A review of Amazon Prime Music
To date, no streaming music service is perfect. They all have good points and bad points, and in my opinion all of the streaming services have enough negatives that I don’t think they are good enough for me to bother with. Amazon has just launched a new service called Amazon Music with Prime that shines where many of the other services fail. It isn’t perfect either, but let’s take a closer look to see if it is the first streaming music service for me to call “good enough.”
Because this is the Art of Being Cheap, we will start by looking at value.
Is Amazon Prime Music a good value? The answer is it depends. Amazon Prime Music is not a stand alone product, but is free add on to those who are already paying for Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is a program though Amazon.com that costs $99 for a year that has quite a few benefits.
Free two day shipping is the main draw of Amazon Prime. Knowing you can get your hands on your purchase in just two days makes shopping online more fun, and knowing you don’t have to pay extra for shipping can make online shipping quite a bit cheaper as well. The problem is that the claim of free two day shipping may not be a little misleading.
Not all products come with free 2 day shipping, only some of them. In some cases items can come with free two day shipping or not, with the item that doesn’t include free shipping costing a little less. In general I believe that the free two day shipping usually works out to be a better deal, but would recommend that you always evaluate your purchase to see if that is true.
Streaming television is the next benefit of Amazon Prime. Amazon Instant Video is a competitor to such services as Netflix and Hulu, and the selection of TV shows and movies it offers has improved quite a bit over time. The biggest advantage Amazon Instant Video has over it’s competitors is that it is the only service to offer HBO television shows without a cable or satellite subscription. Click here to see what shows and movies are available on Amazon Prime
The third benefit of Amazon Prime is that you can “borrow” a somewhat limited selection of ebooks for your kindle device (or your Kindle app on your smart phone or tablet) once per month. Here is a list of ebooks that are Prime Eligible.
Then there is the newest program, Amazon Prime Music. At $99/ year Amazon Prime Music’s price is competitive or even lower than many of the other music streaming services. When you consider that it is just a free add on to the other benefits that Amazon Prime offers, it seems like a much better deal than it’s competitors if it has the song’s you want to listen to.
Its an even better deal when you consider that ABC readers get a free 30 trail through this link: Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now
Amazon Prime Music- The Good
As I mentioned above, Amazon Prime Music shines where many of its competitors fail, but it isn’t perfect. Let’s start by looking at all the things it does well.
Pick what you want to listen to
The best thing I can say about Amazon Prime music is that you can pick what you want to listen to. Is there a song you want to listen to? Great, just select it and start listening. Want to listen to your favorite album? That’s easy, just click it and listen to the whole album.
This concept might seem so simple that those who have never tried streaming music before might not understand what I am talking about, but this really is a huge benefit. Amazingly, many other music streaming services don’t let you do this. With many of the other services, you pick what you want to listen to, but then the service doesn’t actually let you listen to that album or artist. Instead, the service lets you listen to music that is similar to what you want to listen to.
While some people seem to enjoy having their smart phone app pick music for them, I find this obnoxious to the point that I have always deleted those other apps off my phone pretty much immediately. How would you feel if you typed artofbeingcheap.com into the address bar, and your browser took you to suburbanfinance.com? Sure suburbanfinance.com is a great site, but when I type artofbeingcheap.com into my browser, the only site I want to see is the ABC.
Amazon Prime Music lets you choose your own music, which immediately puts it at the top of the pack of music streaming companies.
You can download your music
Another flaw of streaming services is that they are only streaming services. That is fine for listening to music around your home when you are in the range of your wifi, but it’s not great for listening to music when you are out and about.
Even if you are smart enough to have your cell phone plan through Republic Wireless, with its high data limits and great coverage area, there are still plenty of places you will go that don’t have high speed internet access on your phone. I want to listen to music in my car, and I don’t want my streaming service to cut in and out when I am traveling on more remote highways. Amazon lets you download your music to your phone so that you can listen to it anywhere without using up tons of data.
Nope. No ads.
Amazon Prime Music- The Bad
So what is the catch? The problem with Amazon Prime Music is the selection. They claim to have a million songs available, which is a fraction of what their competitors advertise. Of course saying you have a million songs available is a fairly meaningless number. Most people don’t want to listen to a million songs, they want to listen to somewhere between a few hundred to at the most a few thousand. How many of those several hundred songs you actually want to listen to are part of Amazon Prime Music, that is the real question.
For me, they had almost all the songs I want to listen to, so I thought Amazon Prime Music was the best service ever. This is mostly due to the fact that I enjoy older music and didn’t really care to download any music that has come out in the last several years. My wife is a different story. She likes to listen to more modern music, Disney music, and other soundtracks. She has spent the last week searching for all her favorite songs and has reported to me that she finds what she is looking for just about half the time. That really isn’t a very good ratio.
No music streaming service is perfect, and neither is Amazon Prime Music. You can download your music to take it wherever you like, pick what you want to listen to, and it’s a pretty good deal if you are interested in the other Amazon Prime Services. On the other hand, the selection just doesn’t match it’s competitors.
If you are interested in giving Amazon Prime a try, ABC readers get a free 30 day trial through this link: Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now
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