Wednesday, September 15, 2004

DRM and iTunes

Dupped! iTunes, and the "Music Store" got a lot of stuff right. Hear a great song? Do a quick search, and (assuming you have an Apple account) you can buy the song in seconds and be listening to it. Just about as cool as Napster though not "free", but there's a catch and a big one at that.

You can only download the song once, and when copied around it has to be "authorized" to play. So if you buy and download the song on one machine and then want to play it on another machine you've got to copy the original from the one machine to the other. If you lose a disk and there's no backup, you have to buy everything again. It's treated very much like a physical product even though it's so ephemeral (bits on a disk). This sucks why shouldn't I be able to download it again. They're not going to prevent me from doing the copies myself (I can authorize multiple machines to play the track) would it be that hard to offer that as a service to me? I don't get it. Seems like an opportunity to me. I feel like I would be more inclined to buy more of these $.99 tracks if I could easily access them from all of the machines I work on.

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