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26 October 2005 @ 08:54 pm
iTunes Music Store  
So, the iTunes music store has finally opened in Australia.
Am I meant to be jumping for joy?

Can someone please tell me why I would pay $16.99 to download albums that I could get in the store for $20 (sometimes even less) and have a physical copy as well as an iTunes copy?

Here's a great example of the "value" you can get at iTunes; the most recent album I bought at JB-HiFi, Spiderbait's Greatest Hits.

$16.99 is admittedly $3 less than I paid at JB, however, as well as getting an actual CD, I also got a bonus Greatest Hits DVD for my $20.

Or, how about this example? 67Special's debut EP Hey There Bomb. Store price $5, iTunes price $8.99.

Sure, not everything is going to be that out of whack, but frankly, the way I see it I have three options for music:

Physical CD averaging around $20.
iTunes download averaging $16.99.
Illegal download for free.

I just don't see iTunes as being a good compromise between options 1 and 3. It's too expensive to dissuade me from illegal downloads and there's simply not enough discount to warrant me missing out on the physical product.

Assuming you are one of those people who doesn't partake of illegal downloading, surely you would rather pay $3 to have the original, physical CD.
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Eliseephant on October 26th, 2005 10:59 am (UTC)
Assuming you are one of those people who doesn't partake of illegal downloading, surely you would rather pay $3 to have the original, physical CD.

I would. I like having the CD. Especially if they come with booklets. :)
Steph_megalomania_ on October 26th, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)

If I'm going to pay that much money for something I'd want an actual cd and spiffy booklet for my troubles. I could understand buying it via iTunes if the cost was significantly less but for that amount...bah.

Hmm. I think I'll just be over here in the corner with my illegal downloads...until they come to their senses.
escarpeescarpe on October 26th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)
I was going to post about this!!
I agree totally, and I got the Spiderbate cd and Dvd and it doth rock verrely.
HegeMon: CybaHhege_mon on October 26th, 2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
Jacob: cybermanyak_boy on October 27th, 2005 06:16 am (UTC)
Hmm, indeed.
escarpeescarpe on October 27th, 2005 08:48 am (UTC)
I'm afraid the only way to get rid of a cyberman is to throw gold dust into it's ventilation unit. So you can try that if you like.
Jacob: cybermanyak_boy on October 28th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)
Damn, I left my gold-dust in my other pants!
parakleta on October 26th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC)
I think they get most of their sales through single track sales...
Jacobyak_boy on October 27th, 2005 06:14 am (UTC)
Quite possibly, but seeing as single songs are much easier to source illegally than albums, I think they are facing an uphill battle to compete with the P2P networks.
parakleta on October 27th, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
Maybe, but their figures suggest otherwise. I guess there might be people in the world not so keen to break the law and steal music, maybe they've got some strange twisted sense of morality. Historically, piracy has been quite minimal within the Apple community.
Jacob: ipodyak_boy on October 28th, 2005 01:34 am (UTC)
Since when is iTunes the Apple community?
In case you haven't noticed, iPods are everywhere and Macs aren't.

I am definitely not an Apple enthusiast, but I have an iPod and I use iTunes.
parakleta on October 28th, 2005 11:53 am (UTC)
Since Apple happens to make more than just Macs... don't worry though, I wont tell anyone that you buy... OMG No... Apple products. You seem to have some unresolved issues here...

Historically Apple has generally attracted a particular kind of consumer. Yes, they're drawing in a lot more people now with iTunes and the iPod, but it's still generally people who are willing to pay for quality, and who aren't overly motivated by piracy. In general, I think if you wanted to be able to easily pirate songs, especially because of the issue of cost, you'd probably choose a different product to the iPod, one that was cheaper and wasn't riddled with DRM technology.

All I was saying was that the iTunes store isn't as much of a failure as you seem to assume it will be, because there are different kinds of people in the world, including those who happen to like the convenience of being able to download the songs they want, legally and legitimately.
Jacobyak_boy on October 29th, 2005 03:09 am (UTC)
That was my point, the iPod is attracting a much wider base than the traditional Apple community. Obviously they are made by Apple, but the user base goes beyond the traditional users.

Whether or not the iTunes store is a commercial failure, I think it is a poor service, if not for everyone, at least for me.
raven_siriusraven_sirius on October 26th, 2005 09:45 pm (UTC)
And they don't even have sony yet, if ever! Although the funny thing is, alot of the stuff that I would want is not even on the major labels.
sjlsjl on October 26th, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC)
I'd have to concur with you. Playing devil's advocate, though: Apple has to have an agreement with a given music label to be able to sell their songs online. The label wants its cut (and, based upon what I've seen, that cut is the majority of the cost.) There is no way that Apple will suffer a significant loss on the sale of a track ... so they have to price according to what the labels want to be paid.

Where iTMS shines is in the ability to buy a single track, rather than the whole CD to get a single desirable track. Even there, though, I think it's fair to say that it is a bit overpriced.

I certainly haven't seen much on there that I'm particularly interested in ...
Jacob: queenyak_boy on October 27th, 2005 06:18 am (UTC)
And most of the media analysis of iTunes Australia is that the record companies are, perhaps deliberately, pricing them out of the market.
sjlsjl on October 27th, 2005 06:51 am (UTC)
If that's so, they're shooting themselves in the foot. People are very sensitive to perceived value; they'll do exactly the same sums you've done, and wonder why they'd bother with the iTMS.

Then they'll either buy the CD, or (more likely) download it.

Free clue to the labels (not that I think they'll listen): it's better to have 60% of relatively little than 0% of heaps.
Jacobyak_boy on October 28th, 2005 01:33 am (UTC)
I think the idea is that they are afraid of the e-market and want to keep people buying CDs.

Or it could be as you say, they are being too greedy and pricing themselves out of a potentially lucrative market.
sjlsjl on October 28th, 2005 01:51 am (UTC)
You might be right about the afraid bit ... remember that these are the same sort of people as were against the whole VCR idea (granted that that's movies, not music, but the mentality seems to be about the same.) What they don't understand, they fear; what they fear, they try to crush.

Wasn't there some suggestion that CD prices would drop as the manufacturing process was nailed down? Don't think that happened in a hurry ...

I'm convinced that the recording companies would charge us a buck for each time we hear one of their tracks, if they could figure out a way to do it.
Jessjess2903 on October 27th, 2005 01:01 am (UTC)
When I first heard about itunes here I thought it was a good deal, I mean why do you need the physical stuff really when you are buying it for the music essentially. But I suppose you do have a point, especially with the CD u mentioned that retails less in shops than on itunes. I think singles are a good deal though.
Jacob: cakeyak_boy on October 27th, 2005 06:20 am (UTC)
The physical CD is a lot more than just a medium to transport music. You are also getting liner notes, cover/CD artwork, often lyrics, and sometimes bonus features like multimedia content.
Robet Éivaayvah on October 28th, 2005 07:23 am (UTC)
Besides, on iTunes you're also paying for lower quality music.

128kb/s is NOT CD quality, no matter how much they spout that rubbish. CD quality is at minimum 470kb/s, going as high as 920kb/s.

Not to mention that music downloaded from iTunes comes with restrictions.

Given a choice between inferior quality iTunes music and packaged music with a booklet a CD case and whatever else they decide to put in, I think I'll go with the actual CD. The difference is audible if you've got the equipment.
rusty_dkrusty_dk on October 31st, 2005 11:57 am (UTC)
im glad that they have opened it, but ur right about the price...