In June I made a life changing decision, I decided to never again (never is a long time, but I’ll try my best) purchase music or movies on the iTunes store. I don’t have cable so I may still purchase a TV show or two just to keep up, but music and full movies are out.
Why? What is the method to my madness?
Well, it all began a few years ago when iTunes started releasing movies. It was cool and novel but tragically iTunes could just not match the glory of a DVD or Blu-Ray case, a hard disc and all the special features that went along with them. Perhaps for some, the movie is all they want, but I can’t bear to forego my making of, still gallery and director’s commentaries. So I decided I would not buy any movies with the iTunes store. (Back when they first added movies I got ‘Clue’ and ‘Rocky’ just to test it out).
However, recently I have been thinking more and more about the music component of the iTunes store. I like it, but quite frankly it’s too easy, I just sit on my computer and get music, I feel like if I want music I should walk or drive (easier then walking not as easy as sitting on the computer) down to the local music shoppe and actually buy a CD which spins in my disc drive and scratches when I drop it. I guess you could say then that my main problem with iTunes is the lack of hard media, you know, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs. That is one of two major issues that I have.
The other issue I have is something that I had been sitting in the back of my mind for a while but I really started thinking about after reading J.J. Abrams article in the May issue of Wired. It was an amazing issue and J.J. Abrams’s article was the crown jewel of the issue. Be sure to check it out. Basically J.J. basically stated that our lives are becoming too easy, you can get all the music you want without leaving your house and experiencing something new, you don’t hear music you haven’t heard before (maybe you don’t even like), you don’t see strangers flipping through CDs, you just sit at home and stare at your download’s progress. It’s easy, and the problem with that as the old saying goes “no pain no gain”. However that’s even becoming archaic because downloading music on your computer is just the opposite it’s “no pain all gain”, which is sort of a shame because if everything in life was free and easy people would become fat hermits who lived out of there beds (we’re not too far away from that). We have no social stimulus of any kind when we buy music online.
Now, please dear reader, don’t take this hate for purchasing media from the iTunes store as hate for iTunes. In my opinion, iTunes is possibly the best program of the last ten years. I know there are a lot of haters, but I am certainly not one of them. It is really the best program to organise and listen to your music collection. And if I had to buy a song from the iTunes music store a month to keep iTunes I guarantee I would.
So in the interest of actually working up a sweat, smelling nasty smells, being stuck in traffic and occasionally getting a headache, I now purchase all my music at Borders and The Beat Goes On (which is a great place for cheep used CDs in the Kitchener/Waterloo area). It’s obviously not as easy or as convenient but I get a hard disc with album artwork and personal credits, I get fresh air and a chance to experience something I otherwise would not have.
2017 Update: Netflix, Spotify, and half a dozen other services have drastically changed the landscape. I still hit up the Beat Goes On when I can but I have to admit I subscribe to Spotify Premium and still use my parent’s Netflix account haha. Also, Borders Books is dead.