★ The Amazon MP3 Store and Amazon MP3 Downloader: The new Amazon MP3 Store looks like no previous iTunes Store rival. The music is completely DRM-free, encoded at a very respectable 256 kbps, includes a ton of songs from major record labels, and offers terrific software support for Mac OS X. (Via Daring Fireball.)
I browsed around a bit in jazz and African music. Much interesting backlist material, but it lacks more recent work by favorite artists like David Holland our Toumani Diabaté. Surprisingly, for another favorite artist, Anouar Brahem, it has a several albums that I didn't know about, including a 2006 issue from ECM that I had missed!
I would prefer 160 or 192kb AAC rather than 256kb MP3, to save space on my iPod. But it is notable that finally we have a large catalog, non-subscription, non-DRM, non-proprietary online music store. I'll buy that Brahem album to test it out, and I'll keep paying attention. This could be finally the beginning of what we've been waiting for since the late 90s.