Saturday, July 3, 2010

Essay on Online Music Purchases

As the internet and it’s rapidly expanding business technology continues rise, the demand for “easier” ways to purchase is also increasing. The online market encompasses all forms of business from automobile parts to concert tickets. However, one of the most sought after expeditions of the webmasters is a way to sell music to listeners all while avoiding copyright infringement practices. The article I read dealt with this issue directly. Apple Computers has finally made software that allows users to purchase songs by artists for the set price of $1. The listeners also have the ability to purchase entire albums for $10. This has been a huge step because finally full albums are cheaper online than one can find in any music store.

Another bonus of the software is that unlike many of its competitor’s versions, the users may use the songs to their liking after download and payment is received. In many of the other programs, the customer’s use of the songs was tracked and they could be held at fault if they burned those files to a recordable device. The program that Apple devised was given the name iTunes Music Store. It can be found at www.applemusic.com. The software also comes with precautionary settings that disallow the users to mass produce CD’s. The program automatically changes the playlist order on the CD after 10 copies have been made as a step to prevent the selling of black market albums. The online program also allows possible buyers to hear crystal-clear 30 second clips of any song before purchasing it. Then, if one chooses to buy, it is no more than a simple click of a “Buy Song” command button and that file is automatically added to your music collection. As of now, the software deals with 5 major record labels ranging from artists such as Eminem to Fleetwood Mac. It is Apple’s objective to increase their collection significantly in the next year or two, hopefully making online CD purchasing the standard of buyable media.

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This software may however create some controversy, much like the illegal music shareware applications out now. Many artists have refused to sign agreements allowing their music to be sold online because many fear that this idea will flop. Although a large collection of artists have already joined the iTunes bandwagon, a dent has hardly been made in converting this popular industry to a strictly-internet based business.

The odds are not completely against this software. Many people (mostly those who frequent the no-cost p2p sharing programs such as Kazaa and iMesh) are not ready to begin paying for a product that is so readily available to them with no purchasing involved. There are a huge group of these individuals across the globe and they will indefinitely be the toughest to be gained by Apple as customers. Once this setup begins to become familiar with the common user, and as the illegal programs are ousted for the realm of the WWW, many will most likely be willing to pay this minimal amount for a song of guaranteed excellent quality.

This issue is very significant when relating it to the advancements made in the online market in the past few years. Not strictly music, but recently all aspects of business have in the same way been incorporated to an internet-friendly form, making purchasing “easier” for the consumer. Any individual can now order all types of products online, set reservations for airlines, and even perform all of his/her banking needs without even rising from their comfortably padded computer seat they call “home”. The music industry’s remarkable jump to the online market may be a sign that life as we know it (such as daily interaction with other individuals) is rapidly changing to a ‘Point, click, and scroll’ society.

In conclusion, these steps taken by the Apple organization to devise a truly legitimate music and at the same time affordable, music sharing system may be headed in the right direction. The complexity of the situation lie in a programmer’s ability to keep consumers happy with large search engines and low prices, and at the same time ensuring artists that payouts to them will be definite. We can only sit back and wait to see how successful iTunes, the application with the most promising future in the online music industry, will truly be.

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