When the Palm Pre launched on Sprint back in 2009, little 'ole Palm partnered with Amazon, offering the relatively new Amazon MP3 store (launched two years prior as the first online music store to offer tracks without DRM) as a pre-installed app. It was a good compromise for Palm, hoping to take on Apple's iPhone - remember when they were going back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth with Apple, making the Pre impersonate an iPod when plugged into a computer and Apple updating iTunes to prevent that bit of hackery? Those were fun - and quite hilarious - days.
Today, however, it's not so dandy as far as music on webOS is concerned. Sure, there's Pandora and Spotify, but if you want to download music onto your device, it seems you can now count Amazon MP3 out. As noticed by The Linked List, Amazon MP3 is no longer working as it ought to. The app will find albums and tracks just fine, but when it comes time to buy it, things start to fall apart.
There are two issues. The Amazon MP3 app can be found on a number of webOS smartphones that were sold in the US, including the HP Pre3. The first problem has to deal with Amazon's Cloud Player streaming music player, a service that ties in nicely with Amazon MP3. Until recently, buying and downloading a song from the webOS Amazon MP3 app would see that song also automatically added to Amazon Cloud Player (the same happens when you from Amazon's Android app or from their website on a desktop).
Now, it seems, that's not happening - the MP3 is successfully downloaded onto your smartphone, but the purchase isn't also transferred into Cloud Player. Sure, you can transfer the MP3 off your Pre via USB onto your computer and upload it to Cloud Player via Amazon's synchronization app, but that's just a pain.
The other issue is more of a headache, especially if it arises in conjunction with the above. Some users of the Amazon MP3 app have been hit with an error of "Failed to complete that request. Try again later." after hitting the buy button. You might shrug and try again later as suggested, but in the meantime your credit card has been charged by Amazon for the MP3 you wanted but you have not the song in your possession. If it's not on your device and not added to Amazon's Cloud Player, then things get even more frustrating. You're out the money, with no music to show for it (Amazon Cloud Player has become Amazon's backup music downloading solution - all of your purchases are supposed to be in there). Being a decent corporation, Amazon has at least made it easy enough to lodge a complaint and get your money back.
When we asked Amazon about the issue, they suggested that we make sure we have the latest version of the app installed from the Amazon Appstore for Android or Google Play (duuurh). It's clear that the webOS Amazon MP3 app has fallen off of Amazon's radar - the app hasn't seen an update since it's release in 2009, and we doubt it'll see an update ever in the future (especially considering that it's a first-generation Mojo framework app and Open webOS does not include support for that legacy framework). Our suggestion: just don't use the app. It's disappointing to not be able to download music anymore from Amazon or other sources, but thems the breaks when you're using a three-year-old-app on an abandoned smartphone.
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