When Amazon launched the beta version of its DRM-free MP3 store back in 2007, many predictions were made regarding whether the online retail giant would have what it takes to take on its counterpart in the digital music space, Apple iTunes. Although Amazon MP3 has yet to reach iTunes status in terms of catalog size and overall digital media sales, the lure of the ever-compatible MP3--which shows no signs of popping up in Apple's domain--combined with the pricing deals offered on the site and consistent growth in terms of selection is set to gain Amazon some serious headway in the coming months.
All the postulating and sales numbers are all well and good, but what happens when some music tech editors (and Brian Tong) pit Apple iTunes and Amazon MP3 head-to-head in the battle of the online media stores? This Prizefight, that's what. We took a bit of a different tack this time around, comparing interface, library selection, compatibility, sound quality, and value in five rounds of bone-crushing battle. As you can imagine, some differences were more apparent than others. However, who will be the ultimate champion in what is to become the leading market for music sales? Read on to find out which service gets to leave head held high and which will be forced to gimp away in shame.