AMAZON PRIME MUSIC
You can purchase digital music from Amazon pretty much like you would on iTunes or Google Play, but with the recent launch of Prime Music, Amazon Prime subscribers (US$99/year) now get unlimited access to about a million songs - a paltry number compared to the rest, but it’s an added bonus that makes Amazon’s Prime membership even more worth it now. But, do note that Prime Music (like Prime Instant Video) is only available in the U.S., and requires a VPN to access this service from Asia.
Now, navigating Prime Music on the web is just like navigating Amazon, and your search results will include paid content your Prime membership doesn’t have access to; this is unlike other services where a subscription lets you access their whole catalog. The mobile app works the same way; we tested the Android version, but the rest should be similar.
Prime Music can essentially be broken down into three main components: your music library, the store and Prime Music. Your music library is where all the tracks you either own or have access to can be found. The store is where you buy music, and Prime Music houses all the content that your Prime membership gives you access to.
Prime Music users don’t have to put up with any ads, but as a new service Prime Music feels incomplete. For example content from Universal Music isn’t available (yet?), something we realized after searching for Beastie Boys and found only remixes. Also, we’d like to point out that the highest quality Prime Music streams in is 256kbps, which is lower than Spotify or Deezer’s 320Kbps.
Searching for content is easy enough, but the odd thing is that you have to first add tracks to your library before you can play them. Attempting to play tracks from your search results will only get you a preview. You can also import music you already own, though the process isn’t too user friendly as it requires another separate app.
Once you’ve added something to your library, you can play it from the browser, desktop or mobile apps. You are also freely able to download purchased music for offline play.