Amazon released a new MP3 Clips Widget today that lets you build playlists with 30-second samples from any of the 5 million+ songs on Amazon's MP3 store, then embed those playlists in any Web page. The process is brain-dead simple: first you run a search of song titles or album titles against Amazon's database, then select from the results. Second, choose the size of the widget. Third, select from a list of 15 popular blogging and personal home page sites (Blogger, Yahoo 360, and so on), or paste the code directly into your page, as I've done below.
Of course, every sample contains a link back to Amazon's store--this is commerce, after all--and Amazon encourages you to become an affiliate to earn money when people click through and make a purchase. (No, I'm not an affiliate, so don't worry about my making money from the widget on this page.) Amazon also lets you post information that's more obviously promotional, such as a list of recent purchases at Amazon, or Amazon MP3 bestsellers in a particular genre. Still, this is a quick and useful way to post music, such as songs running through your head as you're blogging or clever topically relevant music.