When planning a recent international trip with my daughter, I was faced with a first-world problem: should I download a season of “My Little Pony” to the Amazon Kindle Fire for her to watch on the ten-hour flight or opt for iTunes, then buy and synch to an iPod?
I’d never used the Kindle Fire for downloading videos before -- only for streaming them. And clearly, we would not be relying on streaming Netflix from 30,000 feet flying across the Atlantic. But this seemed the perfect opportunity to test the Kindle Fire’s download mettle.
I set out to pit the two services in a head-to-head “horse” race. I started on the Kindle Fire, a device I use less. But I wanted to see how easy it would be to find the show. Surely, Amazon would have “My Little Pony.” But alas, a search only returned the show “MAD.” I tried again on the computer, just in case I’d been doing something wrong on the tablet and the result was the same. There was no "My Little Pony" for purchase. That made the decision easy. I’d have to buy it on iTunes. Of course, iTunes first gave me the HD version -- and yeah, kid, I love you -- but I’m not spending $2.99 per episode. I bought several of the $1.99 standard-def ones instead.
But to make the test fair, I needed to buy something for the Kindle Fire. So I hunted out “Phineas and Ferb,” another show she’s fond of. In its results, Amazon first delivered the free option -- the streaming of the shows. This is a good thing. Free should always be offered first. But I didn’t want that version, so I signed in with my Amazon Prime account and clicked on the “TV shows for purchase” option. I then searched for “Phineas and Ferb,” but I was foiled again and greeted with the message “not available for purchase or playback.”
So that made Amazon 0 for 2. I decided to try one more show just to see if maybe I had landed on a few bad eggs. I found a recent episode of “Pink Panther & Pals” on the Kindle Fire and purchased that for $1.99 and started watching immediately.
And here’s where Amazon wins -- there’s no need to synch the device to the computer. Because I still had to go through that extra step and synch my laptop to my iPod to bring the whole season of “My Little Pony” over to the iPod.
Oh, but maybe iTunes wins after all. Because iTunes got $30 of my money. Well, that is, if these shows will ever finish downloading…