Ok, this one really bugs me!
The Christmas period is over and during this time I wanted a decent Christmas album along with Dominick the Donkey (Thanks the Radio 1). I have always avoided anything with an Apple logo so I decided to explore the offerings of Amazon in this section.
Having watched the release of the Amazon cloud in the USA along with it’s rival Google Music I thought that the purchase through Amazon was an interesting investment. Since I have been waiting for a decent place to buy music and video I thought I would once again explore the offerings.
On a bit of a side note it worries me that the music and film industry are always complaining about piracy and yet trying to get hold of items online legally is next to impossible. I know iTunes has bridged this gap partially but I am waiting to see what the competition has to offer.
This leads me into my experience with Amazon. I went ahead and purchased my music through Amazon. I was currently on my work laptop and downloaded the tracks without too much hassle (it did require a nice bit of bloatware to download the file but this could be overlooked it the system worked.) Great, I had bought the tracks. I then remembered that there was an Amazon MP3 app on the Android Market. I went to download this app and tried to get hold of my music. This is where the fun and games started!
Now, even though I had paid for and bought the music I could not see it in the Android App. I went back onto Amazon expecting to find some sort of MP3 download service where I could see my library. For those of you who have used this service you will know that this does not exist. I fired off a quick email to their customer complaints because I asumed there had been a technical issue with my account because I could not see the items that I had bought.
The response came back fairly quickly and I was shocked at the result. It turns out that when you buy the MP3 you have a set amount of time to download it. If you do not download it during this time then you can never download it again. If you want to download it again at a later date then you must pay full price!
Now let me just sum that up. I had bought some digital content via Amazon, however if I did not download it straight away then tough! They take my money and basically stick two fingers up at you. This was not what I was expecting and it is questionable whether this is within the law (I have looked at the law of digital downloads and although I can make an interesting case I don’t have the legal knowledge to know whether it will stand in front of court.)
What makes this more annoying is the fact that they miss lead customers with another product. The Amazon Kindle. With this product I can buy books, download them onto what device I want, remove them to save space and then re-download them again. With the Amazon MP3 this is just not the case. If I loose the copy I downloaded then it is gone forever and I have to pay for it again. This is just like a CD and makes me ask the question, what is the point in using the online service. With a CD I can perform many more activities, play it on many devices without worry.
This year I expect to see teh launch of both Google Music and the Amazon cloud services within the UK and I can garantee I will be locking myself into any other service other than Amazon. They have left me with a bitter taste and they will not be getting more money from me for services that they don’t want to supply (the ability to actually download something that I have paid for.)