Just had my first click around amazon MP3 and I’m unbelievably impressed. It’s quicker, simpler and cheaper than iTunes and all the downloads are DRM free.

iPods are great, there’s no denying it they are well designed, well priced and well marketed but in the development of iTunes, apple showed the extent to which they have failed to “get” the internet. Introducing the ridiculous usage restrictions on downloads was a huge mistake and one which will cost apple dearly.

I don’t think this will happen quickly – iTunes has a pretty advanced infrastructure with a lot of unsigned bands able to upload etc… but unless apple can learn to let go, and for some reason I just don’t think they will, I can see a massive shift towards the Amazon platform.

Intellectual property doesn’t work the same online as it did in world where mass distribution required funding, and the record industry has been incredibly slow to react. iTunes’ DRM regs looked and felt like the last gasp of a desperate industry that was inextricably tied to an obsolete format. In contrast, Amazon MP3 feels like a breath of fresh air. Obviously it has a long way to go but whereas iTunes felt like an (albeit valiant) attempt to hang on to something old, Amazon’s attempt, whilst tentative, feels new.


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