The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
iTunes - the most advanced music store available. Or is it? Well, with around 24 million songs available worldwide this clearly puts it head and shoulders above any other competitor. And with them also selling games (iPod), TV Shows, Movies, Podcasts and Video Podcasts - this makes Apple the owner of the most advanced music store. And to this date it is probably the most used music store in the world with over 3 billion songs sold worldwide in the space of 4 years.
Surely then, everything should run smoothly and it's customers left happy? Well, the answer is no, it's not perfect unfortunately and has it's drawbacks. Functionality being one of them. Timed sign in sessions and even timed access sessions offer the joyous feeling of annoyance when your timed session runs out, meaning you have to try again. Not helpful. Data Rights Management (DRM), this is on every song priced £0.79 and this prevents the user from putting their purchased music on more than 5 machines. iTunes+ songs however, priced at £0.99, are DRM free. Wonderful. We shouldn't have to fork out an extra £0.20 to be able to play our music! We can go down to HMV and buy a CD. Then, we not only have a nice hard copy of the music with accompanying booklet and full album artwork, we'd also have DRM free music which can be used on any machine. So, why on Earth do we use iTunes? Well, a brand new album on iTunes is around £7.90 and you could probably pick up the same album from an online shop such as Play.com or HMV for around £8.99 (Around £10-£12.99 in most high street stores). So, iTunes is cheaper. But this is DRM protected music we're buying and we actually would like to send a few songs to our friends and put the album on our laptop. We're not allowed though. We could get it as an iTunes plus album though, DRM free...no, we can't. iTunes only offers a minority of albums DRM free. Athlete's latest album, Beyond the Neighbourhood was available as iTunes plus, priced £7.99 - That's 9p more than Kanye West's 'Graduation' was and all the songs are DRM free on Athletes album. So in short, it's an extra 20p per individual song, but an extra 9p per album.
Another thing the customers would like to see Apple change, or at least I would, is the price of songs. In America, customers pay $0.99 for a song, which is £0.49. 30p less than we pay now. How is this fair? Videos in America are $1.99, over here they are £1.89. We should in fact, if pricing was fair, pay only £0.99 - I know I'd rather have Bono jumping around on my screen than have a McFlurry. But I'd rather have £1.89 worth of McDonalds than Bono jumping around my screen. Prices are not fair! I wouldn't mind paying around £0.60 for a song and £1.50 for a video. And over time, this price difference adds up.
All in all, iTunes is a great online music store, the best in my opinion, but when it comes to the customer, Apple don't seem interested. They have sold over 3 billion songs worldwide, but I dare say, 75% were sold in Apples homeland, America. Fairer prices and more freedom over music, then maybe, that figure will double in half the time it took them to reach 3 billion.