I’ve been playing with 7digital’s wonderful MP3 store lately, and I must say I’m damn impressed with it so far.
It’s hard to believe that despite Amazon having had their own MP3 store open state-side for a year or so now, they haven’t managed to roll a similar service out on this side of the pond.
As a result, the market over here is still saturated primarily by iTunes and secondarily by the army of sellers flogging songs in Microsoft’s DRM-encumbered and closed WMA format.
7digital rocks because:
- Their store works in a normal web browser and doesn’t require some crappy application on my computer, unlike some I could mention
- The site itself is amazingly well designed and Just Works
- All the songs are available in 320kbps MP3 format with no DRM at all
- iTunes perhaps aside, the range of artists is second-to-none
- The prices are pretty damn good, with most tracks at 79p and albums from £5
Note to the rest of the music industry: this is how you should be encouraging music lovers to not rip off artists – by providing practical alternatives to illegally downloading material, alternatives that aren’t over-restrictive and actually treat people like adults rather than children.
Rather than wasting millions on lawyers attempting to sue unfortunate souls in Oklahoma who’ve had their wifi hijacked by people on BitTorrent (they’re unfortunate because of their poorly-set up wifi, not because they live in Oklahoma. I’ve never been there) – money that could be better spent on encouraging grass-roots efforts to help actual musicians.