While Apple owns 80% of the digital music pie, Amazon is starting to gain momentum–they are now in distant second. And the experience is as close to perfect as possible.
I’ve tried the main digital music stores. I was a member of eMusic which I thought was a good deal, 50 songs a month for $15. But they don’t do roll overs and their catalog is shallow. Oh they have my favorite labels, but these are small labels and after 6 months I ran out of songs to buy. I bought some tv shows from iTunes (had to catch up on Lost) but the heinous DRM was just too much. Also Apple’s pricing left much to be desired. For instance, why should some old Doug Sahm cost as much as the brand new Justin Townes Earle? It just did not make sense.
Then along comes Amazon. Variable pricing (and cheap too) and it works with Windows, Macs, and Linux. I just bought the brand spanking new Justin Townes Earle for $8.91–it would have cost $9.99 from iTunes and been encumbered with DRM, I would not even be able to listen to it on my desktop. To go buy the CD would cost $16, then I would rip it to MP3 and never look at the CD again.
iTunes has 6 million songs in its catalog with about 2 million that come unencumbered with their schlocky DRM, Amazon has 4.5 million DRM-free tracks in their catalog and you get to choose your music manager.
Way to go Amazon, wishing you the best;
–A Happy Customer