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Tech Industry

Amazon sound clips go offline

The Internet retailer is working to fix a glitch that has caused its popular music CD samples for shoppers to be unavailable.

Many customers who wanted to preview a CD before buying it had to go elsewhere on Monday.

A glitch on the company's site prevented customers from linking to and downloading many sound clips for several hours on Monday. Company spokeswoman Carrie Peters blamed the problem on a site "hiccup," but she declined to give more details. Peters didn't know when the feature would be available again or how many clips were affected.

"We know that this is really popular for our customers, so we are working aggressively on it," she said.

Amazon allows customers to preview most of the 500,000 CDs in its catalog by listening to 30-second long Real Media sound clips. Although the company does not allow customers to preview every song on an album, it has some 2 million sound clips in its database, Peters said.

The problem with the sound previews did not affect Amazon's free music downloads. The company has a collection of full-length songs in MP3 and LiquidAudio format that customers can download for free.