Amazon's MP3 store gets mysteriously quiet UK launch

With an inexplicably silent debut, Amazon has made its MP3 download store live in the UK. Following months of speculation and rumour as to when the UK might see the launch of the DRM-free music store, the company's site is now quietly offering the service.

The MP3 page on the etailer's website reads: "Welcome to our new MP3 music downloads store - we have millions of songs and albums and are adding thousands more every day".

Amazon's musical downloads - numbering three million from all the big record labels - are in the 256 kbps MP3 format, so can be played on almost all digital music players, including iPods, and are offered DRM-free, so can legally be copied across the different devices a user owns.

In what will be a threat to iTunes' business in the run up to Christmas, the store appears to have launched with some rather nicely priced offers that include singles priced at 59p and a whole host of top albums for £3.

These currently include Only By The Night, by Kings of Leon, Coldplay and Take That's latest offerings, Sam's Town from The Killers, and for those with more sedate tastes, Leonard Cohen's Various Positions and The Best of Glen Campbell.