CNET is about to close its doors for the rest of 2008, but I couldn't take off on my extra-long, well-deserved holiday break without leaving you with one last tidbit of wisdom for the season of giving. Namely, what's a procrastinator to do when he or she wants to give the gift of digital downloads at the last minute? A couple of options for you below.
Q: I, as most people, am trying to find the last gifts on my list before Christmas. Instead of sending people CDs or movies in the mail, however, I wanted to send them digital CDs or movies to make sure they get there on time and save shipping. Do you guys know of any good places that would allow me to do this?--Jereme, via e-mail
A: This is a great idea for last-minute gifting; in fact, I may have to steal it from you. Doing a little research, I found that two online stores stood out in making the purchase of digital gift certificates a simple task: Amazon.com and iTunes (warning: link launches the iTunes app). Both services offer a wide selection of both audio and video content, though you may want to note that Amazon's MP3 store and video service are in separate areas of the Digital Downloads department, and the iTunes gift certificate requires that the software be downloaded. I would go with iTunes if the giftee is an iPod user, but Amazon is a better bet for those with another portable device or none at all.
MP3 Mailbox Monday will return in 2009--happy holidays!
MP3 Mailbox Monday is a recurring feature where I answer a selection of questions about MP3 players and accessories, such as headphones, speakers, and music services and software. Check back often to see if the advice presented here might be of some use to you, or send your questions directly to me. (Note: We never include last names, but if you prefer to remain completely anonymous, please state as much in your e-mail.)