Just talked to sources at Amazon and Warner Music Group about their DRM-free MP3 retail deal. In case you were wondering, we have confirmed that Warner is not watermarking the files to keep track of them. Incidentally, Amazon wasn't aware of whether or not it would happen, saying that "in some cases the labels provide [Amazon]with audio files that they apply some watermarking to". Here's more on the catalogue availability and other pressing concerns:
Don't expect the entire Warner catalog to be up this instant. It's a pretty massive one, so Amazon is rolling it out over the next couple of days, and with new content going up every ten minutes. Don't expect everything to be the same price, either—as you probably guessed, variable pricing is in play.
Despite Warner being one of the more reluctant labels to jump on the DRM-free MP3 bandwagon, unlike Universal, Amazon's director of digital music Pete Baltaxe told us that Warner is "not treating this as a test, they are making their entire catalog available". Universal has offered its DRM-free tracks to some retailers as an experiment. Regardless of how dissimilar the Warner and Universal deals sound, we don't think we'll see tracks from either of them popping up on iTunes anytime soon.
Well, what about that other MP3 wallflower, Sony? Predictably they "can't comment on any particular discussions with Sony", though they "talk to all the labels all the time". Our prediction? With every other major label at the party, we doubt Sony's going to cry alone in the corner for too long.