Plastic, please (or, How I DIDN'T learn to dump the CD and love the iTunes store)
If you know me, you know content is a pretty big deal with me, and music is top amongst content sections.
Now, call me old fashioned - but I still buy my music, and I do it in plastic form.
Don’t get me wrong, the music industry is extremely f**ked up, and has been screwing my favorite artist (and others), as well as us consumers for years.
Still, I want to pay for the music I like. I always saw the music download scene (since Napster and up to Torrents, Usenets, and, in a way, Youtube) as having two roles in my music experience:
- Allowing me to discover and try out music before I purchase it (I buy things that I like and don’t own)
- Allowing me to hear rare versions that are not necessarily purchasable, or purchasable for me (since I do live outside the US/UK/Commonwealth)
“OK, we get the general geist - but why not buy music online?”, some would ask.
Well, there are several reasons, and amongst other I can point out that:
- Buying music online has a very different browsing experience than in “record stores”
- Discovery, Discovery, Discovery
- The covers and booklets
- The formats - I would like to buy music in a lossless (or as close to, since it is digitalised) format all the time
- The physical backup - yes, I think I should still have one (though, the cloud may change it, eventually)
- The DRM - If I rip my CDs, the files are mine to use. I’m not locked into one DRM system, or anything. I can port them to any of my devices as I please.
Don’t get me wrong - I think it’s all solvable, and I would love to pay direct to the artist (or a small cap to a broker and a lot to the artist) once it’s solved, but we aren’t there yet.
Well, today I decided to try and see if buying music online can work for me.
I went to the go to place (especially since I have a multitude of Apple products) - the iTunes store.
I’m on the american store, I’ll just go and buy the fourth CD in Johnny Cash’s American series, right?
Wrong. They don’t have it. The have the 3rd, they have the 5th, but not the 4th (or 1st, or 2nd, for that matter).
I had a moment of weakness, where they could have converted me, and they failed to.
So I’ll stick with plastic, at least for now, thank you very much.