Amazon’s long-awaited Music streaming platform called Amazon Music is now accessible to Prime members in India. As we reported earlier, the service is available for all Android, iOS and desktop users. Soon after Amazon Music went live across the country, I decided to put to it to test, not only to understand its working but also how it compares to some of the existing music streaming apps and services like Saavn, Gaana and Google Play Music.
Amazon Music is limited for users with the Prime membership, which costs Rs 999 per year. But in spite of an active Prime membership, I initially faced some issues registering myself onto Amazon Music. Each time I visited music.amazon.in desktop website or Amazon Music app for Android, I’d end up on a billing page waiting for my credit/debit card details.
I figured out I was being redirected to Amazon Music Global platform (music.amazon.com) on both app and website. Yes, Amazon Music first went live in the US, Canada and several European countries, and the subscription cost there is of course different.
Upon contacting Amazon customer care, I learnt that since my account was created in 2012 and no other Amazon digital services for were available back then in India, default marketplace for my account was set to amazon.com instead of amazon.in. Shortly after bringing this to their notice, Amazon customer care then set my default marketplace as amazon.in.
This issue may arise for those who had signed up for Amazon account in 2012 or before. If you are facing a similar problem, go to amazon.in and log into your Amazon account. Navigate to Your Orders > Manage Your Content and Devices > Settings > Country setting. From here, change your country to India. Now, try accessing music.amazon.in from a desktop or sign out of a mobile app and log in once again.
While accessing Amazon Music from a desktop, there were many sections and playlists on the homepage itself, i.e., ‘New and Trending,’ ‘Music for Every Mood’ and much more, depending on your language preferences. The search bar worked as expected. I searched for songs by movie/album names and in some cases artist names, and it was fast enough to show accurate results. No matter what songs I chose to play, it’d load and play them immediately, which was impressive!
On the left, there are many options to choose from: Home, stations and more. At the bottom of the screen, I found various settings upon clicking on my name. I could configure by music preferences, set streaming audio quality or change the display name. I will dig more into these options during my detailed review of Amazon Music in the next few days. For now, what I liked the most was the platform’s simplicity in terms of both the user interface as well as experience.
On Amazon Music for Android, however, setting up the account initially took a bit longer than expected. I had to reinstall the app a couple of times before I could finally play some songs. Unlike desktop experience, the mobile app was a bit cranky. There was a noticeable lag while navigating through playlists on the homescreen. I also noticed a mobile app wouldn’t load music as fast as on the desktop, which may be a dealbreaker for many. The clarity was good, though.
I had nothing much to complain about except my dodgy Jio 4G network until the point I decided to download the song I was playing. Upon hitting the download option, it threw up some random error “Download Failed. Too many devices using Amazon Music. Error 210.” But upon trying after some time, I could successfully download the song.
Although Amazon Music is promising and has got a lot of things right, it seems to have a long way to go in India and compete with the likes of Saavn, Gaana and Google Play Music. It appears to be a decent performer across desktop but there are still a few creases on Android to iron out (and I am yet to test it on iOS).
It’s still early days for the service in India; technically it is just a day old. I’ll continue using Amazon Music as my primary music streaming app for a few more days and come up with a detailed review in the coming days. Stay tuned for the same.