Ed Bott Compares 6 Music Services: Can They Beat iTunes?
"Apple’s success in digital music is not for lack of competition, however. Over the past few months, I’ve been sampling all of the major U.S.-based competitors to the iTunes Music Store, as well as a few fascinating minor-league competitors. In this post, I’ll show you how each one stacks up against iTMS in terms of pricing and available features. After my testing was complete, I had a new favorite music service, and after you read my report you might decide it’s right for you too."
Bott compares services from Amazon MP3, Zune Marketplace, Rhapsody, eMusic, Lala, and Amie Street against Apple's iTunes digial music powerhouse in price, selection, and user experience. With three of the seven albums he tested, iTunes had the highest price. Lala.com snagged the lowest price point for each of the six albums it had in its collection. Clearly, there are advantages to each of the services; get a subscription (Napster, Rhapsody, Zune) if you care about listening to tracks before downloading. If indie music a la carte is more your bag, eMusic and Amie Street provide plenty of tracks by lesser-known artists, while Amazon MP3 and iTunes seem to be the more mainstream options for minimal fuss and iPod integration.