It’s May and two of my favorite recording artists, Bjork and Nine Inch Nails, released albums this month. I first found out about the new releases when I was sent messages about them from iTunes and when they appeared on my recommendation list on Amazon. I listened to the 30-sec previews of songs on the album on iTunes, but I ended up purchasing the CD’s rather than downloading thme. I purchased Bjork’s from a brick-and-mortar book/music store and NIN from Amazon.
So why didn’t I do what the cool kids do and purchase the albums on iTunes? Because I can’t burn the songs onto a CD so I can listen to them in my car. Ah, iTunes DRM … it completely violates the mantra “my music, my way, anywhere I want it.” Additionally, anybody who frequently uses their computer has experienced the pain of hard disk failure. I’m rather hard on my computers, so I really don’t trust the integrity of my hard drives.
In my purchases, this time, I noticed the albums’ packaging included some features that can’t be enjoyed without buying the CD. The Bjork “Volta” CD has interesting shiny packaging that is like opening a little gift. Inside there is the CD and a little book with pictures and lyrics. I actually felt a little guilty breaking the seal on such a shiny red surface – it’s so pretty. The NIN CD has provocative packing suggesting that listening to their/his CD is anti-Bush. The CD itself is printed with thermal sensitive ink, so after you play it the matte black paint on the CD disappears revealing the title and credits on a creamy background. I found this quite humorous. I imagine a lot of CD’s have similar gimmicks to combat online music stores and downloading.
Anyhow, once I got the CD’s home, I immediately ripped them onto my iPod and then slipped them into the CD changer in my car. Happiness …
I have downloaded some songs from iTunes, but only songs from albums that don’t have enough good songs on them to make them worth buying, songs that I consider poppy throw-aways that, for whatever reason, have caught my attention and but I can’t admit to liking, or, lastly, the album is out of print and the only place I can get the music is through a download.
I’m eagerly awaiting DRM free online music so I can download and do whatever I want to with the music I buy. I imagine I will continue to buy CD’s from my favorite artists or buy CD’s that have special features that enhance the experience of the CD.