Last Updated: October 12, 2015 3

Best Online Music Store – iTunes vs. Amazon.com

Found In: Shopping

Both iTunes and Amazon.com are among the web’s most popular destinations for anyone downloading music legally. While each online music store provides thousands of songs and albums from artists of all genres, they offer different formats for downloading music, and users either prefer one or the other for a variety of reasons. While they may appear quite different at first glance – and there are differences – there are also features common to both services.

One of the first things anyone looks at when purchasing music online is price. Whether you’re downloading whole albums or individual songs, both iTunes and Amazon.com offer nearly identical prices per mp3 download and per album. For both services, most songs are ninety-nine cents apiece, and entire albums are usually one dollar less than it would cost to buy each song individually. Occasionally, however, prices vary between each service, but shoppers can easily compare the price of their desired purchases at each online music store. When it comes to prices, there is little difference between iTunes and Amazon.com.

When it comes to variety, however, Amazon.com offers real CD’s and iTunes does not. For most shoppers trying to choose an online music store, however, this isn’t an issue because it’s mp3 files they’re after. Nevertheless, Amazon.com still offers compact discs for those who want to buy them. As for variety of artists, albums, and genres, it’s a toss-up. While one or the other may offer some albums that the other one doesn’t, both sites provide a comparable overall selection.

Download formats, on the other hand, are different for each online music store. For iTunes, users must first download the iTunes program from apple.com (Macintosh users get it with their computers), and mp3 files are subsequently purchased through the iTunes store while the program is running on a computer. Amazon.com, however, sells mp3 downloads through its web site. When purchased, songs are downloaded from Amazon.com by way of the Amazon mp3 Downloader, a program Amazon.com requires you to install on your computer. Whereas iTunes users automatically see new music in their iTunes library upon downloading, the Amazon mp3 Downloader will place the new music in whatever directory the user has specified for their mp3 files, which may or may not be the iTunes music folder. Which of these formats is better is a matter of personal preference.

All in all, both iTunes and Amazon.com offer similar prices and excellent variety for anyone who wants to download music online. While their download formats differ somewhat, it’s up to the individual as to which one is easier to use. With so much to offer, it’s not difficult to understand why each online music store is so popular with music lovers.