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May 01, 2003

iTunes Music Store

Yesterday I had my laptop at work, and decided to take the plunge, in a minimal, experimental fashion, by buying around $15 worth of tunes off of the Apple iTunes Music Store. The iTunes 4 interface is great, and browsing is relatively easy. Honestly, searching for tunes that I would regularly listen to, I found that they missed more than 70% of the time. I was doing searches of things I'd already bought on CD or LP over the last thirty years, things which I had found successfully on Napster.

Still, they have plenty of music I do like, and as I'm only paying for the tunes I want, I can hardly complain about the ones I can't find -- yet. So I did a bit of browsing, adding items to my shopping cart, trying to keep a diverse range of selections so as to test out the codec for fidelity. I got everything from Elvis' "Viva Las Vegas" to a nice version of "Una Furtiva Lagrima". "Missing", by the retro duo Everything But the Girl is particularly nice.

I went to pay, and entered computer limbo. Apple kept telling me that there were changes in my online account that I needed to approve. But the form they put up had no invalid info that I could see, and indicated no changed fields. I approved it, tried to buy again, and back to the form!

Finally, I created a new account just for the music. That worked, and in no time flat I was listening to my new tunes. Someday I'm gonna have to buy an iPod, as my laptop is one of the original Blueberry iBooks, and has very limited storage, so it's a temporary solution to hauling my tunes to work.

Will I buy again? I'm thinking yes. Probably about an album's worth of music a month, until the novelty wears off. The key here is that I get to do this ala carte, like Napster (though with a much more limited choice than Napster gave me). Once again, having an online catalog which doesn't try to cram ten songs that suck down my throat in order to get two songs I like, is a huge advantage which reboots my enthusiasm for fresh music acquisition.

Posted by dpwakefield at May 1, 2003 11:51 AM