Amazon Prime - Thanks but no thanks
I will be honest and say that Amazon Prime with its full offer looked really appealing to me. Of course there is Netflix and such, but reading the description with all the books, music and videos included, sounded really good. Actually too good to be true, but I have decided to sign up for the free 30-days trial.
Before I write more, I have to say that on amazon.de (for Germany and Austria) the yearly subscription is 49 euro, but for UK it's 79 pounds. Huge difference (justified by...?) but I chose to go for UK version (due to the geographical limitations of the other version - no applicable if you own a VPN service, but yeah!)
So, here I go as a new subscriber and I fire it up. First the music:
It sounds great, so "Listen with Prime music".
Whaatt??? They seems to require again all the personal details, even if I was already logged in. I already have my credit card details saved, so this step is completely not necessarily for me. I said NO Thanks.
Great... Watch now!
WHAAAT??? They support only one browser, the famous Google Chrome. I was running on an unknown browser called Firefox, so I guess that's alright. Except I don't like a browser controlled by Google.
Ok, what's next? Yeah, PHOTOS!
Free with Prime, unlimited storage, blah blah blah!
Ok, I'm on a laptop so I'll go for "Desktop" application (sweet irony).
Too bad stupid Linux user! We have a client only for Mac or Windows! It doesn't matter that we have an enormous financial power to support a couple of developers to compile the Linux version. We just don't care.
Well, if you are unable to access movies, music or photos... there are still some e-books to get for free. But I haven't invested a minute of my attention because... you need a Kindle. I don't own one of such beautiful devices, so I gave up.
Amazon Prime. Sublime, but if you don't run with the crowd, then you're fu***d! Thanks but no thanks.
The only good thing about Prime is that is so easy to cancel.
As alternatives, use Netflix, Flickr (photo storage) or Vimeo (video storage). This way, you don't have to worry about you ass being owned only by one corporation. Or wait until Prime will be indeed for everyone.
Update: it looks like Netflix is suffering from the same issues and due to the lack of an official client on Linux (and problematic Silverlight DRM for Firefox), it needs some more work in order to make it run.
Disclaimer: yes, there are alternatives or workarounds around the limitations of the service. For example using web interface instead of the desktop client for photos. But I don't think we should look that far. This is not a startup offering beta versions of the services. We're talking here about a really serious company with billions of $ to spend. The stakes are different and they failed.