Bye iTunes Plus (it was nice tolerating you)

So, today Amazon unveiled their new mp3 download service. You can probably mark down 9/25/07 on your calendars as the day Keith stopped buying physical CD's. As an aside, it's a little creepy that you mark events in my life down on your calendar, but the less said about that the better.

Now, I like iTunes for managing music but I've always hated the iTunes Music Store. $1.00 per track, $10.00 per album for DRM'd AAC is a value proposition that will never attract me as a customer, and I've never bought any DRM'd tracks from iTunes, preferring instead to buy mp3's from eMusic or rip mp3's from CD's.

Then, in May of this year, salvation! iTunes plus is launched, and yeah, it's only tracks from EMI and they're only 192kbps (and not mp3)...AND you have to pay a $0.29 premium per track, but it's better than nothing right?

So I bought one album from iTunes in the PLUS (plus means it's better) format, but the small selection and higher cost disappointed me. In a way I felt it was my duty to support EMI and the iTunes Store as they pursued they only non-insane online music sales policy of any major record label. But I don't want to listen to KT Tunstall, Coldplay, or Keith Urban no matter how little DRM those tracks have attached.

Then a few days ago I tried to purchase Paul's Boutique on iTunes and it failed. I know, that's a complaint best left to this site, but if you build a distribution system that pleases me you'll get a lot of my money because I spend a lot of my money on frivolous things like music that only exists as 1's and 0's!

Then today my salvation appears like a shimmering oasis, full of promises that I dare not believe in but seem so tangible and wonderful. Completely DRM free Mp3 format, high quality 256 kbps, independent labels, EMI and Universal, Amazon's recommendation logic and (hallelujah!) the album art is embedded in the track metadata. Yeah, I know, NBC/Universal/Vivendi are a bunch of dicks, but if their music group is willing to sell me what I want at a reasonable price maybe they're smart dicks. It takes all kinds.

Back to downloading.