We mentioned doubleTwist back in February when the Mac version debuted, but the latest update to the media management software has added a major new feature that positions it directly as an iTunes competitor: you can now buy music directly in doubleTwist from the Amazon MP3 store.
The store bears a passing resemblance to the iTunes Store, albeit trimmed down in both appearance and content: it lacks the same glut of information and media that Apple’s offering has accumulated throughout the years. Music is all that's on offer here, and as on Amazon's Web site, you can play 30 second samples of tracks and purchase individual songs or albums. Upon buying media, doubleTwist will automatically download the files and then allow you to sync them to any device that the software supports.
As always, doubleTwist’s major strength is acting as a conduit for transferring music, photos, and videos onto a veritable cornucopia of multimedia devices that aren’t supported by iTunes, including BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile devices. It also supports digital cameras and portable game consoles like the PSP. However, while the Windows version supports syncing with the iPod and the iPhone, this capability is still not available on the Mac, though doubleTwist says it's scheduled for a future update.
While doubleTwist isn’t nearly as mature as iTunes—basic amenities like shuffle and a track time display are missing—its underlying framework seems sound. I can’t help but think that Palm would have been better off hitching its wagon to a legitimate program like this for the Pre’s syncing needs, instead of repeatedly attempting to make an end run around Apple by hacking its way into iTunes.
So far, the store is only available in the Mac version of doubleTwist, but the Windows version is scheduled for release in the next week or so. The program is a free download, but requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.