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iTunes Music Store vs. Amazon MP3: Prizefight

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Prizefight: iTunes Music Store vs. Amazon MP3

4:14 /

Digital distribution is where it's at, so which online music store will reign supreme? Find out in the Prizefight ring!

[ music ] ^M00:00:07 >> What's up Prize Fight fans? I'm Brian Tong, and this week's battle will be music to your ears. It's a Prize Fight punch out between Apple's iTunes store and Amazon's MP3 download store. Our judges for this fight are senior editor Donald Bell, senior associate editor Jasmine France, and myself. Now we'll take the average of all three judge's scores for each round, using decimals rounded to the nearest tenth. And the final Prize Fight score will be an average of all the rounds. We're going five rounds strong. Round one is the interface. iTunes is wrapped into a single package where you can purchase and play your music in one place. All the editors here like the slick design and the organization. Now Amazon's MP3 store is its own website, but it looks a lot like any other Amazon product page. There's a small app you'll need to download songs, and it throws them into the music app of your choice. But it's just not as seamless. iTunes strikes first with a four, and Amazon's MP3 store gets a two point seven. We want content. Next round is about the library. iTunes has a massive library, with over ten million songs. Add all the content from TV shows, movies, audio books, and podcasts, plus there's more exclusive content on albums from iTunes that I just couldn't find on Amazon. Amazon's MP3 downloads offers over seven million songs, and none of the editors had trouble finding what they wanted here. You can also download audible content, or Amazon video on demand for TV and movies. But they are separate sections on the website. iTunes connects again with a four point three, and Amazon gets a three point seven. After averaging two rounds, iTunes leads by a whole point. So you've got your music. What can you play it on? Next round is compatibility. iTunes uses DRM free AAC files, and you won't have compatibility problems if you just use iPods and iPhones, but there are only so many players that support the format. If your device plays MP3s, Amazon's DRM free files will play on it. Well that's pretty much every music player on the planet, including Apple's hardware, cell phones, Sony's PSP, and anything else. It's truly universal. Amazon throws a major blow in this round with a four point seven, and iTunes gets a two point seven. Next round is audio quality. Both services offer tracks at a bit rate of two hundred and fifty six kilobits per second. Now listening to the same songs from both services, the iTunes files were just barely crisper, but the margin was so close, I thought my ears were playing tricks on me. Both formats sound great, and you'll really need super sonic hearing to find any difference. It's a tie this round, and both guys get a four. So after four rounds, we are tied at three point eight a piece. The final round that decides it all is value. iTunes tracks start at ninety nine cents, and their albums are nine ninety nine. The slightly higher prices and inconvenient audio format affect non-iPod users, but does anyone notice because of their dominance? And plus we still won't know how their new three tiered pricing model will play out. Amazon entered the market with a better pricing strategy, and has stayed true to it. Top tracks start at seventy nine cents, and just released albums are four ninety nine. You can even find albums as low as two ninety nine, and it has me checking their store first before anything else. So with a little hunting, you'll find the killer deals here. Amazon throws its last punch with a four, and iTunes gets a three. So let's average out all five rounds, and Amazon gets the upset in the final round, winning three point eight to three point six, and is your Prize Fight winner. This was a great showing by both music stores, but Amazon's compatibility and pricing gave it the edge over iTunes' interface and monster library. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching. We'll catch you guys next time on another Prize Fight. Woopah, woopah! ^M00:04:08 [ music ]

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