The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
26Sep/072

Amazon’s Music Store

So a lot of the reaction to the new Amazon MP3 store seems to be that it's good, but there's still alot of room for improvement. They like the lack of DRM and the fact that it has more major label content than eMusic (I'll leave it to the reader to make the qualitative judgment there), but the collection still seems a little small (2.3 million never seemed so small, did it?) and you still have to download software to use it (a pet peeve of mine; at least iTunes is a functional media player, not just a download assist widget - eMusic, I'm looking at you, too).

It may seem redundant to mention that the big news is that Amazon has finally entered the fray, but it's worth repeating for one reason - their strong recommendation algorithms. Since Amazon is a trusted name in online sales, it's going to act as one of the portals for people to find out about new music. The blogosphere and Pitchfork and so on and so forth will be there for those willing to do a little searching, but having Amazon there for the "normals" means it maintains its 800-pound gorilla status. Since I already have iTunes and eMusic accounts (and they haven't pissed me off too much yet), I'm not sure how often I'll venture to Amazon. Their inclusion of Righteous Babe songs instead of eMusic is interesting, and it points to recent defections from eMusic due to monetary considerations. It's usually the also-rans that die before the leaders, though, so nothing really exciting is goig to happen until iTunes and Amazon are the only competitors. If and when that happens, it'll be interesting to see what iTunes does with DRM.

Side note: did anybody know that Amazon sells musical instruments? I can't imagine purchasing one from them (these things need be seen and felt in person, from my viewpoint, Stick notwithstanding - that's just an exercise in faith on many levels), but it's good to know I could have a MusicMan bass at my door in priority shipping time.