Overall I’m pleased with the Amazon mp3 store. Good interface. Good prices. Previewing tracks and albums is intuitive, the samples are high quality, and you don’t wind up with a desktop full of little .rm files after previewing them all.
The selection can be lean, even with slightly out of band tastes. I can only find one full VNV Nation album, while Rotersand turns up a remix album, and Seabound is MIA. That said, discovering new acts based on what you already know is easy and — dare I say it — fun, at least in the heavily incestuous world of electronica.
I didn’t enjoy having to install an application to download full albums. I also didn’t enjoy being forced to purchase using “one click” — why can’t I shop and then check out? I read through the terms of service, and there’s no mention of watermarking or inclusion of my account info in the files, but I wouldn’t call that conclusive. Will I get a nastygram from Amazon if someone swipes my SD card? Hopefully we won’t find out.
Once I’d made my purchase and installed the application, the downloads were quick. On my Mac, the Amazon application created an “Amazon MP3” folder in my music folder and generated subfolders for artist and album in the iTunes style. The tracks were automatically imported into iTunes, although I found it odd that the application didn’t create a playlist of the album. One question I haven’t found an answer to is whether, like in iTunes, I can purchase the remainder of an album for the (discounted) album price if I have already purchased tracks individually.
Bottom line, Barry Adamson’s “King of Nothing Hill” sounds great in iTunes, will play in TCPMP on my Palm Zire and can ride a thumb drive to my client onsites. At the same album price offered on the iTunes Store for a track that’s locked to play only in iTunes on my own machine, I’d call that a deal.