This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Amazon makes music easy (finally!)

Posted by Matt
I just found out about the latest (and greatest) music download service from Amazon.com. I can now download:
  • single music tracks for 89 cents each or albums for $8.99
  • in the mp3 format
  • WITHOUT DRM (digital rights management)

If you don't have any firsthand experience with DRM, let's just say it's a pain in the neck. The recording industry wanted it to prevent copyright violations (illegal file sharing), but it ends up really restricting what you can do with your music. For example, I had a large number of music files that I lost access to after I copied them too many times (the DRM-imposed limit was 3 copies and I exceeded it in moving from old computers to new and to a new hard-disk after one failed). I was able to get the files unlocked eventually with help from the companies I purchased the songs from, but it was a messy, painful process.

DRM-free music is long overdue. It's my guess that most of the music downloading population doesn't want to be pirates; I know I don't want to waste time uploading/downloading music with peer-to-peer software at the risk of infecting my computer with viruses/spyware or, worse yet, getting sued by the RIAA. I just want to be able to easily buy songs (not whole albums) and be able to play them whenever and wherever I want.

Getting back to Amazon...I haven't downloaded anything yet, but they appear to have a pretty large (2 million plus songs) and diverse (alternative, jazz, rock, country, classical, opera, hip hop, family, Broadway, etc. etc. ) collection.

So, how is buying music this way frugal, you might ask? Especially since the article referenced by Paul's last post warns you about the costs of filling up your music player with songs? The advantages are:
  1. that I don't have to buy a whole album if I only like a few songs from it
  2. I don't risk buying an album that I won't like because I can preview the songs before I buy them.

So, if you have a digital music player (and mp3 formats should be compatible with any type), check out Amazon.

No comments: