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Itune Pricing is out of Control (Article)


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 13 2010 - 12:44 AM

This actually summarized something I've also been puzzling over lately..
Quote:
It's New Music Tuesday, when I rush online to survey the releases. O.A.R. has a new live album, "Rain or Shine," which immediately caught my attention. But my enthusiasm skidded to a halt when looking at the iTunes price: $24.99. Yeah, there are 38 tracks, but 25 bucks -- or $1.29 per track? At the per-track price, the album would cost more than $49. For the full album, per-track price savings, someone else might bow before the great Apple god in gratitude. I'm an ingrate. I looked to AmazonMP3 for a better price -- and couldn't find it. Amazon's digital download store doesn't list the album. But the retailer carries the CD, with all 38 songs for $16.99. That's 5 bucks off the list price, which is still less than what iTunes charges.

 Apple isn't just charging more, it's doing so for a comparatively inferior product. Music fans can argue the merits of AmazonMP3's 256kbps MP3 encoding compared to Apple's 256kbps AAC. But there's no argument about lossless, uncompressed Compact Disc Digital Audio format and its 1,411kbps bitrate.

 
http://www.betanews....trol/1263326789


I admit, I've found lately I can buy the physical CDs cheaper (and sometimes a lot cheaper) at Walmart then I can buy them online via digital download.

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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted January 13 2010 - 04:30 AM

I agree that pricing seems to have gone out of whack, but I don't think it's limited to Apple.  Just yesterday I went to get an mp3 album from Amazon (Lightning in a Bottle) and it was $23 as an mp3 and only $14.99 as a CD.  Since I prefer CDs, this was great. But what the heck is that all about?  (The price for the mp3 album is $16.99 today.)

Also, the album was not available at all on iTunes.

So I'm thinking two things, (1) the studioes have tuened up their interest in forcing competition with Apple by limiting more iTunes releases.  And (2) it seems that the powers-that-be have decided that mp3 is now the preferred medium and are testing the practice of charging more for it than CDs.  And again, since I like to rip and keep the CD as a backup, I'm thrilled.




#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 13 2010 - 07:30 AM

May I recommend Amazon MP3?

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/278252/amazon-mp3-deal-of-the-day-free-tracks-50-for-5-titles/0

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#4 of 9 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 13 2010 - 02:33 PM

I admit, I have used both.. but I agree, we're now flipped.. if I want the album, it's often the same price (or cheaper) to buy the CD.. and the CD is, by default, considerably higher quality.

For example, I recently needed to replace my copy of Graceland.  $11 at Itunes.  $6.99 at my local independent record store.  That's a no brainer.

I think the real caution in the article is that, if you're someone who buys for quality, and you are inerested in buying a whole disc... now is probably the time to actually buy the disc for real rather then get the digital version.  Higher quality, lower price.. no brainer.


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#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 13 2010 - 04:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattCR 

I admit, I have used both.. but I agree, we're now flipped.. if I want the album, it's often the same price (or cheaper) to buy the CD.. and the CD is, by default, considerably higher quality.

For example, I recently needed to replace my copy of Graceland.  $11 at Itunes.  $6.99 at my local independent record store.  That's a no brainer.

I agree, f you absolutely positively must have a CD, buy it used on ebay or go to one of the millions of places selling CDs for pennies on the dollar.  I RARELY want more than 2 songs off any non-greatest-hits albums.


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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

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Posted January 13 2010 - 04:54 PM

I don't buy a lot of music, but from what I have seen, if you want the entire CD, it is almost always better to buy the actual CD. It has been that way since the iTunes store open for business.

As long as you are patient, you can almost always find the physical CD on sale somewhere cheaper than what it goes for on iTunes.

The music companies discovered long ago that a lot of people are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of using the iTunes store. Unfortunately, there are enough of those people that I don't see digital downloads getting cheaper any time soon. There are exceptions of course. Dark Side of the Moon was recently available on Amazon for $3 (or was it $2).

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#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 14 2010 - 01:17 AM

It's a coincidence!
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/01/digital-music-prices-are-they-illegally-fixed.ars

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#8 of 9 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 17 2010 - 09:26 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by mattCR 

Apple isn't just charging more, it's doing so for a comparatively inferior product. Music fans can argue the merits of AmazonMP3's 256kbps MP3 encoding compared to Apple's 256kbps AAC. But there's no argument about lossless, uncompressed Compact Disc Digital Audio format and its 1,411kbps bitrate.

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So what's new? This has been so since the dawn of online music sales. The CD is always a better deal, in terms of price to quality, over an entire album downloaded.

This is why I buy the CD if I want an entire album. Even at a normal $9.99 for an iTunes album, I can usually find the CD for the same or similar price.

But for singles, downloads clearly win. Even at $1.29 per track, that's the cheapest option for buying individual songs.


#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted January 18 2010 - 05:32 PM

 I haven't clicked on the Ars link, but it is the record companies that are continuing their attempts to sabotage iTunes by charging more there than they do for physical CDs.  I don't care much cause I want the higher CD quality, but if Apple ever starts selling in Apple Lossless format, the I'd be hopping mad, as I'd get the bits than a bunch of plastic.
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