As we've all heard, iTunes Music Store is now available in Britain, France and Germany. I ranted a bit about how unfair the whole thing was a year ago, but now I'm beginning to see the wisdom of that old saying, "Be careful what you wish for — it might come true." Crikey. It's like crack. The really lethal thing is the low price per track. You think, "Well, I'll just get this track — it's only 79p1, after all." But all those 79 pences soon add up.
My first purchase was a nostalgic one. I've got a load of really worn out cassettes of The Smiths from the late 80's which I can't play any more as I don't have a tape player. So I got one of the three Smiths tracks available, What Difference Does It Make?, from the first album. I put the headphones on, turned up the volume, and from the first jangly, bouncy bars of Johnny Marr's thrilling guitar riffs, I travelled back in time. I was back in a youth center hall in the early 1980's, whirling around with my first proper boyfriend, arms windmilling crazily and drunk on the joy and freedom of it. That's not bad for 79p.
Seriously though, I don't think iTMS will replace buying CDs for me. The quality isn't quite up to listening on a proper hifi, and — at least at the moment — they don't feature the kind of artists I tend to like.
1 I won't go on about the fact that 79p is eqivalent to $1.44 at today's exchange rates — significantly more than 99Â¢ — we Europeans always end up paying through the nose.