Blog Post

Apple or Amazon: Who will you buy your tunes from? announced its much awaited DRM free music service today – starting with who else, but EMI Music’s catalog. They have other labels signed up as well, though the three other major labels are still sitting on the fence. Amazon and Apple are the two big companies pushing DRM (unprotected if you may) music downloads.

Amazon’s move is being viewed as a direct challenge Apple and its iTunes domination. (Not for the first time though, with little success in the past.) That is a good thing – especially so if Amazon continues with its discounting strategy and offers music for everyday low prices – in order to get market share.

20 Responses to “Apple or Amazon: Who will you buy your tunes from?”

  1. Fernando

    But when will we the consumer actually be able to obtain DRM-free tracks? Apple/iTunes announced this a couple of months back…Still no sign of any of EMI catalog available DRM-free. Paul McCartney’s got a new release coming in June. No DRM-Free tracks.

  2. I primarily like eMusic for my indie content fix. It’s inexpensive and offers DRM free downloads.

    As far as major product, I’ll buy it wherever I can get it cheaper. DRM really isn’t a factor for my decision making as I’ve personally experienced zero frustration on that level.

    No matter where I acquire it, I’ll still use iTunes to manage it.

  3. I’ll probably look on Amazon – if it’s available as a download, I’ll get the download. If not, I’ll do what I do now – buy the CD there and rip it into iTunes as soon as it arrives.

  4. I’m just waiting for someone to admit they buy DRM-free from iTunes…to play on their iPod. If you buy into the whole iPod/iTunes ecosystem, whether music from Apple’s store has or not DRM doesn’t really matter. Unless of course you are planning on getting the next hot portable music player…which will be…?

    On a second note, some Russian music stores such as have come to comply with a license mechanism called FAIR, which pays higher royalties than ROMS (used by AllOfMP3 for example), and allows for audits on sales among other control measures. The end result? $0.19 a track, and not a bad catalog. Recently, Chronopay removed payment gateways for music stores who chose ROMS over FAIR, thus rendering AllOfMP3 unable to get payments other than through street-sold gift cards.

  5. For me it’s a trade-off in time saved.

    I am predicting that downloading from amazon into the iTunes music folder and importing that folder into the iTunes library is going to be a faster process than what I do currently…which is to download through iTunes, find a blank CD and burn the new purchase to CD, then re-import the CD over the top of the DRM version I downloaded from iTunes.

    It sure is annoying when I forget that I haven’t done this for a music purchase and copy the music onto my phone, only to find when I’m on the road without my iPod that I can’t play the music. Buying from Amazon would make that a think of the past.

  6. I will certainly be going with Amazon, especially if they are going to providing MP3 format. The problem with itunes is that I’m stuck with one format and limited music players on my PC.

  7. I think come summer EMI tracks will be available as MP3s pretty much everywhere – Amazon and Apple just get to announce it first. And we’ll see lots of innovation. Think podcast subscriptions, store widgets, social networks …

  8. Dilip

    I’m done with Apple and their backup and limited play music models……I’ll head to Amazon now, unless Apple makes my itunes library DRM free

  9. LoganTurbo.264

    I’ll gladly buy from both of them and from anyone else who sells the songs I want in a DRM free format. That’s the whole reason for the removal of the DRM in the first place.

  10. Dude, iTunes. Not because of any innate liking of apple, but because the whole thing is seamless with iTunes store.

    How are you gonna do this with Amazon store? I come home and dock my iPod, and undock in the morning as I’m running out. Podcasts, new eposides of whatever and any music i’ve downloaded at night is sitting and ready for me at work.

  11. Amazon should have struck a deal with Apple. It’s unlikely that Amazon will make a dent here. It is far overestiamting the appeal of DRM-free.

  12. Unless there is some big disparity in pricing or quality, I’ll stick with the iTunes ecosystem, it’s been hassle free so far and the iTunes music store has more than just music so I can manage it all from there.

  13. GuyNamedNate

    I’m thinking about getting the 2nd gen Zune so probably Microsoft actually… but if I had to choose between apple and amazon i think I’d go with Amazon because I’ve had good experiences with them and I have had horrible experiences with iTunes (trying get some music on my mom’s iPod).