Amazon to Launch Music Service in September Inc., a popular online merchant based in Seattle, Washington, has tentatively set a mid-September target for the launch of its music service, according to an article posted two days ago in the online edition of the New York Post, which cited sources familiar with the situation. The store will offer songs in the MP3 format, with an initial catalog of over 1 million tracks, and give consumers an alternative to Apple Inc's iTunes, the report said.

Music from Universal Music Group, EMI, and a large number of independent labels will be available through the service, but Sony BMG and Warner Music Group will be absent from the party, due to Amazon's reluctance to use DRM technology. And, while Amazon wants to keep prices low, possibly adopting a variable pricing model with popular tracks at 99 cents and the rest at 69 cents, some labels seem unhappy with the plan, leading to ongoing negotiations.

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