A long while back, I went on a self-imposed boycott of buying CDs because I want the music industry to either smarten up or die. When iTunes went live, I felt the music industry had finally started to wisen up to the digital world, so I bought a bunch of stuff there. However, I have no desire to own an iPod (various reasons) so I used Hymn to unlock the music I purchased. When that devolved into a cat and mouse game between iTunes and the Hymn developers, I added them to my boycott, holding out for DRM-Free love. That I bought a Cake CD recently may seem like I broke the boycott, but the CD was self-produced, self-released and I bought it straight from the band so, as far as I’m concerned, that was kosher.
Well, everything changed again. Amazon has opened a new store selling DRM-free MP3s and good God am I thrilled. We’re not talking obscure bands you’ve never heard of here, we’re talking a good mix of new discoveries and old favorites. My first two purchases thus far have been Nirvana’s Nevermind, which I have never owned on anything other than cassette tape (which I played over and over again in high school until I wore it down) and Feist’s The Reminder, which contains that peppiest of peppy songs “1 2 3 4″ which, ironically enough, is now being used to sell iPods.
The songs average about $0.89 a piece to boot, which is far better than iTunes’ attempt at DRM-free music at more than a buck a pop. My God…. the music industry got it right for once!!! I downloaded Amazon’s downloader application, which I’m sure is tracking all kinds of information about my listening habits, but was told it wasn;t required, so that was nice. I immediately began playing my music on Windows Media Player, which happens to be my player of choice because it’s free and required no fancy install work to get rolling on my 5.1 surround sound system. The only danger I foresee is that purchasing MP3s is connected to Amazon’s One-Click system, which means I purchased two CDs worth of music without thinking twice about it. Oooo…. that could be costly.
Here’s hoping this is the beginning of a long, wonderful run of easy exploration of new artists and re-discovery of old favorites.