Sub Prime Music

A current life goal of mine is to reduce my monthly cost of living, and to achieve that, I need to remove non-essential spending. I’m sad to be ditching my old friend Spotify Premium. I’ll be switching to Amazon Prime Music for my mobile listening, but I’ll still use the Spotify free version when I’ve dropped anchor.

Here are my initial impressions after playing around for an hour. The pain points are as follows, and there are a lot of them:

  • No nested playlists. I loved this feature in Spotify, because like Rob Gordon, taxonomy is something I value.
  • Smaller selection. This is to be expected. Amazon is newer than Spotify.
  • Spotify is really good at creating a complete experience. Browsing for new music, and managing your local files is done through the same interface. However Amazon Prime, like iTunes, introduces the concept of a “store”  and “library” and there is quite a rift between the two interfaces.
  • Their collection of stand up comedy is shit.
  • Music to purchase is mixed in with their free “prime” offerings, and there’s no easy way to filter between the two tiers. This is likely by design because no one can make it rain quite like Amazon.
  • No sharing playlists – or any real social integration.
  • Their curated playlists bite the bag.

Honestly, I cannot think of anything pleasent to say about Amazon Prime Music, other than it comes free with an Amazon Prime account. It is a passible service to create some playlists for road trips, or for walking / running. Spotify is clearly a superior product and has spoiled my tastes a bit. The developers are trying to make a product that celebrates and improves upon the way people listen to music, while Amazon is just trying to sell music. It is a bit like spending most of your time in a warm, inviting record store, and then walking into Walmart. Maybe someday I’ll return to Spotify, providing it lasts.

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