spacer image
spacer image

Welcome! You're looking at an archived Snarkmarket entry. We've got a fresh look—and more new ideas every day—on the front page.

October 18, 2008

<< Solo Spore | 'Bout damn time >>

Too Legit

Am I the only one that’s been buying tons of music from the Amazon MP3 store?

It is actually now easier to buy music the legit way, via Amazon, than it is to pirate it. I mean, I guess it depends on your personal money/time mapping, but for me… a mere $9 for an album vs. a bunch of interminable torrenting? The choice is clear.

Maybe the travails of digital content have been overstated. Maybe the problem hasn’t been paying for content, per se, but rather the lame, broken contexts in which that payment has, ‘til now, been embedded.

Seriously curious, though: Is anybody else as sold on this as I am? Or are you still slurping your jams down from some darknet somewhere? Why? Feel free to comment anonymously!

Posted October 18, 2008 at 6:23 | Comments (11) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted


I never used the darknet much for music, because I'm somewhat tyrannical about the need for full reasonable quality albums, with proper tagging etc. (In that area, Amazon could improve by removing the superfluous "(LP Version) (Explicit Version)" from their MP3s' titles.

That said, I've bought more music in the last three months from Amazon MP3 than I had in probably the last three years. Part of that is that I have a little more cash to throw around, but I think the primary reason is that I find the experience so much simpler and enjoyable than any previous form of music buying. You can try it right there, the quality is good, the selection's broad, the freedom is sound, and the prices reasonable. (And they have those deals.)

It seems pretty clear that price is now just one of the factors driving music (ahem) acquisition.

In addition to quality and flexibility, what we seem to want is a frictionless transaction.

We want to close the distance between desire and use and/or possession (they are not identical) as quickly and easily as possible. If that means iTunes or BitTorrent or Amazon or YouTube or IM or Hype Machine, so be it.

For me, the larger change has been the loss of my fetishization of owning a physical disc. I was a holdout on this for a long time. I credit the change to: 1) being separated from my album collecion for a long time while it was in storage; and 2) no longer having a car.

I've probably pulled down 4 albums a month from Amazon (In conjunction with all the music that I hear on the free sites, Pandora, MySpace, webpages, etc.). It's definitely a solid way to get legit music from the web--either singles or entire albums.

I have always been careful about IP rights, since I'm in that business. (That said, I happily search and acquire music that isn't commercially or conveniently available elsewhere; I don't think music should require commercial distribution to be heard).

I use Amazon in most cases if it's cheaper than iTunes; competition is a good thing, and the DRM-free music also is a value. I am particularly susceptible to their specials, especially the daily deals offered on Twitter by following amazonmp3; sometimes a whole album if 99 cents, often $1.99, which makes me buy things I didn't know I wanted, often to pleasant surprise.

Today, for instance: Buddy Guy's "Stone Crazy" LP for 99 cents. Come on.

Oh great. I did *not* need to know about @amazonmp3 and special deals. Now I'm going to buy even *more*.

I just wrote a post about this too. I just think the Amazon MP3 Store experience is way better than iTunes. And even though there are more steps in buying on Amazon (even through 1Click), it's easier than the iTunes store. Why is that?! I buy a lot of music from Amazon and love the @amazonmp3 tweets.

pshh, you kids and your internets and MP-3s! i still buy CDs! (which i rip to high quality MP3s and put on my Zune) :)

Me, I buy sheet music for my player piano. Excuse me. Player harpsichord. I don't go for these newfangled pianofortes.

Nup, still torrenting anything I want. Which aint a lot, maybe an album a month.

As for it being easier to buy it than illegally download it, I disagree.

It may be wrong, but like most of the population I'm fairly apathetic about it.

I'm still torrenting - if Amazon started offering FLAC or 320kbps MP3s i might consider purchasing from them, but just from looking at it I enjoy the experience of purchasing much better than iTunes. Most of my legal MP3 purchases have been direct from the artist's sites (Nine Inch Nails, Apes & Androids, etc.).

Posted by: anonymous on October 21, 2008 at 09:44 AM

Besides the daily deals, they always have five albums for $5 each on Fridays. There's been a lot of good stuff for 5 bucks. But while Amazon is my first choice for downloads now, it's still frustrating when you can buy the actual CD from Best Buy for the same price as an Amazon download. Hello, savings-from-getting-rid-of-packaging-and-distribution?

spacer image
spacer image