Just How Good Is The New Amazon MP3 Store?

A reviewer at TidBITS gives a non-technical review of the new Amazon music store, a direct competitor to iTunes Music Store that Amazon launched last week. Their verdict? The download software could use work, but overall it’s “not too shabby.”

The big benefit of the new Amazon offering is by now pretty well known: Amazon isn’t putting any copy protection on the tracks they sell (in other words, they’re “DRM-free”), so you can play the mp3 files on as many devices as you like, and not just on iPods (or Zunes, or Sansas, etc.). They’re also using a different pricing structure that’s closer to what the labels have been fighting for: less than a dollar for many older or less popular tracks, and more than a dollar for some new hits. This means some albums are $8 or less, while some new ones are closer to CD prices.

TidBITS had some small problems with the Amazon MP3 downloader, but nothing so bad that it would break the service for you. But, as they put it, “it’s not as though Amazon can ever get as close to the iPod as Apple can” in terms of making it easy to buy and sync songs.”

One thing the review doesn’t cover is the limited song selection at Amazon—they have around 2 million, compared to Apple’s. But these two reviews both go into more detail about the pros and cons of the new service. Overall, it definitely seems worth checking out before you make your next iTunes purchase.

“Amazon MP3 Takes on the iTunes Store” [TidBITS]

“Amazon MP3 vs. Apple iTunes: Where Should You Shop?”
“Amazon MP3: a quick review”