Written by Music

Amazon’s MP3 Store

So the long awaited Amazon MP3 store is finally here – with just days to go until the end of the year deadline. They’ve got quite a lot of music on it with a claimed 3.5m tracks on there at the moment (so they’ve been busy).
Tracks are recorded as 256 kbps MP3 files – usually variable bit-rate. That’s not bad, although Play.com uses 320 kbps. And eMusic uses a disappointing 192 kbps (again VBR).
Apple’s default AAC is at 128 kbps, so a like with like comparison isn’t direct – contrary to what you might glean from the BBC News report.
There’s plenty of variable pricing which is sensible, but one thing that Amazon, like iTunes is bad about, is allowing you to re-download music you’ve later bought. Since they know who you are and what your buying history is, quite why I can’t download music again after a hard disk failure or similar is beyond me. Piracy can’t be the answer, because once I’ve got the MP3, I can do anything I like with it anyway. Obviously there may be watermarks within the audio files – I don’t know.
That’s one area where eMusic has the upper hand. I can download music I’ve already bought again and again. Anyway, nothing’s taken my fancy just yet, and being an old fogey, I in any case prefer the physical comfort of a CD to a large extent (That said, if there was something I wanted in their £3 offer, I’d be downloading it right now).