For lack of a wish list

Have you noticed the Amazon MP3 downloads don’t have an option to save to your wish list? I certainly did.

Now that Warner titles are available for download, I’ve been searching for stuff I used to own, as well as albums I’ve been meaning to check out. I’m used to the "Save for Later" feature of eMusic, and I found it odd that Amazon would leave out one of its most versatile features from this particular section of its site.

MP3 purchases are supposed to be impulsive, I guess — iTunes doesn’t have that kind of feature.

Amazon does provide links to CD titles from the download site, and from there, the wish list can be used. It’s rather passive-aggressive, no? "Here," Amazon’s interface seems to be saying, "why don’t you consider getting the CD while you’re at it?"

Well, I consider digital files to be the 21st Century answer to the cassette tape, but, to paraphrase Alton Brown, that’s another entry. Personally, I buy digital for a few reasons:

  • To hedge my bets. The eMusic subscription model is a cost-effective way to figure out if a CD is worth buying. If I’m not wowed by what I download, then there’s no onus for me to get a CD. The CD is, essentially, a high-quality backup of some lossy files.
  • To get titles not yet available domestically. Bridin Brennan’s Eyes of Innocence is available in the US through iTunes, and Nina Hynes’ Really, Really Do can be had through Amazon. Neither has been released in the US on CD. BIS titles are notoriously expensive, but an eMusic subscription can alleviate some of that expense.
  • To reacquire titles I used to own but don’t like well enough to get on CD again. I’ve so far done that once with the Kiss-Offs’ Rock Bottom, and I’ve been meaning to that with Amazon downloads.

In other words, I buy digital when I’m not feeling confident to invest in an entire CD, and yet Amazon attempts (by design or not) to make me consider a CD purchase — in addition or, ideally, instead.

I’m probably seeing conspiracies where there are none, but the inability to add MP3 downloads to an Amazon wish list strikes me as a well-engineered oversight.