Amazon lets you give the gift of MP3

Last week, Amazon announced that it will now let customers purchase digital downloads and gift them to others via e-mail.

Amazon MP3 gifting
Screenshot by Jasmine France

With the startling variety of products offered by online retail giant Amazon.com, it's no wonder the site is the go-to Web depot for all manner of holiday shopper. Interestingly, though, digital media gifting was notably absent from the store's repertoire--until last week. The company first announced a new feature allowing Kindle book gifting ; unsurprisingly, MP3 gifting capability was launched almost immediately after.

Giving the gift of digital music is just as straightforward as you'd expect, and works largely in the same manner as e-book gifting. Simply visit the Amazon MP3 Music store, select a single track or an entire album, and enter the e-mail address of the recipient. You also have the option to add a personal note along with your musical offering.

Once all the requisite info is filled out, you can check out and select payment as with any other Amazon purchase. The recipient of the MP3 gift will be notified by e-mail within 5 minutes. The recipient is prompted to download the tracks, or has the option of exchanging the gift for store credit--a handy feature for those with finicky taste in music.

Sadly, there doesn't appear to an option to schedule the timing of the e-mail for, say, Christmas morning or a person's birthday. Also, I have to say that though any gesture is sure to be appreciated, fully digital gifts aren't nearly as exciting as a wrapped package or even an envelope-ensconced card--there's just no substitute for that tangibility. That said, the ability to send one-off MP3s via Amazon is definitely a welcome feature.

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