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.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).
I saw this on Boing Boing and had to share it. Devo was on SNL in 1978 and performed a totally kick-ass cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”. I’m a big fan of the Stones, but I have to say that musically, this rendition is 100x better than the Stones. Check it out.
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)→