2003, Rumors of iTunes – slashdot comments on

This seems to be the business model /.ers have been yelling at the RIAA to adopt. Let’s see if it’s actually viable…

I sure hope so. I buy pretty much 1-2 CDs a year now — not because I pirate the songs, it’s because I don’t want to spend $15 on 2 songs. Being able to only buy the stuff I like could also allow independent labels to get some of the action. It would be great if an artist without a label could also hook into this service, so 5 million OS X users could have a shot at your song instead of the 30 people that go to the local bar.

While I agree that being able to pick song by song would be nice in the short term, I do think it would have some long term consequences that may not be so good.

Imagine some future world where everyone gets their music via these services… you could easily wind up with a situation where every new song is overproduced (and possibly run by one of those ‘AI’ music-hit detectors mentioned here previously) to try to ensure it is a hit, since any time spent writing/recording it will be ‘wasted’ if not enough people pay for the song by itself. Right now you have an environment where artists can put some experimental tunes in between the sure-fire hits. Maybe these tracks hit the mark and become huge, maybe they tank, but at least they are trying something different. If everything is per-song I think we’ll eventually see even less artist experimentation and artist growth than we do now, and that is scary.

99 cents a track.
~12 tracks on a disc.
~12 bucks for the music, and you have to provide the bandwith, physical media, and case. oh, and no liner notes.
Thanks, but I’ll go to my local indie store, where they have the media, case, and liner notes all for 12 bucks.

slashdot, March 4, 2003, Apple to Launch Music Service?