TechSpot

Amazon's music download site is cheaper than iTunes 78% of the time

By Julio Franco
Oct 10, 2013
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  1. The Apple iPod, introduced in 2001, may be the device most responsible for sparking the digital music era. And now, over a decade later, consumers have access to a wide variety of digital music made available by download through a...

    Read more
     
  2. Too bad Google Music or Amazon Music are not available in Canada.
     
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,512   +314

    This leaves out an important point though, the Quality of the files themselves, iTunes generally has a decent rate AAC file format or MP3 both are usually 256kbps (or higher).

    Amazon is usually 128kbps or 192kbps on the same albums (or at least it was in my case) and I am quite happy to pay an extra couple of pence for a better quality sound.
     
    JC713 likes this.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,128   +731

    Apple is more expensive than it's competitors? I'm shocked! It's actually more surprising that this is even a news story.

    Good to hear they at least are giving out higher quality files, although in my experience it takes a keen set of ears to tell the difference between 196k and 256k mp3s.
     
    avoidz and OneSpeed like this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 3,178   +764

    It just goes to show that how many Apple users wear blinkers. As they say BS baffles brains and I'll give Apple credit here, they've got it down to fine art.
     
  6. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,512   +314

    This isn't really news, more of an Advert for Amazon I think? Apple has always been expensive and have never done anything particularly cheap so it definitely isn't news.

    I guess your right to an extent when it comes to something like rap music, techno and rock though there is a clear difference :/ or at least I can hear the difference quite clearly, its the highs, such as the crash of a symbol, just sound dead and fuzzy in anything lower than 256kbps, That might just be me though...
     
  7. Just have to comment on the idea that "iPods" sparked the digital music era. I think the word you're looking for is "Napster"
     
    avoidz likes this.
  8. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Enthusiast Posts: 101   +16

    Just an FYI, but I have only bought 17 songs from Amazon but each one is 256k.

    Dave
     
  9. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Enthusiast Posts: 101   +16

    Here we go. From Amazon:

    "Where possible, we encode our MP3 files using variable bit rates for optimal audio quality and file sizes, aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second (kbps). Using a variable bit rate allows us to allocate a higher bit rate to the more complex sections of music files while using a smaller bit rate for the less complex sections. The average of these rates is then calculated to produce an average bit rate for the entire file that represents the overall sound quality. Some of our content is encoded using a constant bit rate of 256 kbps. This content will have the same excellent audio quality at a slightly larger file size."

    Dave
     
  10. I'm not sure what albums you purchased or when you tried Amazon last, but Amazon MP3s are most commonly 256 kbps VBR or CBR:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200389400

    Any old songs you bought before Cloud Player and the 256 kbps era can be re-downloaded at the improved bit rate. Amazon will also upgrade eligible songs you upload to the cloud to 256 kbps, and with AutoRip, if you bought an eligible CD from them, you automatically (and for free) get the MP3s in your cloud.

    Add to that the cross platform cloud player, lower prices, and less lock-in with iTunes & Apple, and I've been a quite happy with Amazon's MP3 offering.

    The one thing I wish they had is the 'Complete My Album' feature that Apple offers. Sometimes you're not sure you want the whole album, but soon you've cherry picked enough songs that you're paying more than price of the full album. I like that Apple allows you to upgrade to the album after buying a few singles. If Amazon offered this, their MP3 store would be hands down the #1 choice.
     
     
  11. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,026   +913

    True.
     
     
  12. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 977   +87

    I just recently picked up Lana Del Ray's album Born to Die from Amazon for $5.99, and all 12 songs on that are 256 kBit/s @ 44100 Hz.

    I've been happy with Amazon's service and Cloud Player. I'd recommend it to any user. Saving money is a good thing.
     
  13. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Maniac Posts: 913   +22

    All you need is Spotify for streaming. It's free.
     
  14. You should have mentioned the fact Amazon make you buy each and every MP3 Individually with it's crappy "one click" system (which is actually 5 clicks per MP3). It's a horrendous anti-consumer policy that has not been amended after customer feedback. I'll buy MP3's anywhere but Amazon now - why do these corporate *****s never listen?
     
  15. ghasmanjr

    ghasmanjr TS Booster Posts: 363   +86

    I'd like you to meet my friend, E.A...

    I can definitely hear the difference between audio qualities with my surround sound and my Sennheiser headphones, especially at excessive volumes.
     


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