I’ve been buying music online from Musicmatch for the past year and a half. I like the fact that they have fairly high bit rates (168K) and that Musicmatch Jukebox is so easy to use. Now that However, now that I’ve started listening to music on multiple PC around the house, I’ve become very frustrated with the DRM and the fact that I requires that I jump through so many hoops. I have to play every single song in Musicmatch Jukebox on every PC so it can first download the decryption keys. As I download more music, I have to repeat the process. It’s my music, just let me freakin play it!
I’ve recently decided not to buy any more DRM-protected music. When I buy a CD, it’s not protected and I shouldn’t expect any less when I purchase music online. Huge hard drives are extremely cheap and I’ve realized that there is no reason to compress my music. I pretend to be an audiophile and I have plenty of drive space, so I’m only going to use lossless compression from now on. FLAC is free an open-source and is my format of choice, so any customer-focused company should have no problem implementing it.
Given these stipulations, I figured I’d just stop buying and downloading music and go back to ripping CDs. Then I found AllOfMP3.com. They sell unencrypted, DRM-free, lossless music in a variety of formats. Then I found out that AllOfMP3.com basically sell pirated music; they don’t pay the owners of the must. But it does give me music in the format I want (FLAC.) So until other companies start to put the customer first and offer these same features and legitimate music, I’m not going to give them money. I’ll stick to CDs.
I was momentarily interested in PyMusique, an app that allows unencrypted purchases from the iTunes music store. However, the files are still compressed and AAC is not supported as widely as is WMA. I want the flexibility to choose between device manufacturers. For example, I’m looking at both the Roku Soundbridge and the Sonos multi-room music players for distributed audio throughout my house. When companies compete, music lovers win. When Apples unilaterally controls your music, consumers loose.