These days the competition for online music retail is starting to get more interesting. For a long while iTunes and Apple seemed to have an entire monopoly on the music and mp3 selling game, but now Amazon and Google have both thrown their hats in the ring in a hope that they can take at least a slice from Apple and iTunes mp3 selling pie. The verdict is still out on whether or not they will be successful, but judging from recent reviews of the Amazon mp3 store, as well as some of the most recent profit and selling numbers, it does look like Amazon is the first legit competitor Apple and iTunes have seen in quite a while now. The reasons for this may just have to do with sheer buying power, as Amazon has such an influence on the world that it can buy up advertising and marketing as much as it wants, and can easily match iTunes in that regards. I mean, Apple had the gall to act like they actually invented the mp3 player, or at least perfected it, just because of a retro design and some cool features like a color screen. So, it is still up in the air whether or not Amazon will be successful in winning the mp3 war against iTunes, or whether it can even break even with Apple and the iTunes brand.
Pros: Amazon mp3 Store
Amazon first launched the mp3 store in 2007, and tried to separate itself from iTunes by offering Digital Rights Management-free songs, which means that you are not limited to only listening to your mp3′s on Apple products, or with a special Apple digital player, like the iTunes business model. This is seen as a bold and progressive move from a young company that has just started trying to branch out into different retail markets. Amazon’s mp3 store also offers as large of a variety as iTunes, and for sometime at cheaper price- it all depends though. Amazon also lets you preview albums and tracks before you buy them, as well as some other nice little perks that Apple can learn from.
iTunes has always stood out because of the iPod in general and the marketing and image that was associated with that. To this day, it still dominates the market. iTunes does offer a slightly larger music catalog, although most people would probably not even realize it. iTunes also has a desktop app, which most people appreciate.
It is hard to say which one is better — if the market spoke, it would probably say that iTunes is still the master of the mp3 world. But the fact that Amazon offers Digital Rights Management free content can be a game changer. It just may take a while for the general public to catch up. It does seem like Amazon is a little bit more modern, but still does not have the marketing muscle that Apple and iTunes have.
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Roger links his friends to the media player classic download site when they complain of network latency issues and for higher quality music playback.