Amazon launches music store optimized for iPhone

You can now easily buy your music from Amazon directly via your iPhone or iPod touch, thanks to Amazon's web app announced last week. You simply point Safari or any other web browser at, and a new site optimized for your device will appear. You can access Amazon's catalog of 22 million songs and take advantage of deals that are often better than you can find in the iTunes Store, such as albums for $5 and songs for $0.69. Any song you purchase is automatically stored in your Amazon Cloud Player library and immediately available to you via streaming or downloading on your iPhone or iPod touch, or any other device. You play your purchases using the free Amazon Cloud Player app available in the App Store. 

“Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices. For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that – now they can access Amazon’s huge catalog of music, features like personalized recommendations, deals like albums for $5, songs for $0.69, and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere,” said Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music, in the press release.

Now suppose you want to move your purchased MP3s to your iTunes library. You can do that, too. According to the LA Times, you'll have to access your Amazon Cloud Player account on a computer. You select the song, and then click Download. The song will then download using the Amazon MP3 Downloader. Once it's downloaded, you can simply drag it to your iTunes library. 

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Note that any music you purchase in Amazon's MP3 store doesn't count against your free 5GB of storage on Amazon Cloud Player.

So why didn't Amazon simply build the ability to purchase songs into their Cloud Player app? Then they'd have to pay Apple 30% for each song sold. 

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.