Amazon.com has been hinting at getting into the digital music business for a long time. Now, it might be planning to sell its own Amazon-branded music players that work with an upcoming music service, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Link here.)
The article suggests that Amazon will load up those players with music that a buyer selects before sending it to them, something that seems fairly labor-intensive for the company. And, following a model that has worked well with cellphones, the music players would be very cheap or free with a long-term commitment to a music subscription service.
This would put Amazon directly in competition with Apple Computer’s iPod, which could put pressure on a fruitful business relationship. Amazon is also one of the iPod’s biggest retailers.