Review of Amazon Prime Music
June 16, 2014 | 2:25 pm
By Juli Monroe
The timing of the new Amazon offering was ironic because I’d been considering subscribing to a music service. Mostly I’m one of those people who has artists and songs she likes and listens to them over and over. However, sometimes even I get the urge to listen to something different.
One of the things I don’t like about most subscription services is that they are streaming. While I did recently upgrade my cellular data plan, I didn’t want to blow all my new data on streaming music. Yes, I know Spotify has a download option with their Premium level, but I wasn’t sure I was willing to pay $9.99 a month for it.
Then Amazon came along with something that was perfect for my needs. We’re already Prime subscribers so cost wasn’t an issue. The biggest appeal for me was the ability to download Prime songs.
The app is functional, though not fancy. Setting up Playlists and adding songs seems like it takes too many clicks and swipes. Nor is any of it intuitive. Amazon could work on their interface. However, once you’ve downloaded music and set up your playlists, it works well.
The thing I like the most is the ability to create playlists which mix Prime music, purchased music and tracks I’ve uploaded from other sources. It feels like I “own” the Prime songs, even though I don’t. However, since we’re not planning to cancel Prime anytime soon, for practical purposes, it is like owning the tracks, until, of course, licenses expire. I’ll worry about that when it happens.
How’s the selection? Not bad, at least for my tastes (which tend to be classic rock and 80s pop–don’t judge me). I also like soundtracks, and there’s plenty of those. I’d been meaning to listen to soundtracks for The Two Towers and Return of the King, and both were available.
Yes, there’s stuff I want that isn’t available. I recently discovered Thirty Seconds to Mars and was hoping their albums were present. Nope. However, my son had been talking about a recent Linkin Park album, and it was available.
Overall, there’s been enough to keep me happy. My biggest “problem” is that I keep finding different music to download. For the first couple of days, I spent more time discovering and downloading than listening. It’s the same problem I have with Scribd, so I’m used to it.
Like most people, I wasn’t happy about the recent Prime price increase, but it’s still a great value for us. We use everything: free shipping, Kindle Lending Library, Amazon Instant Video and now Prime Music.
If a big selection is important to you, head for Spotify. If you’re like me and are a more casual listener, Amazon Prime Music might work for you, especially if you want to use other Prime features.
Update: I just ran across a great tutorial on KBoards with screenshots.