- On vinyl (great for DJs, inconvenient to me)
- Through the iTunes Store (US only)
Why would any label - especially independents - restrict access to their music? Surely the first thing you'd do when signing your label to iTunes is to make sure your music is available to all regions.
This is just one example of a larger gripe, and the blame lies with all entities in the music industry: artists, labels, retailers and record companies. Larger companies are too scared to sell unrestricted copies of their music; oh well, their loss. But independents really need to get their act together and seek out ways to sell their music. Some do, but there is a need for a unified front.
When I find new music I like, I should be able to go to the web site of the artist or the label and easily find out how I can buy the song/album to download. Instead:
- Sometimes nothing's for sale.
- Often there's no download available. CDs are a good way to get music onto a computer or music player, but you have to pay shipping costs, then wait for delivery. Taking away these deterrents would allow for impulse buying.
- Sometimes downloads are available, but usually the best you can get is copy-protected stuff. Or it might be on eMusic, but that's a subscription system (tried it, didn't work for me).
- If a copy protected version is available, it -might- be usable (ie. available through iTunes Australia), or it might only be available overseas, or only available for the Windows Media platform (no good for iPod).
Given all the obstacles to buying music online, it's no wonder people download stuff without paying. The music industry complains that people steal music, but until there is an easy way to buy music online, there is no way to tell how many people do it because they don't want to pay and how many do it because their needs are not being met by artists and rights-holders.
It shouldn't be this hard!