Amazon Prime Music Initial Impressions

I saw some tweets last night that indicated that Amazon Prime Music had launched.

I like to take advantage of everything that my Amazon Prime membership offers so within minutes of reading the tweet, I was listening to Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories”.  The album was added to the cloud player and was mixed in with my few MP3 purchases.
Prime songs have a convenient label to indicate that the songs have not been purchased.
Prime songs have a convenient label to indicate that the songs have not been purchased.
I tried seeing how Prime Music worked on Android, but the Amazon MP3 app had not been updated yet.  I was probably trying it too soon.  Not even Amazon’s homepage had changed to indicate that Prime Music was now live.  By the time I got up this morning, the app had been rebranded as Amazon Music and now supports Prime Music.

The Amazon Music Android app has just about everything I was expecting from it.  Support to browse the Prime Music library and download music locally for offline listening are features that are present.  There is also a slick new interface that is ruined by the Prime logo being placed on the album art.
Isn't there a better spot for the Prime logo?
Isn’t there a better spot for the Prime logo

Spending time using the app and browsing through what was available made me realize how small the music library currently is.  I do not think my music tastes are that obscure and was surprised to find out that many bands that I listen to were missing from the Prime Music catalog.

A list of bands/musicians  that are currently unavailable (in no particular order):
  • Muse
  • Radiohead
  • Nirvana
  • Queen
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Arcade Fire
  • Weezer
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • AFI
  • Frank Sinatra
  • The Who
  • The White Stripes
  • Wolfmother
  • Caravan Palace
  • Chvrches
Even if a band is is included in the Prime Music library, it usually does not contain a band’s entire discography.  Green Day is missing “American Idiot”.  Phoenix is missing “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”.  My Chemical Romance is missing a couple of albums and Daft Punk is missing the Tron Legacy soundtrack.

Don't accidentally buy a song.
Don’t accidentally buy a song.
Just like Prime Instant Video, Prime Music has paid suggestions mixed in with the free offerings.  I find this excusable for Prime Instant Video as it gives the impression that the library is bigger than other competitors such as Netflix.  I think that is practice for Prime Music is slightly embarrassing for Amazon as all of the paid songs that it has recommended to me can be found on Spotify without any additional fees.

I had signed up for Spotify Premium a couple of weeks ago and currently do not have any plans of canceling my membership.  Amazon Prime Music will most likely continue to grow but at the moment, there are better offerings for streaming music online.  I guess it is nice to know that the extra $20 a year for Amazon Prime is not going to waste.


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