Monday, November 21, 2011

Amazon 4-eva? Maybe later...

Like many of the gadget obsessives, I've been playing around with this new Amazon Kindle Fire. I keep running into little things that make me wish there were a bit more to this product/service. I know that, in time, the service will mature to match similar competitive offerings, but I can't help but wonder if it's going to be worth the wait. First and foremost, the idea of having to maintain a subscription to get the content I want on a device I've purchased is feeling like a tough pill to swallow.

Here's how it's all playing out in my head. It's really a decision between two ecosystems:

  • I can buy media from Apple. I buy it, download it, and it's available on my devices. That's pretty much the end of it. If I decide I never want to buy anything from Apple again, I still have access to all the content I have purchased in the past.
  • I can buy media from Amazon. I buy it, maybe I download it, and it's available on some of my devices (if I downloaded it, and/or the device supports Amazon's media services, which many do). I can get a Prime subscription, and then I get a bunch of other content, and expedited shipping.

I know that what I buy from Apple will 'just work' with my Apple devices, and should work with my PC if necessary. But that doesn't seem to be the case with Amazon. Getting content to and from the Kindle Fire seems only possible through Amazon.  Of course, I'm already heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, so trying to bring an alien device in it bound to be problematic. Still, Amazon feels like much a riskier investment right now. The ecosystem just feels...incomplete.

What happens when I cancel my Prime subscription or don't want to pay for storage? It seems like there are a lot of these questions in the back of my head, and until I hear an answer I'm a little apprehensive about spending too much on Amazon content.

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