I still don’t get the online music stores

So, first I didn’t understand why Amazon MP3 was available globally. Then I bought I MacBook and start using the iTMS and thought “now I can have anything I want.”

Yesterday, for some stupid reason, I decided to change the country in the iTMS listing. Why? Well, for a long time I’m waiting for “Edguy – Scarecrow” and “Ayreon – 01011001” to show up, but none of those are available. So I changed the store to Germany and guess what? There they are. “Ok, I’ll buy them now, then. I don’t care paying in euros.” Well, the thing is, you can’t buy things that are not available in your account country.

And that’s something that really annoys me. In one hand, you have all the major record companies complaining about piracy and, in the other, they make things harder to get if you’re not in one of the major countries. The greatest failure of the record companies is not realizing that this thing called “internet” actually works in the whole planet, not just some countries.

Apple just likes what you bought from Apple

I sold my soul to the devil. And now I’m paying the price for it.

I bought a MacBook Pro. Shinny stuff. “Let’s give it a fair go”, I thought. So I let it installed (and did not replace it with Ubuntu) and tried to use its applications. And I must say one thing: while I can’t use Windows ’cause I feel like it is always trying to get in your way, OS X doesn’t. It is almost like Linux (well, GNOME, actually, since it is my preferred desktop environment), except for the stupid default options (tab just jumps over text fields, why?)

As any good geek, I broke the system by forcefully removing Python 2.3 (which is part of the system). And, since I couldn’t find a package to reinstall it on the CDs, I decided to format and reinstall everything.

After almost two hours (why every installation need to check the DVD integrity?), I had a system running again. Time to setup the most used application in any computer I had: the music player. So, because I had synced my iPod with iTunes before formating, I thought it would be just a matter of pluging the iPod, point that this is my computer and that is my iPod and everything would be fine. Wrong.

You see, I set up iTunes with my iTMS account. So I could transfer the songs I bought there to the computer. But there was no fucking way to say “now transfer all other songs.” iTunes refused to open the iPod songs and I couldn’t find a way to say “this is MY iPod, you freaking stupid piece of computer crap.” There was only one option: erase and sync (which meant I would delete everything on my iPod and then copy the songs I bought from iTMS to it. Bu-bye 6000 songs, hello 100 songs. Not good. Because I’m really fussy with my songs, I made a backup of all of them on my external drive. So I had to copy all of them back to iTunes, then I could erase my iPod and sync again.

Honestly, I felt like I was using Windows again. The operating system decided to get on the way I do my stuff. Why can’t I just use my iPod was a big USB drive and ask the computer to copy them from one side to the other?

The hidden cost of buying digital products online

Today I had my first experience using a digital music provider system. I was there, with my MacBook in front of me, listening to the same old songs and there was that “Store” option right in the screen. “What the hell,” I thought. “It may not be all that bad.” So, after browsing some bands, all which had things I already had or not so interesting albums, I decided to buy the latest “Shadow Gallery” album, “Prime Cuts.”

There is one thing weird about online shopping for things you don’t see. There is no waiting for boxes, no cashing you must take out of your wallet… And iTunes also makes the process of paying completely invisible: you provide your credit card information on account creation and it is never displayed again. So you don’t see your money going out and you don’t see things coming in; ok, maybe your playlist will get larger, but you don’t get that plastic box that you throw out a few months later because you ripped the album anyway and bout a larger storage for your CDs. But, in essence, it is a completely empty process (in what you feel when paying and receiving.)

It is so completely invisible that I manage to buy three more albums before getting worried about how much I was wasting. “Carved in Stone” and “Tyranny“, also by Shadow Gallery. “Crystalline Dreams” and “Alaska” are the awesome songs in the first album (and if Alaska doesn’t use that namesake song as their anthem, they should have their heads examinated, as the lyrics makes you want to move to Alaska.) And “Synthesize” by “Information Society“, a band I thought was dead in the beginnings of the 90s. Still doesn’t sound as “popper” as InSoc was in the end of the 80s, sounding more like techno but hey, it is still InSoc and they sound almost like before, being not so depressive as “Don’t Be Afraid.”