Being an incurable music buyer for several years, I have had a great deal of experience with all of the major music download-for-$ places. This is by far the easiest and smoothest deal by far.
The first place I got started was with eMusic.com. I still like eMusic, even though I am no longer a member. The business model has changed there over the years; at one unsustainable point, users paid a modest $10/month fee that entitled them to unlimited downloads from the site. That is not a typo — unlimited. My computer system had neither the hard drive space nor a CD burner, so I was unable to take advantage of this. I knew of some people that downloaded hundreds upon hundreds of albums during that time.
They switched to limited numbers of downloads which have since settled at 30 per month for $10. They have other options, but the bottom rung was always my price. It is an odd behavior, counting the tracks on albums to see if you have enough to get it all this month. For this persnickety collector, it proved to be too much. I kept focusing upon downloading longer tracks to get more for my $. I discovered that there are quite a few full-length albums with just 2 or 3 cuts!
I downloaded a single Bjork song from the MSN service, which proved to be too much to deal with.
The standard service most folks think of for downloads-for-$ is iTunes. I have dropped a few bucks there as well, but only a few. The DRM they slap on most cuts makes my teeth itch.
But, this new deal from Amazon really looks nice. I found an album that is a single track [Henry Flynt’s ‘Purified by the Fire’] for the likely incorrect price of $0.89. [It is now $8.99, FYI.] I was asked to install the Amazon MP3 Downloader. A couple of clicks later and a short wait for the cut to make its way onto my hard drive and I was set.
The coolest thing is that one of the options is ‘Place Song Into iTunes.’ Once it is downloaded, there it goes, into your iTunes library, artwork and all. That is the missing link in a lot of these non-iTunes services, and one that I think that will make a big difference. It is a small convenience, but it sets them apart. Awesome.
For more on this as it relates to pricing, see this MoBuzz.tv clip: