iTunes Prices

You know if you click on the bottom of the iTunes home page, you can visit other stores.  Oh, you can’t BUY anything from another country’s store, since the insane record companies have to adhere to their release dates, because marketing is KING, but you can at least peruse/look through the plate glass window.  (If you’ve got a foreign credit card THEN you can buy from a foreign store, but how many people have this?)

I wanted to see where the Feeling was on the U.K. chart.  And it’s number 22.  But what I was fascinated by were the PRICES!

Now if you have a Mac, go into your Applications folder and double-click "Calculator".  Actually, drag it to the Dock, because you’ll want to use it on a regular basis, since it’s so much more powerful than the standard widget.

Now after launching Calculator, go to the Convert menu, and click on the last choice, "Update Currency Exchange Rates", so you can have a pounds sterling to dollar conversion that’s up to the MINUTE!  And then type in 7.90, the standard price at the U.K. iTunes Music Store.  Then go back to the Convert menu, and click on Currency and choose Pound Sterling to U.S. dollar.  And what you’ll find out is a fucking digital file album, sans packaging, sans disc, sans anything but the lousy compressed files with DRM no less, costs $14.69 cents in the U.K.  But it gets worse, MUCH worse.  Let’s say you want the new Jet album, or the John Mayer album, then the price is 9.48 pounds sterling, or $17.63.  But, it gets even WORSE!  Let’s say you want the Justin Timberlake record, then you pay 9.99, or $18.57 cents.  Same price for Diddy’s new masterpiece.  As for Dylan’s "Modern Times", you’re paying 8.99, or $16.72.  THIS IS FUCKING NUTS!

Don’t tell me about the classically high prices for music in the U.K.  Don’t tell me about the value of music.  You’re competing against FREE!

It’s kind of like God came down and blessed the labels with a new way of doing business, one that eliminated all kinds of costs, from manufacturing to shipping, and rather than seeing this as a way of increasing business, the greedy labels said LET’S PARTY!  We’ll take that money STRAIGHT TO THE BOTTOM LINE!

And I don’t want to hear about how acts need to get paid.  If you’ve been following this story, the U.K. managers agitated for a raise from the pittance their charges are being paid for iTunes downloads.

But it gets worse again.  These same managers actually believe the iTunes Store is the future, THE WAY OUT!

Why don’t the wireless companies eliminate free nights and weekends and calls to others utilizing the same service and charge the same as they are now, if not MORE!  That’s what the record companies are doing here.

If you’re not stealing music, either you’re the most law-abiding person on the planet, or you’re lying.

There’s more than one way to steal music, there isn’t only P2P.

Let’s see, you can borrow your friends’ CDs.  Or you can borrow your friends’ BURNED CDS, that they made from OTHER CDs.  Or you can swap hard drives, transferring thousands of songs in minutes.  Or, you can trade via IM, a process that is wholly beyond the long arm of the RIAA and is burgeoning but is unreported because it would illustrate how like George Bush the labels don’t report all the facts, for they’d look bad.

Sure, your cable/satellite bill might go up, but you GET MORE!  The future is not about paying more for less.  What kind of crazy fucked up world is THAT?

God, if the labels controlled computerdom, PCs would still cost $2,500 and would feature Intel 386 chips and less than a megabyte of RAM.  Hell, these same execs saying the CD is good enough would state WHO NEEDS MORE!

Why don’t we go back to the Model T.  The Edsel.  Why don’t we drive cars without airbags.  Why don’t we eviscerate YouTube.  Let’s overprice the future so everybody will stay in the PAST!

But that’s impossible.

It’s a global world, you can download hit TV shows, never mind movies and music, from BitTorrent in minutes.  Catching up on what’s hip in the U.K. in the U.S. or vice versa, and we’ve got the MPAA talking about country codes, as if it’s a disc future.

Am I the only one completely flummoxed as to the logic of the content owners?

Or is it that everybody under the age of twenty knows the disc is dead and believes content is free and the old farts controlling the media are holding this story back because they either don’t understand it or don’t want to give up lunch with the fat cats spinning falsehoods.

What’s next?  Hard drives that hold less and cost more?  More expensive DVDs?  Fewer cable channels for the same price?  Slower DSL for more money?  It’s like the ghost of Rod Serling has taken over the world and we’re all living in the TWILIGHT ZONE!

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.