MP3 Downloads at Amazon Music

26 09 2007

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I just tried out the new DRM-free MP3 download service at Amazon. I fully expected that it wouldn’t work with a non-US credit card but with a bit of address creativity it went off without a hitch, despite the fact that it is meant to be US only. (If they really didn’t want you to do it they would force you to use a US credit card like iTunes)

I purchased the new Kevin Devine album which is not available on eMusic because he is now on Capitol Records, which I think are owned by EMI. It was available on iTunes in the Plus format but was going to cost $17.99 AUD. I make a point of paying for my music these days through things like eMusic but I find it difficult to make myself pay that much for an album anymore.

On Amazon it was $7.99 USD which according to Google is going to cost me $9.24 AUD . Bargain! It helps if you have a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign currency conversion fee, but I’m not going to pimp my credit card company here.

Only downside that I could see of the Amazon store was that you have to download a stand alone application to purchase albums, but you can buy single tracks without it. According to Daring Fireball it only installs the application in the Applications folder on the Mac. Kudos to Amazon for starting out with an OS X client as well.

The songs are 256kbps MP3 which is the minimum that I’m prepared to accept in terms of quality. Above that I’m not going to pretend that I could tell the difference. A bit of competition for iTunes certainly can’t hurt either.

Check it out here.

Update: Amazon have started blocking non US IP addresses, and the download process for albums using the Amazon program prevents use of a proxy to get around it. (When you install the program, it opens a link to download a file, and I don’t know how to force that through a proxy) What a bummer. I’ll stick to emusic for now. I’ll never understand the RIAA and how their own paranoia prevents people from paying for music.

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