I started writing this post in fits and starts. I just sort of left it in the drafts pile, would come back and massage it a bit. I was going to pull the trigger last week, but couldn't find a decent graphic.
And now Google has gone and stolen my thunder with its Music by Google site. And it's storage is 20 times more than Amazon's right now for free (but unsure how free for long).
Which is awesome. More companies saying "fuck off" to major music labels and refusing to negotiate with terrorists is a good thing. Maybe this will part the waters for other companies like Spotify (which I loathe).
I still advocate Amazon over iTunes as the place to best spend your musical bucks. And since you can't buy from Google right now, Amazon wins that battle too. The Cloud Drive/Player and Google Music are changing the game radically and positioning Amazon and Google a thousand steps ahead of iTunes in digital retailer industry. The labels are hoping that Apple's cloud offering will be super fancy awesome and make Google and Amazon's look like crap. I doubt it. The've been on the wrong side of every big industry decision since Napster, and have paid the price in declining sales ever since.
But why is this so game changing?
First, Amazon and Google didn't bargain, negotiate or even notify the the major labels about their moves. Why should they? The arcane notion that labels must issue you a license on how and where you can listen to your music is dumb and a holdover from before the advent of high speed connections and cloud storage. If you buy it, you should be able to listen to it how you please, whether you store it in the cloud or on your phone or on your computer.
Second, Amazon (and at some point Google too) is making purchasing music easier than iTunes. Doesn't matter where you are (work, friend's house, laptop downstairs away from your desktop), you can buy an album, and then download it later to where you want it. They both make it easy to play on your Android device (earlier this week CloudPlayer loaded some muddled iOS play functionality).
Finally, it's easy. It doesn't take a degree in computer science to make it work. Your music is accessible whenever you want it. Just click a button to play, listen or download.
Amazon has 1,500 albums on sale for $5 each this month. Start your cloud storage up today.