This morning i downloaded the newly released iTunes for Windows.
Now, we already know my feelings on MP3 exchanges, which can easy be extrapolated to P2P networks, but i’ve yet to form an opinion on iTunes, other than that nothing will ever truly render purchasing a physical album obsolete for me. I need to open the case, touch the liner notes, and remember how and when each scratch and crack on the disc and case were acquired. For me, consuming music is as much tactile as it is aural … i need to hear, but also to touch (which is probably why i like buying sheet music to my favorite albums so much; playing along is the ultimate tactile accompaniment to sound).
A service like iTunes does have its benefits, though (i’ll mention here that i’ve never even seen the Mac version; for a more comparative discussion, see Benjy). For example, tonight i was putting together a rehearsal disc for the Treblemakers and thought for a second that i hadn’t actually borrowed one of the source discs that included two that i don’t own. on it. I was about to tear apart my room apart looking for them when i realized that both songs would probably be on iTunes and, sure enough, both were available for just $.99.
iTunes will never be more than that to me — just a quick resource for making mix tapes. In a way, it is something i’ve dreamed of ever since i sat by the stereo, anxiously awaiting the chance to tape a new favorite song; it is a standing resource, a library of music that’s available at a moment’s notice. However, between my need for a tactile music experience, my uber-completist CD collecting behavior, and the fact that it currently has nary a song by Madonna or Ani DiFranco, i can’t say that i find it indispensable.
Maybe if it had streaming radio… (as if i don’t have enough things to listen to here already). On that note, TDavid has some praise for another new application, Rhapsody. If your a PC music fiend who doesn’t mind shelling out for the priveledge of listening, it seems worth looking into.