Thursday, May 17, 2007

Stepping outside the teapot

As Ralph so eloquently described in his last post, many of the issues revolving around digital music and how it's sold and distributed can totally escape the notice of otherwise well-informed people. But it's a sign of how much the business of selling music has changed that the news that Amazon would soon start selling non-DRM music files made headlines.

If you'd like a good layman's analysis of the story, check out NPR's story from today's Morning Edition.

How successful will Amazon be in their new undertaking? Hard to predict. The vast majority of legally downloaded music flows through Apple's iTunes Store. They've pioneered the process and have built an attractive web presence that gets the job done pretty easily, even for the non-tech savvy (I'll testify to that after watching my wife happily buy songs for her new iPod last night).

I use Amazon a lot -- it's a convenient way to find books and music online, and they've earned my trust. I imagine I'll give their new music store a chance, but it's a free marketplace -- if it has what I want and it's easy to use, I'll come back. If it doesn't -- well that's the free market.

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