If you try to buy MP3s using Amazon’s iOS app, you’ll see a warning that says “This mobile application does not currently support digital downloads. Add this item to your Wish List and you can view and purchase it from your computer.”
As of today, however, Amazon has figured out a way around what we presume to be Apple’s edict that it not sell MP3s within its app, which would compete directly with iTunes. Now, anyone who wants to buy MP3s from Amazon, directly from their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, can do so by directing their browser to Amazon.com/MP3. Regular shoppers can set that website as a bookmark, and then add the bookmark to the iOS homescreen, which would make the store feel exactly like a native iOS app.
“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,” said vice president of Amazon Music Steve Boom. “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.”
This is not the greatest news for Apple, but it’s a good day for people who like to buy MP3s (from Amazon) rather than AACs (from Apple), as well as those who have come to rely on Amazon’s Cloud Player, which also now has the ability to serve up MP3s from any CD you’ve every purchased from Amazon.
I was a little surprised when Apple let Spotify into the iTunes app store, because isn’t Spotify about people not buying song downloads anymore? Apple approved Spotify, in part, to make its own devices more attractive (if Spotify were only available on Android, that would give people a reason to switch). But apparently, Apple had not seen fit to let Amazon sell MP3s, in direct competition with iTunes.
Now, thanks to this HTML5 app, it doesn’t matter what Apple thinks about Amazon MP3 — you can shop there anyway, directly from your device, if you so desire, and have the songs download all without using an old-school PC.