10 Things About Amazon MP3

1. You get a free track when you install the downloader app. Did they pick an artist with Apple in it on purpose?

2. There's no Wish List in the MP3 section. WTF guys? iTunes doesn't have this either. Why do I have to keep a Google Notebook entry with the stuff I want to buy? Why do you make it hard to give you money?

3. Things aren't priced the same as iTunes. Ok, you already knew that you could get some stuff for 89 cents, but did you know that some stuff that is album only on iTunes can be had for $1.94 on Amazon? Lots of iTunes album only tracks are over 10 minutes, but not all of them. Check out this EP with some remixes demanding double cost.

4. The selection pales to iTunes, except when it doesn't. I've found stuff on Amazon that I would have expected on iTunes, but it isn't there. Definitive Jux Presents III is one example. iTunes has II, but not III. Yes, I bought it. That's a great price and great music.

5. The interface sucks. The iTunes walled garden is pretty. Amazon's alley shop is ugly. Scroll down and see what I mean. Customer reviews about unrelated crap. Scroll, scroll. Flip video camera? Scroll, scroll. Instant rebate on Laffy Taffy. Tremendous. Scroll, scroll. Budget rent-a-car ad. Scroll, scroll. Feedback, where's my stuff, recent purchases. Why is this on every page? Scroll, scroll. Bunch of links I'll never use to sites that don't apply to me.

At least the track listings respect browser width. Too bad you have to hunt for the playing track. Will it work? Of course it will, but it still bugs me.

6. Album art and album details come nicely loaded in the purchased music. Music (all?) is encoded with VBR.

7. An amazon download ID also comes loaded in the purchased music. This doesn't bother me. I can actually use this to build a smart playlist of Amazon purchased music. This will be necessary for backup purposes because this music won't just drop in my automatically backed up Purchased Music.

8. The Amazon downloader will stick stuff in iTunes, but it doesn't give you a link to play the stuff you just bought! You'll make good use of that Recently Added smart playlist. They'll let me reveal in finder, but not play the silly thing? I don't need to know where it lives, I just want to hear it. If you'd take me to iTunes, it will show me where it lives too.

9. Amazon's old free MP3s links now redirect to the pay site. You didn't know that Amazon used to have hundreds of free MP3 downloads? Ahh, you missed out.

10. You can browse by genre, but the links are hidden down in the product details of a release. You can't browse by label, but you can't on iTunes either. Beatport knows what's up.


Jason said...

Good overview, I wanted to do a review but somehow lacked the time or ambition.

I agree the wish list is needed. On iTunes, my shopping cart often doubles as that, which can be dangerous with the "purchase all" button sitting there.

Definitely spoiled by the iTunes garden, to the point of not really even wanting to look elsewhere. Luckily, there are enough positives here that it has entered my list of possible sources. The one thing I really do like is continuing to use my Amazon account and payment information. I really like using Amazon for purchases, possibly even more than Apple.

The free MP3's had stagnated substantially over the years, so I don't think that is a big loss. It was cool back when they actually updated it though.

Thaddeus said...

Fear not! Wishlists exist! http://th.adde.us/2007/10/03/itunes-wish-lists/

crturboguy said...

I also use Jason's method. It solves Ryan's problem of wanting to add a track while at work, as the cart is transparent to multiple machines.


xhalloween31x said...

I read this blog entry a while back when I was Googling for a solution to the whole Amazonmp3 Wishlist (or lack thereof).

After about 6 months or so, I'm back to tell you that there is a way to Wishlist stuff on Amazonmp3 (or even other sites or online stores).

Behold! The Amazon Universal Wish List:


I use it as a Firefox bookmarklet. It's ace.

---ryan said...

Thanks for pointing me to the universal wish list xhalloween31x! This will be very useful.