Having one too many dusty CDs taking up shelf space, I’ve decided not to buy music in physical form any more. I don’t care how many exclusive, special edition DVDs and fancy-pants packaging they dangle out there—it’s time to move past the physical disc.
By itself, that’s easy enough to do. There are plenty of places to purchase digital music out there, not least of which is the iTunes Music Store. Unfortunately, I refuse to buy music crippled by DRM that restricts the devices I use to listen to the music I have purchased.
The iTunes Music Store recently launched its iTunes Plus DRM-free music offering, but due to resistance from most of the music labels, it’s only able to offer this format for a small subset of the music it has for sale. Amazon.com’s MP3 Downloads section provides even better quality and value for money, but it’s only available in the US for now.
The first band to miss out on my money because its music is not available in DRM-free digital form is Matchbox Twenty. Their new album, ‘Exile on Mainstream’ sounds great to me, but I’ll just have to do without it until I can buy it in a format that works for me.
In related news, Radiohead is about to release its new album, ‘In Rainbows’ in DRM-free digital form, and is enabling buyers to choose for themselves how much they want to pay for the album! Sounds great, right? Sadly, the physical (‘Discbox’) version of the album contains eight tracks that the digital version does not. Sigh.