I heard a rumor that the one millionth Amazon.com MP3 store fanboy blog post would win a free frozen turkey delivered personally by Jeff Bezos, so here goes.
I needed to buy the Lily Allen record because she’s just cute as a button and appears to embody every facet of British womanhood, so I decided to use the Amazon store to do this. It worked flawlessly after I got the downloader installed. Can’t beat the price, either: US$7.99 for the whole album (just US$0.61 per track), and it’s all encoded as a gorgeous hi-fidelity 256bit VBR MP3.
One minor wrinkle — by default, the downloader is configured to save MP3s to a folder called "Amazon MP3" in your music folder. Having every download service create its own download folder is the wrong choice, but fortunately it’s easily remedied in the program preferences.
The other concern I had is with the download process. Amazon (and eMusic, and lots of others) make you download a little client program that downloads the music tracks for you, presumably so that internet gnomes don’t abscond with the valuable $0.61 music tracks I’m downloading while they’re whipping through the interwebs into my computer. But what happens when there are 20 different competing music stores that I want to buy from? Am I supposed to have 20 different music downloaders installed on all my computers?