Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Buying music

So, the other day Stella announced that she wanted to buy some music online, legally, to add to her collection, and asked me for some sites.

I told her of the ones I had heard of off the top of my head (Musicload, Media Markt, Saturn) and mentioned that there's also AllOfMP3 in Russia.

She had a look at Musicload, where a track cost €1.29, which she thought a bit steep; Media Markt and Saturn both priced them at 99¢ each.

She asked whether AllOfMP3 was legal, and I told her about what I had read (in c't and on Wikipedia); as I recall, both said something along the lines of "They claim to be legal since they have licences from the appropriate Russian organisation. And what's illegal in Germany is downloading music from obviously illegal sites. And since the law is so complex, it's hard to tell what's "obviously illegal", and a site available from Germany that says it's legal is, well, *nudge nudge wink wink IYKWIM AITYD (IANAL, TINLA)*".

So anyway, she had a look, and while tracks don't have a fixed price (they go by volume), a typical price for the ones she was looking at was 15¢ (USD, not EUR). Her reaction was, "Wow, that's a no-brainer: I'm going to buy them from here."

Unfortunately, they couldn't take credit cards, and neither of us particularly felt like signing up for yet another site that would let us pay them. So she ended up going with one of Media Markt or Saturn (don't remember which).

In vaguely related news, the iTunes Music Store used to sell single tracks for 99¢ here in Germany, which annoyed the music companies, who would prefer to charge more money for more-popular titles. So they reached a compromise: the music companies would allow Apple to distribute music without DRM, and Apple in turn would allow variable prices (from 69¢ through to €1.29).

Now it seems that since Apple made this change, the music companies have been making less money than before ( news article in German). Heh.

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