Written on November 28, 2007
So I just got my iPod Touch (i know, i know…but I’m on a budget given the whole start up thing) and wanted to christen it with some new music. I decided to check out a few of the newer music services in lieu of iTunes to see if Steve Jobs had anything to worry about. Specifically I tried both AmazonMP3 & Lala.com. In short: I think he does.
Let’s start with cost of an album.
I decided to buy (and am currently listening to) the “new” Kanye West album. Okay, it has been out for 3 months….anyhow, here were the prices for the album:
- Amazon: 7.99 (explicit) & 8.99 (clean)
- Lala: 11.69 (explicit & clean)
- iTunes: 11.99 (explicit & clean)
I have no clue why Amazon has different prices for clean vs. explicit but I’ll take the savings either way and buy a cup of Philz!
Next up, how easy is it to get da music on to da Touch.
I didn’t think anything could touch iTunes here, but was thinking Lala.com’s web sync would be a killer feature to enable me to change music while on the go as I don’t keep all of my music on my laptop because of hard drive space. I downloaded the Lala Sync client, but all it did was put another icon in my system tray. Every time I clicked the sync button on the Lala site I’d get a message that there was no ipod connected. I tripled checked and tried with iTunes running and with it turned off. Bummer man!
However, it turns out Amazon did a pretty nifty job here. They have a tiny app / installer that didn’t force me to close all of my browsers like Lala did. Also, they have a nice file extension hack…their app registers to handle .amz files so when you download / open the music file their app gets called without any browser specific plugin code. The app automatically places the music in “My Music / Amazon MP3″ and auto adds it to iTunes Library or WMP (defaults to iTunes if it is installed…smart). My only ding for them is that while downloading an album they show a little system tray notifier that over communicates status with no options to turn it off. ANNOYING! On the plus, it looks like their system tray app closes itself after doing its work + a timeout…nice!
Finally, the little stuff that I noticed when trying to do the same thing on these different services:
- When looking at iTunes version of the album I had no clue if the download was DRMed or not.
- Amazon does not have a link to the MP3 store off its homepage…I got to it by searching for a CD and then clicking a promotional link to the MP3 store.
- I was hoping more of the music on Lala.com had full song preview by now after reading about Lala in Wired.
Overall, high marks to Amazon’s experience…especially given it is a beta. I’ll be checking them first for purchases from now on! Anywhere else I should check out for buying digital music?
Filed in: Uncategorized.