Wednesday 24 October 2007

Farewell iTunes Store (I never really loved you)

Well, not quite yet but soon (I hope)
Anyone who regularly buys music from iTunes will know what a complete pain in the burn digital rights management is. Those three little nasty letters are what lock up the music you download so you can't "share it with your friends". Now in fairness it's not really apples fault, as Steve Jobs has pointed out, the record companies won't let them sell the music unless it's copy protected, though the same record companies happily sell CDs in stores that are not copy protected.
iTunes + was introduced recently through a deal with EMI and lets you buy shareable music from iTunes for a slightly more inflated price of €1.29 per song instead of €0.99, but the catalogue is fairly limited.
Now I know it's "easy enough" to just burn an audio cd of your purchases and re import it in mp3 format (which is much more flexible) but it's also a monumental waste of time especially if you have just bought 1 song.
I live my life between 3 computers - 1 PowerBook G4, 1 G5 Mac Pro and a hybrid PC, I think Siemens and Dell are both involved - 3 iPods - an old shuffle for the gym, a 5th generation video ipod and a communal nano (2nd gen) for upstairs- and a previously mentioned k800i.
If I buy music, I like to be able to play it on whatever I want, after all I have paid for it. The whole situation is so annoying to me that I have recently reverted to old school CD purchases, and for the most part it's made my life easier, though I can't buy individual tracks..
And so it was, while searching for something on Amazon I came across amazonmp3 Beta Before I could get too excited I realised it only works for US customers (off course), but it has a fairly meaty selection and certainly things that are not available on iTunes Plus.
Maybe, just maybe, by the time it is available here Apple will have sorted out all the licensing issues, or maybe it will run into the same problems as apple, but maybe not. Either way, my loyalty will fly straight to the first to offer a decent catalogue of DRM free tracks for my dollar.

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