By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 10:10 am
Here’s what DoubleTwist was talking about in its Steve-Jobs-is-an-evil-overlord ad from last week: The company has released a new edition of the Mac version of its media-management software with Amazon’s MP3 Downloads store built in. That makes it a more formidable alternative to iTunes–and DoubleTwist’s key attraction remains the fact that it supports hundreds of phones, media players, and other devices rather than just iPods and iPhones:
As with the rest of DoubleTwist, the store feels like a minimalist, defeatured iTunes. There’s no information about the artists or albums, no listener reviews, and no links to concert information. DoubleTwist also doesn’t provide access to Amazon’s video download store (it does, however, let you manage and convert unprotected videos you already have, as well as photos).
Basically, all you get is a search box and the ability to listen to samples and purchase tracks and albums:
In some ways, DoubleTwist’s extreme simplicity is a pleasant break from the bursting-at-the-seams behemoth that iTunes has turned into. Other than the expansive gadget support, the best thing about it is its pure speed: You can be in and out of the music store with a purchase far faster than in Amazon’s browser-based interface or in iTunes’ Music Store. (Every time I click the iTunes Store link in iTunes, I gird myself to mentally drum my fingers while it loads.)
All in all,the new DoubleTwist doesn’t justify an ad which seems to suggest its significance is worthy of comparison to the original Macintosh, or that users of iTunes (which DoubleTwist largely mimics) are zombies. But it’s well worth checking out, especially if you’ve got a Mac and a device that comes with poor vendor support for OS X, or none at all. (DoubleTwist says that the Amazon store will come soon to its Windows version.)