Content consumption is at its best this year, with more and more vendors outing devices that are meant to be used primarily for watching movies, reading books, browsing the web and any other form of entertainment. Although there is lots of content for us to choose from, people felt the need of a centered collection from which to search, access and eventually purchase media. Today, we are going to compare two giants of media consumption, Apple’s iTunes and Amazon, to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each service, while settling long awaited versus battle.
Which service is the most accessible?
In terms of accessibility each service suits a different category of consumers. For those willing to pay upfront, Amazon has a nice Prime service, which offers a diverse library of pay-per-view TV shows, movies and even a set of free content.
The service also includes instant access to thousands of Kindle Books and free two-day shipping guaranteed for every product purchased from Amazon. On the other side, iTunes offers pay-as-you-go services by default, allowing the user to have control of each purchase but setting him back a little more on the long term.
Both Apple and Amazon have made sure that the service can be provided on several devices, including those of the competition, Amazon being the last to enter this game by releasing the Amazon Instant Video app for the iPad. Amazon can also be found on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Roku and other home products.
Seeking for all sorts of movies is certainly done with success in 99% of cases, but once you’ve spent a while browsing, you’ll observe that some titles present in iTunes are missing from Amazon and the other way around. When referring at TV content, most parts are considered normalized and the general user experience can not be described as affected, nonetheless limited. Everything works as it should, and both services manage to pull a great job. Here’s a short presentation of the most important things to know:
|Downloads||Up to 2 devices||Up to 10 devices, 5 PCs|
|Purchasing up to $14.99||Purchasing up to $19.99|
|Rental Playback||Must end 48 hours after start||Must end 24 hours after start|
|TV Shows||Renting and Purchasing||Just Purchasing|
|Offers||Prime:$79 per year||Just pay-as-you-go|
When it comes to tunes, Amazon has launched a couple of days ago a large update to its Cloud Player application that equals and may even outclass the benefits found in iTunes Match. The iTunes vs. Amazon battle is taken here by these two services, which come both with a personal library hosted on the cloud and scans to match the entire collection of music. Each tune is automatically upgraded to MP3 format with at least 256kbps offering the listener a good overall experience.
But some differences do exist, and in our case, the Amazon Cloud Player is available on more devices and supports platforms such as Android, iOS, Roku Stream player, Sonos wireless home music system, various browsers and of course, the native Kindle Fire. Exporting songs from external sources, such as the iTunes library is done with easy and each title is matched and backed-up in the new playlist. As you may hint, iTunes falls short on this category, refusing to cooperate with some of its competition.
Unfortunately, Amazon does not have a desktop application for the MP3 service, nor compatibility for AAC files. Both services allow sharing of songs, but only iTunes has a preview mode for 30 seconds. As for the rest of the details…
|Price for each song:||$0.45-$1.19||$0.69, $0.99 or $1.29|
|Database:||Above 17 million||Above 20 million|
|Albums:||$5 for each||Up to $8|
|Special offers:||Free music from risers||Free music of the week|
|Song Matching||250,000 for $25||25,000 for $25|
|Exported songs||Yes, 250 for free||No|
|Syncing||Max 8 devices||Max 10 devices|
|Online Storage||5GB Free for imported songs||Unlimited for native songs|