Wal-Mart releases DRM free MP3s for sale online

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Wal-Mart has joined the digital music bandwagon with the launch of digital right management-free MP3 music downloads in its e-commerce store.

The retail giant follows Apple's iTunes, Amazon.com, EMI and Universal ináoffering DRM-free MP3s so that consumers can transfer music across devices.

This format was originally shunned by the music industry, which feared copyright infringement, but has been promoted by various individuals including Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who stressed the value of this format to the consumer, who often owns more than one device and upgrades devices every year or so.

The MP3s will run at only 94 cents per track and $9.22 per album at www.walmart.com. Wal-Mart is also promoting a special MP3 album pricing on titles such as "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones, "Be Here" by Keith Urban and "Barrio Fino en Directo" by Daddy Yankee at $7.88 per album and "Slippery When Wet" by Bon Jovi and "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" by 50 Cent at $5.88 per album.

Wal-Mart will continue to offer downloads in its existing Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, so customers may select the option of MP3-format downloads at 256 kbps for $0.94/track and/or WMA-format downloads at 128 kbps for $0.88/track.

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