iTunes Compromise

A few follow-up thoughts on the iTunes integrated store:

– Some comments on last night’s post led me to check out eMusic and yup, it’s very cool. Great service. But for me (and I suspect many others) the integration of the store into iTunes just makes sense and is going to result in me buying more music. Possibly a lot more. I don’t know how or why — it just feels much natural to use that little iTunes search window I use all the time to search on music I don’t already have than it is to go to an external web site. Also, the flat rate at eMusic means I would feel compelled to spend time surfing for music whether I need music this month or not. Don’t have much time for that these days and prefer not to feel compelled to shop.

– There are a dozen arguments we can level against the first incarnation of the service (not available internationally, only offers Big Popular music), but the fact is that the war between The Labels and The People over digital music downloads has been going on for several years now, with no signs of abating. What we need are major steps toward compromise, so the labels, the artists, and consumers all get what they want. This is what that compromise looks like. Not perfect from every angle, but also better than what we have now, ie bidirectional animosity and ongoing war. The service will improve over time. It just launched.

– Several complaints about albums costing too much to purchase digitally. Yup, that’s true, I’d agree with that but add that half the point here is that you don’t have to buy the album – you buy the tracks you like. If you want the whole album, why not just buy the CD? On the other hand, if they can offer substantive discounts on whole albums, I would be more inclined. Just saying that my approach has always been to purchase the whole album if I want the whole album and download songs if I just want songs. Nothing about this store changes that.

Anyway. Despite its imperfections, I still think this service is going to make huge inroads towards cracking the great nut of electronic music sales. Done right, everyone wins.

Music: Johnny Mercer :: Strip Polka

5 Replies to “iTunes Compromise”

  1. The one problem I have with AAC thus far is that the MP3 player in my car doesn’t DO AAC. They’ll let me export the thing to CD, right? I suppose I can then re-rip the track as an mp3, but I have the feeling the quality will degrade so far that it won’t be worth the bother after that.

  2. Somebody has to be first in the pool. If everyone waits for everyone else to upgrade to AAC, it will never happen. Apple is helping to push it forward, which will help adoption of MPEG 4 audio. That’s a good thing.

  3. My problem with this whole iTunes debate, which i’m starting to try to follow, is that it still feels utterly esoteric. The thing doesn’t sound very accessible to the people who use PCs to download mp3s thru whatever serves as the Napster of the moment. If one of the goals is to somehow solve that problem, then something like eMusic, which isn’t integrated into any particular platform, is probably going to be the type of solution that ends up working. Something that’s just focusing on hardware that mac people use is going to miss the majority of the market.

  4. i, you’re right that a web-based service is more universally accessible, but check the news on macslash.com today – iTunes is being ported to Windows.

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