I’ve just discovered a problem with buying music from the iTunes Music Store:
If I buy an album and listen to it and listen to it and just don’t like it, if it’s a real CD in a case with those paper inserts, all professionally made, I can take it to my local Zia and get back a few bucks’ value for it, but if it’s a few digital files on my HD, that’s it, all value gone.
So I can get an album from iTMS for $9.99, usually, and if I’m patient and look hard enough, I can get an actual CD of most music used from Zia for $8.99, and I thought that these were both reasonable prices, so much nicer than $15.99 or $17.99 that new CDs seem to go for ($13.99 on sale!)… but now I see that it isn’t just $1 I’m saving by buying the physical (albeit used) CD – I’m also investing a sort of equity in the atoms that I can get back out if I decide this CD has no appeal for me.
For example, I was just looking at this new album from Anna Nalick, and from the previews I’ve heard (and the bulk of the first single in the movie I just watched, whose soundtrack led me to her full album) I think I’d like this album. But what if it’s like Minnie Driver’s album where, right after watching her perform on Letterman or some such, I listened to the previews and thought I liked it and bought the digital album and … didn’t like it much after all…
I spent the $9.99 to download it, and if it were a physical CD I could get at least $3 back, maybe $5 in store credit (which I can always use – I buy most of my DVDs used from Zia these days) and it’s not such a loss. But here I am, stuck with $10 of ephemeral files I can’t get any more value out of unless I can trick myself into liking her music. (Which, for $10, I may do – I’ll put that on my list of things to do…)
Or how about hooverphonic, whose song on the same movie’s soundtrack was what initially led me to look up the soundtrack on iTMS in the first place? They have three albums, and most of what I’m hearing appeals to me.
I suppose the rational course is to … keep an eye out for used copies of hooverphonic and Anna Nalick CDs when I go into Zia from now on. Like I’ve been doing with Iron & Wine since I heard his cover of The Postal Service‘s song Such Great Heights on the Garden State Soundtrack. Then if I see any of them and have money I can buy them and if I don’t like them, have paid a reasonable “rental” fee for discovering it rather than a full $10.
Or, erm, $35+ for Iron & Wine’s music, another $35 or so for hooverphonic, and yeah, $10 for Anna’s.
So, yeah. I applied for another position within the company today. Unless they already have someone in mind, it should be easy to get and do and pay significantly better than what I’m doing now.