MP3 Downloads – Amazon vs. iTunes

Nary had I decided NOT to write about my first time experience using Amazon MP3 downloads that I decided I couldn’t resist. Why? Because Amazon seems so vastly simpler than iTunes, at least in my case where I am buying songs one by one.

And I’m in an anti-iTunes mood because:

1. I think my latest version of iTunes has a memory leak or bug that causes my XP computer to slow down.

2. Because Apple’s brand promise is that “it just works.” But it’s not just working.

I use iTunes infrequently enough that I forgot the ID to purchase is your full email address. Today I had 2 iTunes errors, one that my account has a problem. The problem? I needed to enter a full email address (simple, just detect an @ is missing right?).

And then this time there was an “unknown error” once I was logged in so I couldn’t complete the purchase.

So in my desperation at wanting this one particular song, I “discovered” Amazon MP3 downloads in a search. It just worked:

1. Clicked to purchase

2. Installed the Amazon app. (which acts as a utility).

3. Purchase using my Amazon card on file.

4. The music file automatically installs in your iTunes directory.

Most importantly – I don’t have to open a desktop application to do this.

One shortcoming of iTunes (which I admit I’m not sure if Apple has fixed) is that to buy iTunes gift certificates you need the iTunes client. That means mom will never be buying me a gift certificate.

In short, this rant means: I’m more prone to buying Amazon stock than Apple at this point even though I know MP3 downloads do not a business make. They do contribute a lot though.


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