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MP3 Players

Amazon to distribute deleted EMI, Sony albums on-demand

Amazon.com has signed a deal with Sony BMG and EMI to distribute out-of-print CDs from the likes of Cake and Joe Strummer, and will print the discs on-demand as customers order them

Amazon has announced a partnership with major record labels EMI and Sony BMG to distribute hundreds of out-of-print albums via CreateSpace.com, a company Amazon acquired in April 2005.

The deal will make available previously deleted works from the likes of Cake and Joe Strummer, some of which are available immediately. Additional albums will become available "throughout the year," an Amazon spokesperson told Crave in an email.

CDs will be printed and distributed on-demand when a customer places an order, negating the need for stock to be produced in advance. Amazon.com offers a similar service for printing books via BookSurge, a company it also acquired in April 2005.

The on-demand CD printing deal is only available through Amazon.com, but it is available to UK customers. UK customers will, however, incur Amazon's international shipping rates.

EMI and Sony BMG represent only half of the major worldwide record labels, with Universal Music Group and Warner Music remaining outside the CreateSpace programme. A spokesperson wasn't able to confirm or deny any potential deals with the remaining two major labels.

When asked if Amazon planned on making deleted albums available for digital download from its MP3 download store, we were told Amazon "strives to make all music selections available in all formats," and that it is "working with [its] partners to provide customers with the choice of choosing which format to purchase their music." In other words, it's in the pipeline, but not a matter for discussion at the moment.

Amazon is also planning to move its MP3 download store to the UK later this year, although no further movement on the matter has so far been disclosed. -Nate Lanxon