Amazon is taking on iTunes on Apple's own turf.
Beginning this week, iPhone and iPod users will be able to access an iOS-optimized version of the popular Amazon MP3 store – not as an App Store app (a move that Apple likely would have sought to block) but through the Safari browser. To get to the platform, boot up your phone, and navigate over to Amazon.com/MP3, where you'll find a sleek and shiny HTML5-based MP3 Store Web application.
"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," Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music, said in a statement.
Amazon says 22 million songs and 2 million albums are available through the MP3 store, many at prices that undercut those on iTunes – the Amazon MP3 store, for instance, offers plenty of tracks for $0.69, compared to the typical $0.99 price on iTunes.
So how does the service stack up to iTunes? Well, over at The Mac Observer, Jim Tanous is pleased, for the most part.
"Although not a native app, our early impressions of Amazon’s MP3 Store on iOS devices is positive," Tanous wrote in a short hands-on review posted today. "Responsiveness is good and the layout is well-designed for touch input. While many may still prefer to stick with Apple’s ecosystem, those looking for an alternative will likely be pleased by Amazon’s latest move."
No word yet on what Apple thinks of the platform.