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.
- Alleged ‘iPad Pro’ photos show second Lightning port?
- Apple expands iPhone trade-in program to non-Apple devices
- Alleged ‘iPhone 6c’ rear shell photos leaked
- Gear section, Disqus comments added to iLounge
- FDA taking ‘hands-off approach’ to regulating Apple Watch
- Apple Watch won’t be sold to walk-in customers at launch
- Cook: ‘Religious freedom’ laws allowing discrimination are dangerous
- iLounge Weekly arrives Monday, sign up now
- Apple retail stores to have very limited Apple Watch stock
- Apple quietly acquiring companies to improve cloud services?
- OORT SmartFinder, SmartLED + SmartSocket
- RooCase Exec Tough for iPhone 6 Plus
- Pronto Smart Remote System
- iWalk Extreme Spartan
- EnerPlex Surfr for iPhone 6
- IK Multimedia iRig 2 Guitar Interface
- PowerSkin Pop’n 3 for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Coogobox Symphony Dock for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- PowerSkin Spare for iPhone 6
- Chil Attraction Jacket for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Can I turn off the app icons that appear in the bottom corner on the lock screen?
- Why do I have two separate conversations with the same person in Messages?
- Can I transfer the existing version of an app to my new iPhone?
- How do I quickly erase all of the contacts on my old iPhone?
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?
- How do I stop Siri from randomly waking up?
- How do I cancel a print job on iOS?
- How do I make my camera LED flash when my iPhone rings?
- How do I re-sync contacts to my vehicle after switching to a new iPhone?
- How do I move away from a shared Apple ID for iMessage?