Well, in a move that’s probably behind 98.6% of the free world, I’ve just made my first iTunes purchase. I bought one song. I had to try it all out.
They do make it easy to deal with — it’s very easy to set up an account (in fact, I just iTuned the Apple account that I used when I bought the Macbook), searching for what I wanted was a snap, as was adding it to my shopping cart and checking out. 99 cents per tune. The software downloaded my selection, put it in the expected place, and logged it into my iTunes library. Groovy.
And that’s great, if all I want to do is play it on this computer.
I’m told that I can also easily copy it to an iPod, but I don’t have an iPod. I have another kind of mp3 player (if you can imagine), which isn’t supported by iTunes. I gather that I can copy it to another computer too, but that I have a limited number of copies before it stops letting me do it.
I also have to use iTunes or an iTunes-enabled program, such as QuickTime, to play it. If I transfer the file to a Windows machine, I can only play it if I log into iTunes with the username/password I used to buy the song. And I can’t play it at all on Windows Media Player, just as I can’t play it on my BlackBerry.
It will let me put it on an audio CD, at least. And the silly thing is that once I’ve done that, I can now use any of myriad tools (including iTunes, in fact), to copy a DRM-free version back onto my computer. Which I can then copy and play anywhere, including on my BlackBerry and on my Windows computer. So what good did all this idiocy do, really?
And it’s the DRM crippling that makes this my last use of the iTunes store, as well as the first. I won’t support, with my wallet, that business model. I won’t support the purchase (that’s “purchase”... purchase, OK?) of a product that limits my use of it. I would not buy a skillet that I could only use on one stove, nor a hammer that only let me hammer four nails before it stopped working, nor a book that I couldn’t let a friend read.
And I won’t buy music that decides when, where, and how I can listen to it.[Amazon sells DRM-free mp3 files for the music they sell. I’ll support that instead.]