This week I tried out Amazon's beta mp3 store, and except for a "challenging" issue, everything turned out fine. I wanted to get the latest New Pornographers album, Challengers, and since emusic.com does not have it for some reason (they have other Matador releases, so what's up?), I decided to try out the new Amazon mp3 store.
The cool thing about the Amazon store is that everything is DRM free and the bit rates are higher than usual 128 (they use VBR). I wanted to check it out because I don't want to be tied to iTunes -- sometimes I feel a bit cornered by the iTunes/iPod model of propriety. Probably my fear of commitment kicking in... Plus, as an emusic.com user, I wanted a place where I could buy non-indie music. I guess I'm still old school as far as how I "use" music: I want to buy the music anywhere and have it work on anything.
The downside to the Amazon store is that the selection is not huge. But hopefully that'll change in the future.
The problem I ran into was that the Amazon downloader software crashed on me after three songs had been downloaded. So I had to contact customer service, and they made the album available for download again since once you initiate the download process you cannot go back and try to download it again. When I went back to download again, everything worked fine.
So, their customer service was pretty responsive, giving me a fix about 12 hours after I had initially emailed them. And except for the initial problem w/ the software, everything worked fine. It is beta, I guess, but I was pretty annoyed that the software crashed on me. I still like the fact that it's a pretty good alternative to iTunes (or other music stores).
Here's a Cnet review of the Amazon store.