Ten Sentences on AmazonMP3, the Music Download Store
(1) With the aesthetics of its web-based interface aside—and I suspect even they’ll be fixed—Amazon’s new AmazonMP3 music download service is almost exactly what I’ve been waiting for, for years.
(2) Rather than offering something equivalent to or worse than standard iTunes downloads, Amazon’s default is a decidedly superior 256kbps, device-agnostic, no strings attached MP3 file for 89 or 99 cents, versus Apple’s 128kbps AAC for 99 cents.
(3) Amazon’s 256k MP3 format accomplishes precisely what people need, namely, a way to quickly and legally obtain high-quality music that’s ready for playback without going to a store, waiting for a delivery, or ripping a CD.
(4-5) The store’s 2-million-track library is also pretty impressive, and amusing mostly in that so many of the current top tracks and albums are ones Apple’s been promoting: Corinne Bailey Rae, KT Tunstall, and Feist are just a few of the familiar names, alongside $9 (!) albums from Kanye West, 50 Cent, and other top artists.
(6) Amazon also got a turnkey alternative part of its system right, letting you conveniently order an aggressively-priced CD if you can’t find the download you’re looking for, which you can’t do on iTunes.
(7-8) There’s no doubt that the breadth, depth, and ease-of-use of iTunes’ varied digital media catalogs is impressive. And let’s not kid ourselves here, if you’ve used Amazon’s Unbox video download service with a TiVo, you know that its downloads can be slow as molasses, and otherwise not as convenient as Apple’s.
(9) But—and this is a big “but”—iTunes has been in a weird holding pattern for the last year, waiting for the other shoe to drop on major studios’ video downloads, rentals, and high-definition support, as competitors have succeeded in making strides, perhaps through friendlier negotiating tactics.
(10) As an Amazon CD and DVD customer, I’m about to become an AmazonMP3 customer too, and given where Apple’s been going with video recently, who knows what other digital content I’ll be buying from Amazon in the future.
And now, two sentences on how iTunes can eat Amazon alive: true internationalization, with deals so customers anywhere in the world can buy content from anywhere in the world, sans hassles. Someone’s gotta do it, and it should be Apple.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple to reportedly shutter Beats Music? (Update: No)
- Report: iOS 8 adoption rate estimated at 30%
- Apple Watch to come in 4GB, 8GB versions?
- Apple hits 10 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus sales in first weekend
- Video First Look: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6, 6 Plus support 2.1A charging, ship with 1A adapters
- iPhone 6, 6 Plus unboxing and comparison gallery posted
- iFixit posts teardowns of iPhone 6, 6 Plus
- Apps of the Week: Epic Zen Garden, OmniFocus, Evernote, Pocket + more
- Apple and U2 working on ‘secret project’ to boost music sales
- Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Spigen F70Q 7000mAh Dual Portable Quick Charger
- Apple Inc. iOS 8
- ZeroChroma Folio-Slide for iPad mini
- Zoom iQ6 XY Stereo Microphone for iPhone + iPad
- Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 headphones
- Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480
- Cambridge Audio Bluetone 100 Bluetooth Speaker
- Cambridge Audio Go V2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Soundfreaq Double Spot SFQ-09 Wireless Speaker
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.0
- Multi-Editorial: On Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus + Apple Watch
- What’s New In Apple TV 7.0
- What’s New in iTunes 12
- iLounge Picks: Five Great Summer Party Speakers
- Editorial: Endings And Beginnings
- Live From CE Week 2014: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- What’s New In iOS 8 For iPad, iPhone + iPod touch
- iLounge Multi-Editorial: WWDC 2014’s iOS 8, OS X Yosemite + More
- The Complete Guide to Apple TV Channels