Apple is so large, so ubiquitous, and so rich that every company that sells anything resembling Apple’s product lines wants a piece of the Cupertino, CA’s hide. Take Amazon. Please. Not only is the online behemoth selling tablet hardware at near the cost of manufacturing, Amazon also sells plenty of music and movies, and at least in the U.S., is something of a rival to Apple’s iTunes Store, a store that makes billions for Apple and Amazon wants a few more slices of that pie.
Here’s the problem. Amazon’s store works well to buy products, but Amazon’s applications are still stuck in 1999. Take the Amazon Cloud Player for the Mac as a for instance. Like iTunes, Amazon Cloud Player for Mac lets you shop Amazon’s extensive music store and download and play what you buy. Generally speaking, music from Amazon costs a bit less than from the iTunes Store.
Even better, the Cloud Player will add whatever DRM-free music you’ve purchased from iTunes so you can play your entire music library from one place. Music can be exported to other music players easily enough. And, what you buy is backed up to your Amazon account online so you can use it on a Kindle Fire, Android smartphone or tablet, even iPhone and iPad (and a few other devices).
Amazon Cloud Player looks modern and crisp and professional.
So far, so good, right? Amazon Cloud Player would be great if it worked even half as good as iTunes (bona fide bloatware and not my favorite Mac app). App users have amassed a laundry list of problems, hiccups, and gotchas. A number of times I’ve received a ‘We’re sorry, but Cloud Player Desktop is not supported in your region‘ message, though I’m definitely alive and well in the U.S. The upgrade from OS X Mountain Lion to Mavericks made usage worse, not better, with crashes, freezes, and odd messages which make it a cumbersome way to manage music.
With some problems, a few of Amazon’s support messages say to use a web browser instead of the app. There are enough hiccups in this process to make iTunes Music Store look like a bargain. Things are so bad that a few weeks ago Jonathan Seff came up with 4 ways Amazon can fix its crummy Cloud Player. The easiest way would be to use iTunes instead.