A message to you iTunes: Better think of your future

A few weeks after getting a new computer, I still haven’t set it up: I continue to use a MacBook Pro borrowed from work. It hasn’t been a significant issue since a lot of what I do is in The Cloudâ„¢ and the rest is original creations. (If the stock market ever recovers, I’ll recover the previous original creations.)

One oddity though was iTunes. Since this is a new machine, it’s not authorized to play any of my DRM’d audio. This wasn’t a big deal because I don’t play much music from my laptop.

That is, until I went to lunch with my friend/realtor/recruiter Emily.

Over Panang Curry Chicken and Tofu, we talked about her love of All Things Ska. (So much does she love it that her soon-to-arrive BMW Mini will be white with black stripes, with a ska-themed license plate.) I love The Specials, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt and many others so I asked Em to send me her Ska playlist, which she did, along with a cool video on the history of Ska. 

Watching the video made me want to listen to more Ska, so I fired up iTunes, headed to the iTunes Store, sought out The Specials, clicked Add Album and prepared to spend $9.99 to relieve my youth.

D’oh! I’d already authorized my limit of computers. I could buy the album, but I’d have to de-authorize a computer to play it. Since one of my computers was no longer in my hands, I’d have to deauth them all. What to do?

Duh. Go to Amazon.com, of course.

Five minutes and an application download later, and I was happily buying The Specials and More Specials. Higher quality, DRM-free, and I saved a $1.50.

What’s not to love? (Well, a lot, but that’s for another entry.)

I’m going to slowly make my way through my iTunes Shopping Cart, where I keep the albums and songs I want to buy (c’mon Apple, add a “save for later” option already!) and see if they’re available on Amazon. Other than The Specials, I’ve picked up Whipped Cream and Other Delights (Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass) and Etta James’ At Last.

iTunes continues to have the (considerable) advantage over Amazon of a broader selection (in things they share, like music, videos and TV shows, and things they don’t, like, podcasts, games and iTunes U. I’ll be buying Zero 7’s Simple Things through iTunes eventually, for example). But Amazon has earned, if not the first thought in my music searches, a second-look-before-buying position, and that’s damn impressive.

So iTunes, a message to you:

Stop your messin’ around
Better think of your future
Time you straightened right out

— Your friend, Rudy.