Amazon MP3s

I’m sure all you clever denizens of the internets know about Amazon’s MP3 download store. It’s often touted--by the guys on MacBreak Weekly, for example--as being cheaper than iTunes: 89 cents per track. While this is true for many tracks, it’s my experience that most of Amazon’s MP3s are selling for iTunes-standard price of 99 cents. The more important advantage of Amazon’s store is that its tracks are high quality (256 kbps) and DRM-free. They can be moved to and played on any of your computers and iPods without worrying about whether the device is authorized. This is a big win.

But as I said, you already know all that. What you may not know is that every day Amazon puts an album on sale for $1.99, $2.99, or $3.99. These aren’t the latest and hottest releases, but they’re often quite good. You can see the Daily Deal in the upper left corner of the Amazon MP3 home page.

Of course, you don’t want to go visit a particular web page every day. You want the Daily Deal delivered directly to you. An RSS feed would be a great solution. As far as I know, Amazon itself doesn’t provide one. This robo-blog was posting the current deal every day and has a feed you can subscribe to. Unfortunately, it hasn’t updated in a couple of days. My guess is that its posts were generated by screen-scraping the Amazon page and a recent Amazon redesign borked the updates. It’s sad that the latest entry--now sitting there for three days--is the execrable No Jacket Required from the even more execrable Phil Collins. Maybe it will come back.

In the meantime, you have two choices for getting updates on the Daily Deal:

  1. If you’re a Twitterer, you can go to the amazonmp3 Twitter page and click the Follow button. Amazon has set up a Twitter bot that tweets the Daily Deal once a day, usually around noon, Central Time. The tweet contains a link to the Deals page, which includes the Daily Deal as well as some more expensive options.
  2. If you’re not into the Twitter, you can still take advantage of it, because Twitter creates feeds for the tweets of all its users in both the RSS and Atom flavors. I’ve always thought it was kind of goofy for Twitter to generate feeds for tweets, but here’s a good use for it.

I do not work for Amazon, and I’m not getting paid for this. I just think their MP3 store is great.