Category Archives: Music

Great Amazon MP3/iTunes Music Store Comparison

I found a great writeup comparing Amazon’s new DRM-free MP3 store with Apple’s iTunes Music Store.  It goes into some nice detail comparing the various issues.  From the sounds of it, Amazon comes out on top.  While I don’t regularly buy digital music because I do prefer CD’s for having higher quality music to use as I please, I have used iTunes to grab some songs to use as suggestions for my upcoming wedding.  The biggest issue it seems regarding the Amazon store is that it’s a bit clumsy to use.  That’s no surprise to me considering it’s still in Beta.  I love Amazon’s regular store and buy stuff from them all the time.  It makes buying stuff online quite easy.  I also love Amazon Unbox, which is very convenient for renting movies as I don’t have to go to a store (though they don’t download to my Tivo very fast and I usually have to pick a movie at least an hour and a half before I want to watch it, but maybe I’ll write a review of that some other time).  With time, I have a feeling that Amazon’s MP3 store will work just as smoothly as everything else Amazon.

The biggest thing that the Amazon store will be is competition for iTMS.  The prices are a cheaper ($0.89 and $0.99 for single tracks and $5.99-$9.99 for whole albums, all DRM-free all encoded at 256 kbps compared to the iTMS prices of $0.99 for all tracks with DRM and $9.99 for all albums with DRM encoded at a lower bit rate and $1.29 per track and $9.99 per album for the DRM-free versions, also encoded at 256 kbps).  While I don’t expect this to bring the majority of iTunes users over to Amazon, I do think it will take enough of them away for Apple to change their thinking, perhaps their prices, and perhaps a complete abandonment of DRM.  This, of course, will take some time.

For the record, the writer only tested the Amazon store on his Apple computer using a lesser known web browser called OmniWeb (I’ll have to look into that one as I’ve never heard of it).  I have a feeling one of his issues with the Amazon MP3 store was caused by his use of OmniWeb.

Again, I urge any iTunes Music Store users reading this to make the switch to the Amazon MP3 store when possible (as the one thing that iTunes has over Amazon is 6 million songs as opposed to Amazon’s 2 million songs).  Check Amazon first when looking for a song or album.  You’ll probably save some money and have a file that can be played on just about anything (all computers using Windows, MacOS X, Linux, etc.; any portable music player as they all support MP3; and even most newer car stereos support MP3 directly now, with with USB ports for a flash drive).

Amazon MP3 Vs. iTunes Music Store (Slashdot)

Finally a DRM-free Online Digital Music Store that Sells Mainstream Music!

Amazon.com recently released an online digital music store that sells mp3 files without DRM.  As far as I know, this is one of the first of its kind (eMusic did something similar, but they are subscription based and also had mostly indie music).  This store has a lot of mainstream music and the prices on much of the music are better than the iTunes Music Store’s DRM’d music, and a lot cheaper than the DRM-free music at iTMS.

This is exactly what the digital music world has needed.  The songs will play on any portable music player that supports mp3 (which I think is everything).  If you were thinking about buying a song from iTMS, I would strongly recommend checking out Amazon’s store first.  If they have it, buy from them.  Support lower priced DRM-free music on a (somewhat) standard file format (at least a whole lot more standardized than AAC).

Review of Amazon’s DRM-Less Music Download Store (Slashdot)

Amazon DRM-Free Music Store Goes Beta (Slashdot)

Amazon creates gigantic DRM-free music store! (Boing Boing)

Amazon MP3 Open for Public Beta (Amazon Earworm’s Blog)

A great night of music (Jimmy Buffett Review)

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to see Jimmy Buffett tonight at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. I learned last week that Toots and the Maytals would be opening for him. Susan and I decided we’d tailgate and make a whole afternoon/evening/night of it. We made burgers to bring with us, along with our grill and I brought some of the Flying Dog beer I bought yesterday. I’ll start with the beer because that’s how the night started… Continue reading A great night of music (Jimmy Buffett Review)

Trey Anastasio – The Horseshoe Curve (semi-review)

I had purchased Trey Anastasio’s new album, The Horseshoe Curve, and took a listen (along with the 5 song EP that came with it). I was excited when I read about it being an instrumental album, much like Seis de Mayo. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I had expected. I would really like to see Trey get more into classical-type music. While I like the funky beats of the new album, I was hoping for something a little more refined. I have only listened to the album twice now, but I will be listening more. I will admit that I do like it the more I listen to it, but I was hoping it’d be something a little different than it is. I am very happy that Trey has dumped the major record labels and started his own label. Now if only the other 3 will follow him. Continue reading Trey Anastasio – The Horseshoe Curve (semi-review)