just a couple of taps away from hearing it on any or every audio system I had in the house. When the audio switched, not even a word was dropped.

Continue reading Testing the Sonos-AirPlay solution

Testing the Sonos-AirPlay solution originally appeared on TUAW on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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