Although I had for the past several years been an unabashed devotee of the iTunes Store (it’s Apple, after all), lately I’ve been finding myself buying more and more of my digital music on Amazon MP3 instead. Why? Let me enumerate the ways:
- No DRM. (OK, surprisingly enough that one doesn’t really matter to me that much, but I definitely prefer not having DRM.)
- Higher quality. iTunes does have “iTunes Plus” which, at 256 kbps AAC, is higher quality than Amazon’s 256 kbps MP3. But 256 kbps MP3 beats 128 kbps AAC, and it’s not tied to Apple. (Again, not that I care on the last point.)
- Cheaper. Yes, cheaper! Almost always! Individual tracks are sometimes 89 cents instead of 99 cents, but I usually buy the whole album, and so far I’ve found that if the album has less than 10 tracks, they almost always just charge the per-track price instead of $9.99. Sometimes it can be a lot cheaper, such as when I downloaded the remastered version of Bitches Brew for $7 instead of $20!
- Selection. Early on Amazon’s selection was paltry, but I’ve been finding more and more obscure ’70s stuff lately, such as what I sought out tonight: the first two Greenslade albums. Well, OK, I just looked on iTunes and they have them both now too, for the same price… but at the lower bit rate.