iTunes Australia is finally out. But tracks are $1.69 each, and albums are at least $16.99. When I lived in Melbourne, I used to buy CDs from Dragonfly Discs. There, I could buy classic CDs like David Bowie’s Low for $15. On iTunes Australia, Low is $17.99.
Now, why would I buy Low from iTunes Australia?
At Dragonfly, for A$15 I could get a CD with track listing and booklet that
- I could rip at 320kbps, in any format I want
- and copy or burn to CD as many times as I liked
on iTunes, A$17.99 would buy me an album of DRM protected files, sans physical CD and booklet, that
- only come in a very lossy 128kbps bitrate
- can’t be copied freely without stripping the DRM
- can only be burned a limited number of times
Why would I want to buy music from iTunes Australia, then?
I understand that this is probably the record labels’ fault, and not Apple’s. Come on, music publishers! Wake up! People won’t pay for digital downloads if they can get the same thing or better from a discount CD store, or by going to a peer-to-peer service to get a non-DRM’ed file for free.
It’s worth noting that in the United States, iTunes users pay a lower price in Australian dollars. The present iTunes pricing of US$9.99 an album comes out at A$13.32 at today’s exchange rate. At that price, I’d consider buying from iTunes Australia. But for now, it’s out of the question.
At least now I can use my Australian credit card to get an iTunes account so I won’t be constantly nagged to sign in while listening to previews on the iTunes music store.