Will you switch from iTunes to Amazon?

Now that Amazon has Cloud Drive and Cloud Player up and running alongside their music and movie service, anyone thinking about switching over from iTunes? Despite constant rumors Apple hasn't yet announced their own digital locker or cloud streaming service, perhaps because they're still trying to negotiate licenses with the record labels. Amazon did it without licenses. They also often have lower prices than iTunes, though iTunes still has the edge on ease of use.

So what do you say, have you switched from iTunes to Amazon? Are you considering it? And if so, what does Apple have to do to hold on to you?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

More Posts



← Previously

Daily Tip: How to play music from Amazon's Cloud Player on your iPhone

Next up →

Win a Tablet of your choice from TouchType!

Reader comments

Will you switch from iTunes to Amazon?


I set up Amazon Cloud and put a few music files there but I'm not committing to anything serious until I see what Apple's Cloud solution looks like. My opinion is, play around with Amazon's service for now but wait a few more weeks to see what Apple's North Carolina operation has to offer.

I dumped iTunes before I even dumped my iPhone. The service is excellent but the software is among the worst ever written, and I refuse to deal with it. I can manage my own damn music, I don't need software written for morons to do it for me, particularly when it's slow and crash-prone.

First off, i don't think that my iTunes has EVER crashed. Ever. But, besides that, if you hate iTunes and dumped your iPhone than why are you even visiting this site? Is this some kind of really lame April fools joke?

@ Aaron .. every heard of free speech? Even if he does not own an iPhone he can visit this site to keep him self informed.

Dude, iTunes constantly crashes for me too and slows my computer to a crawl. Maybe the Mac version is good, but the windows version sucks.

Same here. People are stuck on the old "windows sucks" but have no idea that a Windows 7 machine is really very smooth and reliable , for me the only software that constantly misbehaves is iTunes. The interface is also horrible and the syncronization is a joke. I get that Mac users don't know different and think this is good, but the media synchronization in iTunes is one of the worst and most confusing that I have ever seen. I wish Apple had taken the same care that Microsoft took when they wrote the Office suite for the Mac.

Really it's just Windows that sucks. iTunes is a great piece of software and I have never had one issue with it. Granted I use a Mac but like I said Windows is garbage so it only makes sense that iTunes would be garbage on a garbage OS

Funny that a "garbage" OS is running on 90% of homes and business and the world is not falling apart, everybody works, plays, listen to music, watch movies. Funny also that people have plenty of choices and still choose the "garbage". Help me then, where on the great iTunes can I see what songs are on my iPhone?

My guess is he's using iTunes on Windows. The Windows build of iTunes is notoriously unstable, in sharp contrast to the very stable (if bloated, but that's another matter) build of iTunes for Mac.
Tangents aside, there are still many reasons to continue using both iTunes and Amazon. Amazon is often cheaper, but iTunes often has exclusive bonus content (and I have come to really love iTunes LPs and iTunes Extras). Also, Amazon's Cloud Player isn't yet available for iOS, which means it isn't of much use to me, so that's a non-factor.

I agree completly. There is such a big difference in how smooth and fast itunes runs between my dell and the macs at the apple store. And it's not windows, windows has never crashed for me other than ie7, and I dumped that, even flash runs super smooth on my pc with win7, but itunes has always been a problem and causes my fans to run like crazy.

I will once amazon gets TV Shows and Movies that can be played on mobile devices, until then it's worthless to me.

No need to choose in the U.S. Not that I buy much music from iTunes. From Amazon I mostly buy select $5 albums of the month- that's a reasonable price to try out new music or fill in the missing back catalog of artists I like. Seems like every month there are 2-3 albums worth $5 to me.

I don't know if this question applies to me much, but I only use iTunes to manage my music on my iPhone 4. I buy all my music from Amazon because if I want to use it on other devices that I can manage from Windows Media player it adds the songs to both automatically.

I don't buy digital "downloads". I only buy CD and then rip.
I will only buy music online when they offer lossless formats.

I'm waiting to see what Apple announces next week. I already use mSpot for my cloud music storage/streaming, and it works really well. If Apple can beat it for features and/or price, I'll look into it.

I been use to iTunes since 2007, so I'm not gonna switch anytime soon. Call me a fanboy, whatever. I like how Apple does things.

To be honest Amazon's implementation is pretty basic from a users point of view. They've got the basic stuff done, but don't really do much with it, just playback and storage. I expect that Apple's solution will be much better implemented into the iTunes ecosystem (seamless online and local playback, cloud syncing of playlists etc) and offer some interesting additional uses for the cloud music (such as playing the music in users mobileme web galleries for example). I also expect to see an HTML5 web app, more than anything just to showcase the tech.

I am not sure if this makes me an audiophile or a Luddite, but, for most music I care enough to buy, I still prefer to but a physical disk and rip it.

I don't see any reason to switch. I suppose if Amazon sells me some of the music I want at a better price, I might consider buying from them now and then, as I already buy e-books from them. However, apart from that, going to Amazon would be a step backwards in music management and convenience. I'm also not sure why I'd want to stream my music and eat-up bandwidth and use up my capped data amount.

I'm waiting for a cloud streaming experience with a DEDICATED IOS app. I'll use Amazon, iTunes or Spotify... whichever comes first! Looks like it might be Spotify right now.

Could not agree more.
I live in a divided house. Me pc her Mac.
2 iPhones 2 apple tvs 1 iPad 1 galaxy tab.
I can deffinately say without a shaddow of. A doubt that iTunes on pc sucks and on Mac is great. And no it's not my pc it works beautifully for autocad drawings and everything else I do.
And no I won't switch until some other company offers pretty much the same thing that is quicker and better and more integrated. Which from the looks of things will be never.
Peace P.

I do buy from Amazon I something isn't available in iTunes. And once it's downloaded it's straight to iTunes it goes. I'm not interested in anything else from Amazon. No clouds and no players. I have several macs and iTunes is flawless.

With 180GB of tunes, cloud storage is a dream at this point. For small collections I can see viability, but for me, not so much. Besides, with everything moving to the "cloud" you have to contend with laggard ISPs that are more interested in increasing price tiers than bandwidth and quality of service. I am with ATT who has touted a new cap (really has always been there) of 150GB/month. You start relying on cloud services for music and TV you will see the ISPs jacking up prices even higher. With no consumer voice in legislation, no quality standards, and reduced competition through mergers and acquisitions, US bandwidth will continue to lag other countries, prices will increase relative to quality and cloud computing efforts will hit a wall of costs that becomes prohibitive for consumers. Go Congress!
On a happy note: I've used iTunes for years with a really large collection, on Win XP mind you, and have never had a crash. I think iTunes is the cleanest music player out there. There is always room for improvement, but at least it isn't designed by circus clowns channeling their inner, garish child like Window Media Player.

I just don't get what all the hoopla over streaming music is. Data caps aside, why would I want all of my music in the cloud and not be able to listen to it when I don't have a data connection (on an airplane for example)? Am I missing something? I must be, because it seems like something a lot of people want but I can't think of a single reason (personally) how I would benefit from this.

I am with you this one. Will cloud services still let you load your mobile device with what you want like iTunes does for iEvery-device? We are far from wireless ubiquity in this country. I know ISPs would love for us to use their insanely expensive, spotty services but how many people want to rely on ATT 20,000 feet or Verizon when they are in Paris? Also, will these cloud services scavenge through your stored items like a creepy uncle in your underwear drawer, just looking for the juicy bits to target you for advertising?

I use Rdio and you can sync songs to your phone and listen offline. Rhrapsody does the same thing.

I jailbreak and use grooveshark. My iPhone is my groove shark player and all if my music goes on my 160 gb iPod classic.

If they come out with an app that works on the iphone I would consider it, right now on the go for a quick song I want to hear, itunes has the upper hand cuz it will download right into me phone.

I've found that Amazon is almost always cheaper (usually by at least $3 or $4 per album) so I've been using them for a while even before Amazon Cloud. It's not as convenient to use as iTunes which downloads directly to iDevices, but I pick cost over convenience.
I have a feeling that Amazon would love to offer Amazon Cloud apps for Apple's mobile devices, but Apple is likely rejecting them.

Amazon (on Windows at least) has a small download app that dumps music straight into iTunes. It's no different than buying from the iTunes Store in effect.

Yes, but that requires a few extra steps to get them on my iPhone (download on computer, sync with iTunes) as opposed to download directly to the phone with iTunes. Still I think it's worth it since music albums are cheaper on Amazon.
I forgot to mention that unfortunately none of Amazon's videos rentals or purchases will work with Apple products, but I use my TiVo or Roku for Amazon video rentals/purchases. I don't make a lot of those anyway.

iTunes can be accessed anywhere and purchased with most country credit cards. Amazon cannot even be accessed internationally; isn't that the time you'd like to access your music more, while your away from home? Dont understand these limitations companies put on music. Better to just carry your iPod/iPhone with you.

For most music, I buy and rip CDs. If I purchase digital music (for occasional stuff or experimental) I always buy from Amazon. Typically cheaper, comes in MP3 format which I prefer.
I then create a folder for it in my structure and add said to iTunes for transfer and home sharing. That way I can also use my squeezebox on the same structure.

I just dont understand why people just dont download the music off the internet instead of buyin it from itunes ill never pay for anything ftom itunes or the app store its all kitch buy i tunes blows why do we need an app to arrange our music i hate itunes its over priced garbage that u cant redownload unless its an app i dont undetstand that at all

In my mind, Amazon has a better selection of what I'm looking for. I use both, but I'm currently uploading my entire iTunes library to the cloud player

I don't use Amazon, I don't use iTunes for music, I use Spotify - I can get as much music as I want, for 10€ / month !! (There is even free version with commercials). Sad that american folks cannot have it.

I've used both although iTunes is the one I prefer...that is until I see a frakin $1.29 price tag on a popular song and see it for $0.99 on amazon and guess from which I'll be downloading. Man I seriously hate the $1.29 pricing. It's not like I'm upgrading to a blu-ray disc rental over a standard DVD at Redbox. Just because the song is popular u jack the price up all nice and pretty?! Plzz plzz don't force me to the dark side and possibly...just...rip it off of YouTube... 

I never had problems with iTunes. I have added most of my collection of music to iTunes. I also buy music there. I am in a wait, and see with Amazon to see what the true benefits will be. I can see using both services. Just another tool to have for music.

Ok i pay for my music using itunes i try to be legal when it comes to that but where do we go when we want songs itunes does not have? Theres many songs i cnt find

For mobile devices to be truly cloud enabled the network providers need to up their game. No way am I going to put my music somewhere when on a train journey I lose network approx 15 times... Sorry, not for me!

Do you know how easy it is to attach malicious code to the files you download with the torrents? People like you are con'd daily. Your lack of integrity will find you out soon.

iTunes is necessary to sync my devices. As for purchasing music and video, I get it from many different sources, so I set up my own private cloud for that stuff. Amazon's service doesn't do anything I can't do with dropbox, airplay, Cinq etc.
Its nice for the average user that can't figure out alternative methods, but I don't see people going away from iTunes with such crappy iOS support.

Regarding iTunes: I just don't get all the hate. I've been using iTunes on Windows since I got my very first iPod back in 2004, and generally speaking, I have never had any major issues with it. Over the years, I've used iTunes on multiple PCs/configurations ranging from a single-core Pentium running Windows XP to a Core2 Quad with Windows 7 64-bit, and generally speaking, it's always worked fine for me. I've used iTunes to manage a variety of Apple devices, including a couple of iPods, three different iPhones, and now an AppleTV (for streaming via Home Sharing). I have a decent-sized collection of content in iTunes, a total of about 90GB of audio, video, audiobooks, and apps. I also use iTunes to subscribe and sync a few dozen different podcasts. Again, for me, it has pretty much always worked as advertised. I've had the application freeze or crash on occasion, but I would characterize those incidents as relatively rare. Performance-wise, sure, it could be a bit snappier, particularly when first browsing to the iTunes store, and I also wish that syncing my iDevices was faster [or better yet, not necessary at all :-)]. But all these hyperbolic rants about how iTunes is "crap", "bloatware", "slows my system to a crawl", "crashes constantly", etc.: I just don't see any of that. In other words: I don't know what the hell you people could possibly be doing to get your iTunes into such a thoroughly effed up state. As Steve Jobs might say, maybe you're using it wrong. :-)

I don't like being tied to a single vendor for all my computational needs. We have two Macs at home, I have an iPod, a Droid X, iTunes, Windows 7 laptop, and now I'm using Amazon Cloud Player.
One way or another, I see myself moving to the cloud - it's similar logic as to when email became web-based: why tie my music to a single computer or mobile device? Devices come and go, but if my music's in the cloud, I can continue to get at it with minimal fuss.

Getting back to the actual poll topic, my answer is that I use both, though to be honest I don't really buy a lot of digital music content from either iTunes or Amazon. Why? Because I'm a member of that apparently diminishing segment of the population that gives a crap about audio quality. For content that I care about (e.g. albums produced by my favorite artists), I much prefer to buy the CD so that I always have a perfect uncompressed copy. I can then rip/encode using the quality/space tradeoff parameters I prefer. Also, if a few years down the road some new fancy codec becomes mainstream, or storage space on devices becomes so plentiful that I can afford to go to higher birates, I always have option to re-encode from the uncompressed source.
Sure, having to deal with the plastic disc is a pain in the ass. Speaking of which, why the hell don't these online music vendors start offering digital versions using lossless codes such as FLAC? If this option were available, I'd probably buy ALL my music digitally, rather than dealing with physical media.
As things stand, I only use iTunes or Amazon for the occasional "impulse buy" of single track where I don't necessarily want the entire album. Also, I'll sometimes take advantage of Amazon's cheap/sale pricing on MP3 albums, particularly for older content.

Frank72 said: Help me then, where on the great iTunes can I see what songs are on my iPhone?
Not to defend iTunes as I hate how it tries and fails to manage files BUT when I click on my iPhone's name in iTunes, it allows me to see all the songs and movies on my device. I'm not sure how you CAN'T see what songs are on yours.
Or maybe I just misunderstood your question. If so, my apologies. lol

Itunes sucks, this is not news. Regardless of what you think of Apple pretty much anyone that isn't shooting ikoolaid into their veins agrees that software that makes you sync from only one computer, software that makes you convert your files into proprietary crap files that can't be played anywhere else, and software that forces DRM onto you is garbage.
It is literally 10 times easier to sync and get music onto an android device it's not even funny. Hopefully this will change with IOS5 and the garbage that is itunes will go away.

Not sure what you mean by "makes you convert your files into proprietary crap files". Are you referring to AAC? AAC is not "proprietary". Hint: neither of the A's in "AAC" stands for "Apple". AAC stands for "Advanced Audio Coding"; it is a non-proprietary, ISO/IEC standardized format originally developed by an industry consortium (not Apple). AAC is also part of the MPEG-4 standard. The AAC codec is natively supported by a wide variety of manufacturers, operating systems, and devices, including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Zune, Nintendo DSi, Wii, Roku, Sonos, Windows 7, Blackberry, Droid, etc. Apple was merely one of the first companies to adopt and widely support AAC.
Nor is AAC "crap". In fact, AAC is a superior codec to MP3 in pretty much every respect. It was basically designed as a replacement for MP3, and is much more modern and advanced algorithmically. The bottom line is that you can get the same audio quality from AAC at a much lower bitrate than MP3. An AAC encoded track at 128kbps or 192kps will sound as good as an MP3 at 256kbps or 320kbps. This means that you can fit a lot more music onto a device with limited storage (e.g. your mobile phone) without sacrificing audio quality. Or, using the same bitrate, you can get superior audio quality from AAC as compared to MP3.
When comparing iTunes vs. Amazon for music purchases, the codec issue is often overlooked. Music purchased from Amazon is typically 256kbps MP3; music purchased from iTunes is 256kbps AAC. Advantage: iTunes. To paraphrase the Most Interesting Man In The World: I don't often purchase digital music online, but when I do, I prefer iTunes. :-)
In fact, a more germane question for this topic might be: why doesn't Amazon offer music tracks in AAC format? Time to get with the 21st century, Amazon people. Why do you continue to foist this crappy, outdated, inefficient MP3 codec on us?

BTW it is also false that iTunes "forces DRM onto you". iTunes audio files do not contain any form of DRM whatsoever. This includes tracks that you purchase from the iTunes Store, as well as music that you rip and encode yourself using iTunes. Music files purchased from the iTunes Store can be played back on any device that supports the AAC format (in other words, pretty much any modern electronic device worth its salt whose functionality includes playing music).
Note: it is true that in the early days, music purchased from iTunes did have DRM. This was insisted upon by the the record labels, not Apple. In fact, Apple campaigned for the labels to drop the DRM requirement. Steve Jobs himself wrote a letter called "Thoughts on Music" where he pointed out how stupid, annoying, and ultimately pointless having DRM on music files was. Eventually, Apple was successful at getting the labels to drop the DRM requirement. So, if you like DRM-free music, you should actually be thanking Apple, not baselessly accusing them of forcing DRM onto you. :-)