Amazon Music: You Can’t Always Get What You Want


We noted on Tuesday that shoppers at’s new MP3 store could buy some, but not all of the Rolling Stones catalogue: Songs recorded after 1971, which are controlled by EMI Music, are available. But the earlier stuff, controlled by Abkco Music, is not. And it’s not going to be available anytime soon, an Abkco rep told us today, because Abkco doesn’t want its music released in the unencrypted MP3 format that Amazon is using.

As we explained in our initial review of Amazon’s music store, the lack of DRM encryption that makes Amazon’s music work on Apple’s iTunes and iPods (critical if Amazon is to have any chance of challenging Apple) is also the reason that only two of the four major labels are currently working with Amazon. Ultimately we believe the labels will conclude that selling DRM-free music is better than allowing iTunes to continue to own the entire market (and, therefore, have more control over music labels than a puppeteer). But in the meantime, Abkco’s Rolling Stones stance is indicative.

As a public service, we’ve listed the other Abkco-owned artists and music you shouldn’t bother looking for on Amazon:

• Phil Spector-produced artists (The Ronettes, The Crystals, etc)
• Sam Cooke (The early, good stuff)
• Cameo-Parkway artists (Chubby Checker, ? And The Mysterians, etc)
• The Animals (The early, good stuff)
• Herman’s Hermits
• Marianne Faithfull

Related: Amazon Finally Launches Real Competition For iTunes