Monday, October 01, 2007 MP3 Downloads

This weekend I got around to trying out Amazon's new MP3 download store. So far I've found a few albums that eMusic didn't have, so it's definitely worthwhile in that respect, in spite of being somewhat more expensive (though still vastly cheaper than CDs, and even somewhat cheaper than iTunes). I also appreciate it tying in to the whole recommendation system there, since I've got a considerable profile built up for that.

Just a couple peeves with it so far:
  1. If I'm using Camino, Amazon doesn't believe I've installed their downloader application, so I have to switch to Firefox.
  2. You can only download files once. They don't get saved in your account library or anything like that.
And one weirdness that I think (hope) was just a one-off: On one of the albums I got, all the tracks are shifted a minute and a half to the right. That is, the first track has 1'30" of silence before the beginning of the song, which then goes 1'30" into track 2. Then the last track is cut off abruptly in the middle. Pretty weird. Still waiting for customer service to get back to me about this, since I can't even try to fix it by re-downloading (see #2 above).

Update, 10/20: Support responded promptly, saying they were looking into the problem. So I waited a week and then wrote in again asking for an update. They responded again, saying they had taken that album down and would make it available again, at which point I could try downloading it again and see if it was any better. After a week of checking every day and finding it still unavailable, I wrote in again. They couldn't tell me when it would be ready, but said to just keep checking. Sigh. Anyway, it finally made it, and I downloaded it again, and the tracks are still screwed up. Back to the drawing board.

One other annoyance, too: They use browser cookies to determine whether you've installed their downloader app. If you happen to clear out your cookies, they force you through downloading and installing it all over again. Ugh.

Update, 1/10/08: I happened to check back today, after forgetting for a while, and found that the album in question (Jason Webley's "Only Just Beginning") is back up. I downloaded it and it all worked perfectly. So we got there in the end.

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