Yesterday without any fanfare or spectacle Amazon threw open the doors to their music store for the first time outside of the United States.

I’m glad to say it was worth the wait, I gave it quick try last night and I’m glad to say it’s what I’ve been waiting for. Once you have downloaded the assistance program it is as easy as browsing the store, picking out the tracks you want and checking out. The files (all DRM free I might add) are then downloaded to whatever destination directory you select in the assistant. I directed my downloads to one of my monitored folders and they were instantly detected by the Zune software and synced to my device. It could not be simpler, finally there is a music store that makes it easier to legitimately purchase the music and download it than to pirate it.  One feature I would like to see Amazon implement is the option to automatically close the download assistant on completing the download. While it is not resource hungry it would in my view at least make the process even more seamless than it already is.

If you are of the Apple persuasion Chris reports that it plays nicely with iTunes loading your songs seamlessly to your iTunes library. However if like me you feel the need to avoid iTunes then finally there is a DRM free store with a expansive collection that does not make you pay through the nose. I hope that people make the effort to support this and that Amazon continues to expand their offerings.