One site to rule them all

Suddenly, I've begun to appreciate the genius of Amazon's digital media strategy. With a Kindle, a TiVo set up for Amazon Unbox videos, and a sizeable MP3 downloading habit, I've used pretty much all their download services. And today I just realized that I have a central media library, where all the books, movies, television shows, and music I've purchased are stored. If I lose anything, I can re-download from their central server (unlike iTunes, which made me buy again). I can retrieve them through the device, or push them from Amazon.

The convenience of the thing is already a big selling point over places like Netflix (though with the selection still somewhat skimpy, I'm holding onto the subscription). The lack of DRM is a big advantage over iTunes. But the central storage is a killer app. It doesn't cost Amazon much--they only need one copy on their servers--but it saves me a hell of a lot of room and annoyance in arranging backups. And being able to browse your whole library in one place--as well as share it with others--is pretty damn useful.

Amazon still has a ways to go on accumulating content, but that seems like their smallest challenge, given their already powerful distribution relationships. The other stuff needs some UI tweaks, but it's already basically there. This may save TiVo. And force Apple to step up their game.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In