The music download industry continues to evolve, as more players enter the game and alliances are formed in the blink of an eye. We all know that AT&T partnered with the giant Apple Inc. to promote the iPhone, which of course uses iTunes for its ringtone capabilities. As more mobile phones embrace multimedia functions, the music and telecommunications industries are realizing the opportunities that are opening up to merge.

AT&T and Napster, one of the original music download services, are teaming up and providing direct download capabilities, according to CNNMoney. In an effort to avoid mobile-to-PC connections to transfer music files, direct downloads are gaining popularity. More mobile phone owners are using their mobile phones as MP3 players, not to mention the added benefit of using downloads as ringtones.

Similarly, in Australia, Nokia is taking a step forward in music downloads, providing free Wi-Fi hotspots for Nokia Nseries customers. They plan to launch a music download service of their own sometime this year, and with their free Wi-Fi campaign, more and more Australia-based Nokia users will be more willing to try it out at launch.

Telecommunications companies and mobile phone service providers are not the only ones changing the music download industry. Amazon’s newest service, AmazonMP3, offers lower prices on individual songs and albums than some of its competitors, such as iTunes.

Its $ 2 million music collection stands out because its music files are DRM-free and compatible with iTunes and Windows Multimedia Player. Although competition among music download providers is inevitable, anyone with a mobile phone or MP3 player will still be exposed to countless options.

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