I was really excited about apple iTunes. I thought that they could be a reliable source for buying e-music online.

Well, it looks like they’re not going to be the source for me. I bought one cd from them this week. Bowling for Soup - Lets do it for johnny. I immediately burned a music cd of it for my car.

Well, I upgraded my computer 2 days later, figuring that the LBA couldn’t have changed much since the last generation of motherboards, I was wrong. After reinstalling my computer from scratch, I realized that I hadn’t set iTunes to save my music files out to the server like all my other programs do. (all important files go to Ruri, my server, so that I can basically wipe Lain out anytime I want to and not lose anything important.)

Ok, I figured. I’ll just go back to iTunes and download it again. I paid for it after all, Baen and EMusic allow you to re-download things you buy…

Wrong! Apple doesn’t allow you to download your music again. It looks like my only option now is to rerip that cd I made for the car to Ogg or MP3. How annoying.

Man, do I ever hate large companies who could care less about their customers.

Not only that, but their cost is almost as much as buying a CD in the first place. $9.99 isn’t cheap for a cd. I could go to half.com and get the same cd for $12. Many cds can be found for $6 or less there. You don’t even get any of the liner materials, or any sort of the enhanced content that cds these days come with. That’s what really sells products, if you get more by buying it, and more conveniently than it takes to pirate it, you’re sure to sell more copies. That’s how you compete with free. iTunes may be somewhat convenient, but you don’t get much for your money.

Sometime I’ll make up a comparison chart.

Here’s the other part. Baen offers inexpensive, $2.50-4 downloads of their newest and latest paperback books (about half price,) They give you most of the bonus materials, including a decent resolution scan of the cover, liner notes are typed in, and most of the extra pictures are also scanned in. They allow you to download these books as many times as you want, and even promise to keep them up as long as Baen exists, regardless of if they continue their online book sales or not. They allow you to give a copy of all books you buy to a friend who isn’t yet a Baen reader through their gift subscription setup. There’s absolutely no copy protection, and books are provided in several formats. They actually state in several of their cdroms they release with books that you are free to share the data on them as long as you don’t sell it. On top of this, the authors make DOUBLE ROYALTIES on any e-books compared to paperback! Their authors have had amazing sales increases since they started this, and opened up a free library for people to download and try their books. WHY ON EARTH CAN’T THE MUSIC COMPANIES BE LIKE THIS? Can’t they see the forest through the trees? Are they still stuck in the bean-counter “save a penny while losing a dime” mentality?

Comic to go with this rant… http://techfox.comicgenesis.com/d/20031031.html