May 07, 2003

apple music store

I wanted to post to share my experiences with the new Apple Music Store, available via iTunes 4. The idea is really cool - the implementation is even cooler. Having the store run through iTunes was a stroke of genius. Searching for tracks is fast and easy. Downloading is a snap. One you have an Apple ID and your credit card info registered with them (which of course, takes mere minutes), you never have to worry about re-entering your credit card info again. When you find a track, you click they "Buy" button next to it - it asks you for your Apple ID and password, and voila, your track begins downloading. And it downloads directly into your iTunes library, the track is inserted into the correct Artist and Album folder, without any of the hassle of finding where you've downloaded it to, and then picking a place to store it.

The files come as 128kbps AAC files, so the file sizing will SEEM the same as equally-lengthed MP3s, but apparently the quality is supposed to be strikingly higher. I cannot confirm this, however, because I have not listened to the tracks other than through iBook speakers. With the files comes the COVER ARTWORK from album a track is from. This is something I think is super cool. I'd be even cooler to, with the purchase of an entire album, to also get the liner notes and other album artwork, in slightly larger sizes so as to be readable, but I'll leave that for the future.

applemusicstore.jpgThe AAC format first sort of freaked me out, because I was concerned about not being able to burn audio CDs from them - because the AAC files come "protected", meaning, they supposedly cannot be converted. I quickly overcame this fear after burning a CD of both AAC and MP3 files directly from iTunes, and having it play in every CD player at my disposal.

I also learned, from the iPoding website, that you can drag the AAC files into Toast Titanium while the app is on the Audio CD selection, and the files will automatically convert, and you can then save the files again as AIFF files, and then of course use any plethora of other apps to further convert at will.

Overall, I'm quite enthused about it all. The ease of finding and downloading the tracks, along with the slickness of the interface, is quite alluring - but I am cheap. $0.99, to me, still seems like a bit high for the price of a track - especially having been spoiled by the likes of LimeWire. But slowly the idea is gaining on me. LimeWire can be slow and unproductive sometimes, and I'm never really sure what the end result will sound like, really.

My one big problem with the Apple Music Store at this time is the available selection. I know Apple is working to get in cahoots with more of the music companies, and adding to their products every day. I've browsed for many an artist where no result was found. I realize they are working on this, though. But I wonder - are they ever going to get bands like Minor Threat up there? Are they ever going to have the available catalog of, say, what Amazon is able to sell?

posted by julie at May 7, 2003 10:12 AM

things people have said

The "only" thing I don't like about iTunes store, is that even the windows version I cannot use. Songs are not being sold to people outside the US and Canada.

Poor us third world people, we can definitely not buy music in the store and not on the internet.

Long live KaZaa

(and yes, I would rather pay for the superior service that you described, even at 0.99 a track)

Oh by the way, I am from Suriname and I love your site

so said: Patrick at January 22, 2004 05:26 PM