Gigs & Bytes

No sooner did post lower than expected first quarter earnings, the online retailer announced it was making music downloads available for 69 cents, undercutting the dominant Apple iTunes store by at least 30 cents.

Result? Amazon’s shares spiked almost 3 percent to close about $200 a share, its highest level in more than 10 years.

Facebook has relaunched its Music page, hoping to take advantage of the exodus of musicians and fans from MySpace. Music on Facebook started, perhaps prematurely, in 2008 but never made a serious dent in MySpace’s then-domination as the go-to spot connecting artists to fans. Now, the social networking giant is looking to leverage its features to become the dominant launch pad.

Speaking of Facebook, the Palo Alto, Calif., company says it’s fast become an e-commerce force by way of its vaunted “Like” button, made available to commercial websites last year. An average of 10,000 new websites a day connect with the social network and partnerships with companies like Ticketmaster, which includes a Facebook app on its website that allows people to see whether their friends have already bought tickets to a particular concert, according to McClatchy-Tribune News. Facebook has recently floated a trial “Deals” service in five U.S. cites to compete with Groupon and other online discount services, utilizing the “Like” button.

An MP3 downloader that allowed users to access free music quickly became the bestselling iPhone application in the App Store before being abruptly yanked. The $2 app, called Any Music Downloader, allowed customers to find any online MP3 file, and label and download it for keeps, according to The songs could be synced to iTunes on one’s computer, and copied to other devices. Apparently, the app might not have been altogether legal: The browser inside the app allowed navigation to any MP3-serving site whether legal or not.