Thoughts on Amazon MP3
Posted on Mon, Oct 8, 2007:
I was pretty excited when I saw that Amazon was launching an MP3 store, selling very high-quality MP3s free of any DRM junk for reasonable prices. I just tried it out, and with a minimum of fuss, I'm sitting here listening to the new Erin McKeown CD.
- The pricing seems fair for most releases. I'm seeing a lot of $6.99 per album prices, which I can't complain about. Some are higher, costing as much as a physical disc, which is odd.
- The quality of the MP3s is fantastic. It's in vogue for audio geeks to bitch and moan about MP3 quality, but seriously, you won't be able to tell the difference between this and the CD in a blind test.
- It's got a focus on albums, rather than tracks, but both are supported in most cases.
- It's awesome for those of us who don't even want the physical disc to clutter up the attic. I want to support the artists, but I should be able to do it on my own terms, and now I can.
- They named the files stupidly. They do start with the track number, but it has no leading zeros in tracks 1-9, so they don't alphabetize correctly. Duh.
- Requiring a loader software installation to download non-DRM tracks seems pointless. Especially irritating is the fact that it's only available for Windows and Mac. I think you can do individual tracks without the loader, but c'mon, let me download a ZIP of an album.
- The selection is limited, but they do have decent indie coverage (including a pretty good artist I've heard a few songs from, Josh Woodward). Not a big deal for me, since I won't buy any RIAA artists anyway.
Overall, I definitely dig it. This isn't the future of music, it's the present. It's nice to see that the music industry is finally starting to realize that people are going to get their music as non-DRM MP3s whether they're offering it legally or not.
©2019, Josh Woodward