TechSpot

What's Wrong With Digital Music Stores?

By Julio Franco
Sep 3, 2004
  1. An insightful story went up this morning at PC World detailing some of the major shortcomings seen on today's digital music stores. The writer seems to believe high prices is perhaps the first thing that should be changed, taking for example Real's success when it cut prices by half and reportedly sold 1 million songs during its first week, the offer is for a limited time though.

    On a related story, Apple who holds the popularity crown with its iTunes store sounded off earlier this week regarding MSN's new Music download service, saying it has fewer features and fewer songs than the market-leading iTunes.

    Finally I was left wondering how your perception of buying music online has changed over the past few months, earlier this year we put up a poll asking you about Online music services, these were the results:

    * Will never buy music online
    46% - 114 votes
    * Haven't considered the possibility
    34% - 84 votes
    * Plan to buy music online soon
    9% - 23 votes
    * Tried the service with a few songs
    7% - 18 votes
    * Bought many songs already
    4% - 10 votes

    How has this changed for you? Not much? Or perhaps you are now a regular music downloader/buyer? Please post in the comments section.
     
  2. I use this site www.allofmp3.com
    Its great and cheap at about 5cents per song. :)
     
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    As opposed to using Kazaa, which is 0 cents per song.
     
  4. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,602   +358

    Limitations enforced by DRM have for the most part taken away my interest in buying through online music stores.
     
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    I'd rather pay some sort of fixed fee every month to download whatever the hell I like. I'd even pay well for this - my ISP could even manage the fee collection. Pigs may indeed also fly some time in the future as well.
     
  6. erickdj

    erickdj TS Rookie Posts: 73

    DRM really sucks, I'll stick to the fee method. I currently own dozens of retail cd's and will continue to buy retail cd's whenever I see a cd that's worth my money.

    - Watch your language on these forums
    Didou
     
  7. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268

    I rather buy worthy cds than mp3s from online music stores.
     
  8. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,384   +15

    Same, when you buy a CD you get the physical CD, and the mp3s.

    When you buy it from the online store, you only get the mp3s, but I suppose u could burn the cd, but why u can get by with the cd without having to burn it..
     
  9. Schmapdi

    Schmapdi TS Rookie

    I agree, the thought of not actually owning any of my favorite albums is unappealing. A burned copy just isn't the same thing.
    I've never used an online music store though, do they give you that art to print out liner notes and whatnot? Also, I'm not the type to just want a single song, and I suspect this makes up the majority of I-tunes and the what-nots sales. Just make real cd's a flat 10 bucks.
     
  10. Shnig

    Shnig TS Enthusiast Posts: 175

    Also The audio quality is much less when buing music then it is for cds.
     
  11. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    As I've never purchased any songs online I have a question : do you get to choose the quality of the file you purchase ( 192kbs, 256kbs, variable bit rate, etc.) ?

    & if yes, I suppose it's the same price for whichever quality.;)
     
     
  12. Shnig

    Shnig TS Enthusiast Posts: 175

    Im not sure but I have heard that itunes sold them at 128kbps which is just crazy give me a cd any day.
     
  13. I also like http://www.allofmp3.com/ . From their site

    Online Encoding was created and implemented as a unique technology for providing our users with high quality audio files in the format and bit rate of their choice. Of course, this type of technology is very costly, so we must charge.. However, we've found several technological solutions that allow us to provide our service for a minimal price.

    Online Encoding enables you to get music in the format (MPEG-1 Layer 3 - MP3, Windows Media Audio - WMA, Ogg Vorbis - OGG, MusePack - MPC, MPEG-4 AAC, etc.) and quality you prefer. The large assortment of encoding formats and bit rates can satisfy any user
    With the mp3 format, three quality settings are available: low quality (128 kbps), high quality (192 kbps), and CD quality (320 kbps).

    Basic mp3 rate is a penny per megabyte. Throw in no worries of virii and or spoofed tracks and it's better than free. Sometimes the servers get tied up with too much traffic and it's hard to get through. My connection is 135kbp/s but with an accelerator (Star Downloader) I am getting 165kbp/s
     
  14. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    Hmm, maybe I should take a closer look at that allofmp3.com
    As I can choose to buy the music in plain mp3's, there will be no DRM (very good thing!) and that I even get to choose up to 320kbps makes it very tempting.
     
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