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Amazon MP3 store gets optimized for iPhone, iPod touch

Amazon announced today that their Amazon MP3 store, the section of their website where you can buy digital music downloads similar to what iTunes offers, has now been optimized to look and work better in Apple's Safari browser on the iPhone and iPod touch screen. According to Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music:

Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices. For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that – now they can access Amazon’s huge catalog of music, features like personalized recommendations, deals like albums for $5, songs for $0.69, and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere

Features of the Amazon MP3 store on the mobile web browser include:

  • The Amazon MP3 mobile website for iPhone and iPod touches is built on HTML5, which means customers can make purchases >- directly from the Amazon MP3 mobile website at on their iPhones and iPod touches
  • Selection of over 22 million songs and over two million albums at everyday low prices
  • Access to everyday deals like $5 albums, $0.69 songs, and free songs from artists on the rise
  • Individualized recommendations based on purchase history
  • Immediate availability and seamless playback of purchases in the Amazon Cloud Player app
  • Free storage of all Amazon MP3 purchases in Amazon Cloud Player

The iPhone and mobile Safari launched in June 2007. Amazon MP3 launched in beta in September 2007. That it took Amazon until January 2013 to make the latter work with the former is interesting. Of course, Amazon MP3 is still only available in 7 of countries, including the U.S., U.K, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, and Italy. iTunes music, by contrast, is available in 118 countries.

Mobile has been the biggest trend of the last few years, and music has been the spearhead of the digital media revolution. It's great that Amazon is taking these steps, but they're taking them far, far too slowly.

That aside, the implementation looks good and works well, mixing a vertical page stack with horizontally scrolling sections. There's currently a focus on $5 albums, along with best sellers, new releases, genres, editor's picks, and top new albums. If you're logged in, you can buy just like you would on the regular web site, and thanks to Amazon Cloud, whatever you buy, where ever you buy it, is available to listen to in the player app.

If you live in a place that offers Amazon MP3, and you use the service, fire it up in Safari on your iPhone and iPod touch and let me know how it works for you.

Source: Amazon

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Looks great !! Now, I also wish to have access to iTunesStore with browsers of device not running iOS... #dreaming
  • Is there any reason for an Mac and iOS user to consider Amazon instead of iTunes for purchasing mp3s?
  • Might come down to getting good deals on music albums, etc. Plus, the Amazon Cloud Player might be a good incentive to buy from Amazon. Playing from the cloud from essentially any browser is nice.
  • Yes, price. Amazon offers current albums for $5. They refresh the selection of $5 albums every month. Plus you can earn credits for twitter and FB activities.
    I hardly ever buy from iTunes because amazon is 90% of the time cheaper. Plus the free automatic Cloud Drive copy is great since I have a 16GB 4S.
  • What the previous two have said. I don't buy my music from iTunes. I normally purchase it from Amazon and have gotten some free albums from Google Play as well even though I don't own an android device.
  • I still think streaming services are the way to go for consuming digital content. There's no worry about future file compatibility, backups, corruption, platform lock-in, etc etc. However, if you are one of the millions that prefer to "own" the content they use then give serious consideration to a provider that is platform agnostic. Sure, you may use iTunes and iOS happily today, but in two years you may be compelled to try another mobile/computing platform like Windows or Android. With all the money spent in iTunes you'll hesitate to change or be forced to use workarounds that technically violate contractual agreements (at the very least it's a pain in the rear). Records, 8 tracks, tapes, CDs, DVDs could be purchased anywhere and played on any manufacturer's compatible device. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are trying to change that model in the digital age by locking you into a vertical stack of services and devices. Don't let your media and media source be the roadblock to selecting your preferred media playback platform. Amazon is really getting it right... slowly.
  • Good post. Having your cloud music being platform agnostic is a huge, huge benefit.
  • Hadn't thought of it that way before so I definitely appreciate your comment.
  • Hey, thanks for the responses and the info! One more question: Are you saying that the mp3s I've purchased from iTunes cannot or will not be able to be played on different platforms such as on an Android device? I thought that iTunes no longer did the "DRM" thing or whatever. What am I missing here? Most of my music is ripped from CDs, anyway, but I do have some iTunes tracks. The stuff I ripped is platform agnostic, yes?! Thanks again!
  • I believe it is. As for the drm issue, I also think you are right on that. I think what he was referring to was the easiness and availability of having cloud based music from a platform agnostic source since it means you can access it from other devices without worrying which platform they are.
  • Yes pretty much it comes down to ease of use. Anything is possible with enough technology but how nice is the experience? DRM is a great example. Today iTunes has none. Tomorrow they can decide to change that. Even if that never happens other companies do use DRM. Also with MP3 files (or any other format) you are dealing with media. Ten or twelve years ago I ripped all of my 500-ish CDs to MP3s. They don't have the sound and compression quality of modern rips. No way in Hell I'm going to re-rip that stuff though. Music match helps when it works but there's no standard and still no easy way to move a library from service to service when it is full media (meaning files on a hard drive). There is no central repository for my music that all of the store fronts/managers/players can interface with in a standard way (great void for companies like Dropbox to fill). If I want to use Windows Music Thingy instead of iTunes I have to manage files, imports, uploads oh my! Further, someday the MP3 file will be replaced with something else and even backwards compatibility will run out at some point. To me that's not any different than the pile of records or cassettes (depending on how old you are) collecting dust in your parents' basement. As technology progresses the question will always come up: Do I convert, re-purchase, or abandon the music I have spent money on? Ultimately that's why I prefer streaming like Rhapsody and Netflix where I subscribe to a service that lets me build a library or a queue of whatever I want and use it whenever I want from wherever I want. When the service dies someday I just sign up with someone else. Of course that brings issues with rebuilding my library and losing favorites and ratings but to me that's the lesser evil than managing files, storage, conversions, and uploads.
  • It is DRM free alright, but i don't think its an .mp3 file. Apple use their own format so while you can give it to someone else to playing their iTunes, I have never got one of their files to play on WMP. At least Amazon sell .mp3 files.
  • "U.S., U.K, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, and Italy": you listed 8 countries, not 7.
    Furthermore, Amazon MP3 is also available in France: