Watch out, AmazonMP3: Rhapsody just joined the DRM-free MP3 club. The music-subscription service's new MP3 store sells individual tracks for 99 cents and albums for $9.99. And if you're one of the first 100,000 folks to create an account by July 4, you can get a free album.
Strings? You do have to provide a credit card when you set up your account, and you have to install Rhapsody's MP3 Download Manager (Windows only), which can automatically add downloaded songs to your iTunes library. With that done, you'll immediately find a $10 credit in your account. (Note: You have to use it before July 4.)
As with AmazonMP3, Rhapsody's MP3s come free of copy protection, meaning you can use them with iPods and every other player on the planet. However, Rhapsody lets you preview full tracks before purchasing, whereas AmazonMP3 limits you to 30-second snippets. However, Amazon definitely has the edge in pricing, with many tracks and albums selling for $0.89 and $8.99, respectively (to say nothing of some sweet daily deals).
Of course, a free album is a free album, so hurry to Rhapsody and grab an account. You've got absolutely nothing to lose--and Brendan Benson's awesome Alternative to Love to gain. (What can I say, I'm a fan.)