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iTunes is great for singles, but is it worth it for albums?

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iTunes is great for singles, but is it worth it for albums?

Old 09-02-06, 05:27 PM
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iTunes is great for singles, but is it worth it for albums?

I've recently started using iTunes with a great ferocity lately. Picking off good individual songs I like and the ocasional full album. But now I really have to wonder if it's the least bit worth it to pick up a full album... I guess the instant gratification is the most compelling argument for iTunes albums. If you can just be a little patient, you'll have a higher quality hard copy of the same thing you can rip, many times a lot cheaper than iTunes (half.com).

So can anyone justify iTunes albums for any reason other than instant gratification and a little time you save not having to rip the CD? You can also get albums that are impossible to find, or in some cases iTunes exclusives. Other than that, if you can be patient, getting CD makes tons more sense in the long run.

Also, can someone tell me how iTunes justifies their prices? It seems if something is a longer download, they will charge more for it. On the other hand, you can download extremely long podcasts (video or audio) for free.

Finally, my last complaint is the fact you can't redownload a song at a different authorized computer. It really stinks having to manually back up stuff and transport to another machine then import it into it, rather than just having your account sense the purchased song and downloading it automatically onto your machine. If for some reason your entire library gets wiped out, you should also be able to go in and redownload stuff for a small fee that covers the tiny cost of the bandwidth.
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Old 09-02-06, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Gallant Pig
I've recently started using iTunes with a great ferocity lately. Picking off good individual songs I like and the ocasional full album. But now I really have to wonder if it's the least bit worth it to pick up a full album... I guess the instant gratification is the most compelling argument for iTunes albums. If you can just be a little patient, you'll have a higher quality hard copy of the same thing you can rip, many times a lot cheaper than iTunes (half.com).

So can anyone justify iTunes albums for any reason other than instant gratification and a little time you save not having to rip the CD? You can also get albums that are impossible to find, or in some cases iTunes exclusives. Other than that, if you can be patient, getting CD makes tons more sense in the long run.

Also, can someone tell me how iTunes justifies their prices? It seems if something is a longer download, they will charge more for it. On the other hand, you can download extremely long podcasts (video or audio) for free.

Finally, my last complaint is the fact you can't redownload a song at a different authorized computer. It really stinks having to manually back up stuff and transport to another machine then import it into it, rather than just having your account sense the purchased song and downloading it automatically onto your machine. If for some reason your entire library gets wiped out, you should also be able to go in and redownload stuff for a small fee that covers the tiny cost of the bandwidth.
It isn't to me. If I want the whole album, I'll buy the CD. I have a good home stereo, and very good earbuds for my iPod, so I'm picky about sound quality. 128kbps AAC is pretty good, but if I'm paying $10 I expect a lot better, especially for my home stereo.

As far as podcasts go, despite appearances the iTunes Music Store doesn't actually host them on its servers. When you download a podcast, you're redirected to an outside link where the podcast is actually hosted. Therefore, Apple has very little in the way of bandwidth expense there.

Ninety-nine cents a song seems reasonable to me. Apple, the record company and artist each get a cut of the money.
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Old 09-02-06, 07:28 PM
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I rather spend $9.99 for a album then pay for a album at bestbuy for gosh knows how much.
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Old 09-02-06, 07:49 PM
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I will never buy a whole album on iTunes for the reasons stated already. Now if they offered it in a lossless format instead of a compressed one, I'd consider it. I have a hard time playing 99 cents for a song that's not cd-quality already.
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Old 09-02-06, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by LordofWar
I rather spend $9.99 for a album then pay for a album at bestbuy for gosh knows how much.
Usually $8.99 to $11.99, and you get better sound quality and no DRM.
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Old 09-02-06, 09:00 PM
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Makes a lot more sense to buy a CD, then you can rip your own MP3 copy using EAC/Lame and get better quality to boot. $9.99 for a lossy download of an album seems like highway robbery.
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Old 09-02-06, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Bugg
Makes a lot more sense to buy a CD, then you can rip your own MP3 copy using EAC/Lame and get better quality to boot. $9.99 for a lossy download of an album seems like highway robbery.

The lossy format is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problems it presents. Only being able to download it once, not being able to easily transport songs you own from one machine to another, not even being able to put songs you purchased on a non-iPod MP3 player, not getting a hard copy, not getting liner notes or a bonus DVD, etc, etc, etc....

On the other hand, iTunes has a very nice GUI, very usable, very fun to use, and that instant gratification is a wonderful feeling...

Just seems like they could take a good thing and make it an even greater thing with just a few changes. What a shame..
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Old 09-02-06, 11:56 PM
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The only album I've bought from iTunes was something I couldn't find in proper CD-form for a reasonable price. Even then, I had to think twice about it.
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Old 09-03-06, 03:11 PM
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I love having physical cds, so I'll never buy a full album.

But it is great when there is just one or two songs on an album worth having. But in all honesty, that's pretty rare for me as I usually just don't bother with bands that can't put out albums full of good tracks. And even then I'm still more likely to save my 99 cents and burn the cd from a friend or just do an illegal download of the track.
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Old 09-03-06, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gallant Pig
not being able to easily transport songs you own from one machine to another, not even being able to put songs you purchased on a non-iPod MP3 player, not getting a hard copy,
You can solve those by just burning an audio cd. Then you have a hard copy, can re rip them as MP3s and put them on any player and then easily move them from machine to machine.

It's arguable whether that is a satisfactory solution, but it does work.

I think there's a program you can get to rip the DRM off of them and convert them to MP3 as well, but I don't know the details and I imagine discussing it is against forum rules anyway.
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Old 09-03-06, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
You can solve those by just burning an audio cd. Then you have a hard copy, can re rip them as MP3s and put them on any player and then easily move them from machine to machine.
But they still sound like shit compared to uncompressed audio on a CD.
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Old 09-03-06, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
But they still sound like shit compared to uncompressed audio on a CD.
Which is why I didn't list that as one of the problems solved by that method.

Personally, I'm not an audiophile at all, so it's not an issue for me.
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Old 09-03-06, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
I think there's a program you can get to rip the DRM off of them and convert them to MP3 as well, but I don't know the details and I imagine discussing it is against forum rules anyway.
Even then, you would still be going from one lossy format to another. The end result would not be any better than going from iTunes to CD and then to MP3. However, removing the DRM would be useful if you have a non-Apple player capable of playing AAC.
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Old 09-03-06, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Usually $8.99 to $11.99, and you get better sound quality and no DRM.

I would say that most are more like 13.99 or 15.99 unless it is a new release.
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Old 09-03-06, 07:03 PM
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I only buy the odds and ends songs. For example ZZ Top's "Viva Las Vegas" only on the greatest hits cd. Since I already have all the main cds. Any songs I buy I burn to cd with itunes. I then rip that cd with WMP to my music, rip an original cd by that artist I want to add the odd track to and then burn a new audio cd that plays in any player. I added "Viva Las Vegas" to the Recycler album(where it belonged in the first place) and just listen the "expanded" version I created instead. When I get around to I'll download the Van Halen song from Twister(Human Race?) and probably add it to Balance, etc.
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Old 09-03-06, 07:37 PM
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I'm mainly an album guy; I like listening to an album from beginning to end, so I still mainly buy cds. The only singles I will buy on Itunes are just the occasional one-hit wonder

I can somewhat enjoy listening to an ipod with earbuds, but whenever I go and listen to the source cd on my stereo, it reminds me of how much better music can sound. So, for all the reasons mentioned, I'm not likely to buy a whole album off of ITunes.
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Old 09-04-06, 01:18 AM
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I've only bought one album, and that was one that would have cost over $30 to import. I'll live with inferior quality for that price.
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Old 09-04-06, 09:30 AM
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I bought the new Bob Dylan album. Maybe I should have got the CD instead, but I liked that I could have the bonus videos on the ipod screen and listen to those songs with the album rather than getting another short DVD that I'd rarely watch. I didn't know that I'd be getting inferior sound and since I'm using my Ipod as my stereo's music server now, didn't think it would make a difference to me. But from now on, I guess I won't be getting my albums from them any more.
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Old 09-04-06, 02:39 PM
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it's only worth it for singles...the songs you don't wanna buy an album for. if youre gonna buy the album just wait and get it used or on sale at bb/cc
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Old 09-04-06, 10:21 PM
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Why even buy songs from iTunes? Just download them through Limewire or a similar program.
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Old 09-05-06, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by abrg923
Why even buy songs from iTunes? Just download them through Limewire or a similar program.
Because it's stealing, it's illegal and it's ripping off the artists you should be supporting.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Because it's stealing, it's illegal and it's ripping off the artists you should be supporting.
Most artists never make a cent in royalties (they're only paid after the record company has recouped all expenses). Artists make most of their money off of touring. Using P2P, you're more ripping off the record companies. I'm not saying that makes it any better...

Also, 128-bit AAC does indeed sound like shit. I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile at all, but I can clearly hear the difference. Add DRM, the proprietary nature of AAC, the frankly outrageous pricing (a buck a song when you have essentially no overhead and tiny marginal costs?) and I prefer used CDs from LaLa or Ebay.

I've never really understood exactly how iTunes got to be so popular. I guess that's why Steve Jobs is worth billions and I'm worth roughly the price of half a ham sandwich...
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Old 09-05-06, 10:06 AM
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the itunes music store is popular because it's easy, legal, and the tracks are decently priced. Working closely with the ipod also helped[although you can certainly use one or the other without the other].
But yeah, if I'm interested in a whole album, I'd rather try to find the hard copy somewhere, and most of them [except for import type things] can be found for less than 10 bucks, so for the same price I get to rip at my rate in my format [mp3] and a disk as backup.
I use itunes music store mostly for podcasts, although I think I'm set for listening material at the moment.
Plus there's just something that bothers me about digital-only sales; for many things, I like having something I can hold in my hand, that's not locked to one device, and that I can resell, trade, or give away if I wanted to.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
the frankly outrageous pricing (a buck a song when you have essentially no overhead and tiny marginal costs?)
To be fair, you have to blame the recording industry for that. Apple has had to fight to maintain the price at 99 cents. If it were up to them, I'm sure they'd have lower prices across the board, or perhaps tiered pricing.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:20 AM
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