Today, Amazon unleashed a (fame) monster that it seems unable to control. For one day only, Amazon is selling the mp3 version of the new Lady Gaga album (all 14 songs, plus a PDF booklet) for $0.99. The sale seems to have taken the Web by storm, and it’s shown just how fragile Amazon’s download service could be.
I have heard first-hand accounts of people trying to download the album and ending up with only one or two songs. After that, the whole download process seemed to fail for them. In addition, a lot of people seem to have taken to Amazon’s review system to voice their displeasure over the download fails. As of right now, there are 103 1-star comments on the album; and quite a few of them speak to the frustrating issues people are experiencing while trying to download the album; rather than making any comment at all on the quality or enjoyability of the music, itself.
Is this a major fail for the online retail giant, or is it just a tiny hiccup in their path to total world domination? Will this experience make you think twice before purchasing music from Amazon in the future?
For me, quite honestly, the download issues aren’t nearly as troubling as the fact that I am apparently required to install Amazon’s download manager in order to get the songs to my computer. I have enough proprietary software on my computer already; I don’t need yet another download manager just to purchase a single 99¢ album.
Edit – After reading a few more tweets and microblog posts on the issue, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that the users experiencing download issues are those that chose to add the album to their Cloud Player account. Users that bypassed the Cloud Player and decided to download the album directly (of which I am one – I bought the album for my wife, honest) have been able to successfully download the tracks with little hassle. Therefore, if you still haven’t purchased the album but are thinking about it; you should bypass the Cloud Player for now.
It also came to my attention that this sale is only available to users inside the US. All other users seem to get an error message telling them that mp3 downloads are not available in their country.