Launched by Singtel, a local Singaporean telco five years ago to ride on the success of digital music stores like Apple’s iTunes, AMPed was initially a value added service restricted to Singtel’s subscriber base. AMPed was eventually opened to public in May 2013 with a monthly subscription of $9.90. However, Singtel subscribers still enjoy additional benefits such as preferential rates at up to 20% off subscription, plus a waiver on mobile data charges incurred streaming or downloading from AMPed.
Originally a mobile service, AMPed still offers a more polished experience through its mobile app; the web version appears not to have received much attention. For instance, the app begins to cache the next song in your playlist while the current one is playing to try and minimize disruptions even if you happen to lose data connectivity. You can also swipe during a song to view its lyrics (where available) and other information. The only weird design choice is a search bar that’s hidden within the app’s Discover option, so it may appear initially that there’s no way to search for tracks.
The web version has all the basics, but the layout is dated and has an unfinished feel about it. Search is again the biggest contention, as we oddly noticed that entering the full name of a band or artist would not produce a result. However, if we searched using a portion of the name, the search would produce hits. Content-wise, AMPed has a more Asian slant compared to the rest; it has a wide range of music from local and regional artists. If you are unable to (or do not know how to) type the Chinese name for a popular Taiwanese act, typing in hanyu pinyin (spelling phonetically) will bring up relevant search results. You can add songs to your collection, as well as create playlists. You can also create a public playlist that you can share with the AMPed community. Subscriber perks include concert tickets, autograph signings and meetand-greet sessions with the artists (where applicable). This can be accessed through Promotions.
While AMPed may not have the largest international library around, you’ll probably find local acts that won’t show up in other services. However, it’s a shame that in this digital day and age, the highest streaming quality for AMPed is a poor 128kbps.