So I decided to finally bite the bullet, and actually pay for some music.
Back in 2005 or thereabouts, I wrote on another blog somewhere I wouldn’t do so unless I could give some website a very small amount of money for some very high quality, DRM-free mp3s. I had no intention of being forced to change how I listen to my music just for the privilege of paying for it, and I still don’t.
It’s 2009, though, and the internet’s all growed up. We don’t have to go to Russia to buy mp3s anymore.
The very first shop-like Google hit for the album I want – unexpectedly, it’s Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi – is Amazon’s MP3 store. You can get it from amazon.com for US$8.99, or .co.uk for £7.99 – AU$12.55 or AU$16.66, take your pick.
Except my carefully converted Australian prices are utterly irrelevant – I’m not allowed to buy from either site, because their Digital Content providers refused them the right to export outside the US or UK respectively. Seriously, what they’ve done is copy and paste identical text to the local subsidiary’s T&Cs of each approved region, job done, let’s go home and watch something patriotic on teevee.
This is stupid. I have money. They have a completely automated online shop. I want to give their automated online shop my money in return for their music, and they won’t because of… moo?
A friend reminded me the iTunes Music Store now features DRM-free MP3s, which would be the ultimate solution…….. if I still used an iPod at all. The iTunes software for 64-bit Windows is a 70.4MB download; this is a drop in the ocean compared to how much music the average blogger torrents, but it also comes with Quicktime and tries to talk you into Safari and wants to steal file associations from Winamp and nags me to death with fifty unnecessary tray icons and popups and have you considered buying yourself a new iPod Shuffle, they come in dark grey now?
Why no, no I hadn’t. And never will. My Cybershot mobile phone already makes me a corporate whore sellout extroadinaire, I’m not very interested in cramming a separate PMP with fewer features into my minimalist pocket ensemble.
Um anyway, back to Einaudi – Googling his name in Australia produces no dice, the only results are people who want to sell me his sheet music (relative value and merit of making the mp3s myself, I leave open for debate), and Sanity who want to sell me CDs. I had to go to his website to find someone who’ll let me buy mp3s instead, and their two suggestions are these guys who also can’t sell outside the UK, and iTunes again.
I caved into something for the second time tonight and installed iTunes. Which confidently informs me Divenire will cost me $16.99. And I have to sign up for an account before I can pay for it. And give them my birthdate and stuff.
And you know what? I’m not going to do it. I’m going to dig right back in, and wait for a website that’ll let me pay for the music I’d like to buy. Russia’s no longer a mandatory visit, but I’d still have to leave my hemisphere to get what I want.
Thanks for nothing, interblag.