Amazon.com will reportedly launch its long-awaited entirely DRM-free music store in mid-September, according to the New York Post's sources
. At launch, the online retailer plans to offer around 1 million tracks from both major labels Universal Music and EMI Group as well as songs from a large number of smaller independent labels.
Wal-Mart, the nation's biggest CD retailer, earlier this month beat Amazon to the punch by launching its own digital music store featuring DRM-free tracks from Universal and EMI at 94 cents apiece and $9.22 per album.
Amazon is set to challenge iTunes with a two-tiered pricing format, charging 99 cents for new and popular songs and 89 cents for others, while albums are expected to cost between $7.99 and $9.99. The store will offer songs in the iPod-friendly MP3 format, giving owners of the popular music player an alternative source for music besides iTunes.