Amazon has launched the newest version of its MP3 store designed especially for iPhone and iPod touch. Amazon’s 22-Million song catalogue will be available for download for iPhone and iPod touch users for the first time now.
Amazon has launched this service not as a downloadable app, but as an HTML5 one that has to be accessed through Safari on your iOS devices. While this will make the process of purchasing music from Amazon a little less seamless as buying it from iTunes, users will be able to access features like discounts, personalised recommendations, best-seller lists and more.
Amazon said that the deals offered throughout its store include albums for $5 (Rs. 275 approx.), songs for $0.69 (Rs. 37.95 approx.) and free songs from up-and-coming artists.
Now available for iOS!
Music purchased using Amazon’s service will automatically be saved to customers' Cloud Player libraries and can be downloaded or played instantly from any iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet. The music will also be available on Roku, Sonos home entertainment system or any Web browser from any location.
“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,” said Steve Boom, Vice President, Amazon Music. “For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that— now they can access Amazon's huge catalogue of music … and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere.”
The reason why Amazon seems to have opted for the HTML5 route is because apple takes a cut of 30 percent of all in-profit apps. While you might see an app for MP3 downloads from Amazon, the company seems to be bent on circumventing Apple’s policies.
Amazon in the past, along with Barnes & Noble, halted in-app purchases of e-books form the Kindle and Nook apps respectively in 2011 thanks to Apple’s 30 percent cut policy. The companies prompted users to purchase e-books via the Web, letting the content sync with the iOS apps.
The launch of the Amazon store may be a blessing for iOS users in the US, but it might barely make a dent here in India thanks to the iTunes Store having its own store in the sub-continent. The iTunes Store was launched in India in early December and featured movies and music tailored for Indian audiences.
Music and movies on the Indian iTunes Store are available in Indian rupees, which is what will give the Apple store an edge over Amazon here. Users of devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch can purchase local and international music from the iTunes store. Single songs are priced anywhere between Rs 7 to Rs 15 and entire albums start from Rs 70. Compared to the approximate Rs. 38 Indian users will have to spend on Amazon’s store, most will prefer to purchase music from the iTunes Store for cheaper with the transaction in Indian currency. The iTunes Store also features Bollywood and Tamil film tracks in addition to international music.
Apple had also launched the iTunes Match in India, a service that allowed users to store all the music they’ve bought from sources other than iTunes to the cloud for easy accessibility.