Amazon MP3 for Android Is A Great iTunes Alternative
Amazon MP3, an app often pre-installed on Android devices, allows you to browse through Amazon's ever growing DRM-free MP3 library and legally purchase music on your phone. With its most recent update, the app can now stream music that has been uploaded to your Amazon Cloud Drive as well as play files stored locally on an SD card.
While Amazon's music library may not be as robust as Apple's iTunes, I found it a bit easier to navigate on the mobile app. When you find a song you want to buy, you are given an option to either save it locally to your device, or to your Cloud Drive. If you save the file to your Cloud Drive, you can later download it onto your device or your computer at no extra cost. Amazon MP3 purchases that are saved directly to the Cloud Drive do not count against your storage quota.
One of the great things about Amazon MP3 is that you can stream your music to any Android device running 1.6 or higher with the app installed onto it. The only real issue I encountered when streaming over 3G was that higher bit rate files (audio files of a higher quality) would need to constantly buffer. That was not a problem when streaming over 4G or Wi-Fi, but if you don't have a 4G phone then it is kind of a moot point.
Playing music off of an SD card went off without a hitch, though the app only accepts AAC and MP3 formats (sorry FLAC fans). I preferred the Amazon music player over the bland stock Android one mainly because of its tight integration with the Amazon MP3 store. Instead of having to exit the app, an arrow at the top of the screen allows you to switch between the music player and the store on the fly.
Amazon MP3 is great for those of us with massive music collections, but lack the storage to carry it all with us. Even if you don't want to stream music, the Amazon media player is still far better than the default one found on some Android devices. It's free and definitely worth checking out, especially if you use your phone as your main music device.