September 27, 2007

As I tell my girlfriend, when she asks why I make her pay for everything, I’m a capitalist. So when I purchase something I always try to be well informed about the product, appropriate pricing, and I hope there is a perfectly competitive market. If I want something I get it, but I would rather get it at a cheaper rate. Case in point: I like music and own an iPod (which I got her to pay for, so cost=$0), as such I download music. When I have an iTunes giftcard from someone, I use that. If not I search online to see if I can get it for free or pester friends who may have purchased it. Being a law abiding citizen I try to minimize directly torrenting or Limewiring songs. So from time to time I purchase songs from iTunes.

iTunes has generally charged 99 cents a song, and Amazon just opened its electronic music download site. The songs (some) on Amazon are only 89 cents and are not protected with DRM. So logic says everyone will immediately switch to Amazon for their legal music purchases. That must be Amazon’s theory as well. Most of the early reviews of the new Amazon store have been positive, and people are speculating it will be a success. Check out: Goodbye iTunes, Hello Amazon for an early review.

Like most people if I can get something for free then I prefer that to an even greater degree. So I believe removing the DRM protection will lead to more sharing of songs between people. While I generally avoid file sharing software, if a friend downloads a hot new album (hint Kanye West’s new one) and wants to send it to me I would be delighted. I am interested to see if Amazon’s venture succeeds and how it affects Apple.