Android First-look: Amazon.com MP3 Store
As a huge music junkie (my total collection, including digitzed CDs is probably about 2 TB in size -- and that's not 2 TB of FLAC either, that's 2 TB of mostly V0 LAME MP3s), Amazon's MP3 store is easily my favorite place to buy digitial music. Although it might not be making a dent in iTunes sales figures (here's a hint - get in more countries ASAP and start offering digitial exclusives like iTunes does), its increasing selection and weekly deals and promotions continue to make it the best game in town.
So how does the Android version of the store stack up? It hits the most crucial points, but it does lack some of the finesses that could make this a real mobile destination.
Buying and downloading songs was a snap. Even before getting my hands on the phone, I knew that I wanted to get of Montreal's new album Skeletal Lamping, because it was on sale for $3.99 (this is why I love the Amazon MP3 store, new releases for $6 under iTunes). The first screen you see after loading the program is Amazon's Top 100 Albums list (which are updated hourly), and sure enough, of Montreal was on the top of the list. I clicked the "Buy" button, filled in my Amazon.com e-mail address and password, and watched as the album downloaded onto the device.
My only real complaint about the store is that browsing for new music or good deals is kind of cumbersome. If you know the specific name of an arist or album that you want, yeah, you can search for it -- but browsing through genres was not as elegant as the iTunes WiFi Store. It would be really nice if the Android app offered an instant link to the Amazon MP3 Special Deals page.
But this might be expecting too much from the app. I was able to easily buy DRM-free music and have it downloaded directly to my device. Getting the music to my Mac was easy -- I just plugged the phone into a USB port and found the folder labeled "Amazon MP3" and copied the of Montreal album into my iTunes folder.
It might not be Android's "killer app" - but it does what it says it does.