After getting my credit card verified by Apple, everything was easy to use as expected. It was however more troublesome then expected to get Apple to authorize my credit card. So my first experience with the Music Store were not all that smooth.
I put in all my information: my credit card number, Security Code, expiration date, and billing address and hit "Done" in the iTunes window. The page refreshed saying "Your credit card number does not match your bank's information." OK. It looks like I am not the only one
with this issue either. I sent an email to Apple, I got a response the next day. It was a BS answer of "did you check and make sure your billing address was correct?" No shit sherlock! Why else would I be emailing. Even though it was not accepting my card, it did put a temp $1 charge on the card, so SOMETHING was happening. I tried again the next day, and it worked, and my account with the Music Store was setup. Interesting.
I downloaded some Eminem, and some comedy tracks from Bill Cosby and Bill Engvall, and The Last DJ
CD from Tom Petty. i'm a Tom Petty fan, I have a lot of his stuff. I listened to the entire CD - good stuff. The big questions is about the 128 k bit AAC that Apple encodes all the songs at. A lot of people think it is inferior to the quality of MP3. Personally I cannot tell a difference. I don't know why people are getting their panties in a bunch over this issue. To test this out I guess I should go and buy The Last DJ and rip the CD and see if I can tell the difference. But since it is $13.99 plush shipping from Amazon I think I will pass. I payed $9.99 for the CD and I did not have to pay for shipping, nor did I have to get off my lazy ass or deal with one person. I think this 'AAC is worse then MP3' stuff is a bunch of hogwash. I realize that listening to music is very subjective, but my ear is not that atune to hear any difference in the two file formats.
The one thing I do not get about the Music Store is the sheer amount of CDs that are "Partial Albums." They do not have the entire CD. In some cases it is one or two songs missing, in others it is about half the album! I might be a casual listener to music, but when I find an artist I like I prefer to have the entire CD, not just most or some of the songs on an album. There are a lot
of listings of albums on the Music Store that are listed as Partial Albums. From the Apple Discussion Boards I find that this is due to licensing issues. Someone emailed Apple about this and got this response:
Dear Apple Customer,
Thank you for contacting Apple.
Occasionally, ownership or copyright issues prevent us from offering a complete album on the Music Store. When this occurs, the album is offered "by song" rather than as a complete album. In this way, you are not charged the price of a full album for one that is incomplete. We hope this satisfactorily answers your question. Please continue to check the Music Store, as new content is added daily.
Thank you for choosing Apple.
The iTunes Music Store Team
This is something Apple needs to get on the ball and fix because there are way too many albums listed as partial. There is also a large gap in music on the store. Though it is very new and I am not going to complain about lack of artists just yet. What is a bit odd, and this is probably because of "licensing issues" as well is that an entire artists discography is not present. Sometimes only some of an artists entire works. Well they say they add more and more each day.
I think the Music Store is great! I just wish that it launched for Windows at the same time. I want iTunes 4 on my PC now! he he. I think the price is right. And it is nice to buy just the songs that I like from an album, I just wish there were less Partial Albums. Nonetheless I am a huge Pearl Jam fan and they do have a lot of their concert CDs (although Partial Albums) on the store, about 65 of their live concert CDs, so it is easy to pick and choose the songs I like.
The 30 second preview is nice too. Its better then other sites like Amazon. It seems that care was taken to give the end user a clip of the music that is representative of the piece, and not just 30 seconds from the begging or end of the track.