Why, Yes, I am that cheap. (Or Variable Pricing still isn't. Shocker.)

Part of the disease that infects Librarians is the desire to ferret out information, even if doing so might be quite silly and technically inefficient.

I crawled out from under my rock just long enough to be in the car with the boy. It just so happened that I heard a song that I liked over the radio. Thanks to my super cool Prius having the ability to tell me what the heck I was listening to I made a note to check into it later.

I have seriously strange taste in music from a modern perspective, so it's highly unusual for me to buy pop crap from the iTunes store. I do quite like that some of the American Indian stuff that used to be super duper niche can now be found online, though by all means not all of it, or even most. I also have a real love of songstory so there are a lot of ballads living in me iPod. There's an ever longer list of songs that I quite badly want that are simply not to be found in digital format. Perhaps I should toss it at the folks that insist that everything is on the interwebs these days. When I'm quite adventurous, I'll look up the artists and shamelessly beg them for a copy. Works remarkably well. :) Note that as the daughter of an economist, I'm willing to pay through the nose to get this stuff since I literally can't get it for love or money elsewhere. Just as I realise I ought to pay a premium since it's only me and the other 3 trolls that share my precious space under the bridge who listen to it. This has resulted in my distressing ignorance booting about much longer than the average listener.

http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Literature/Library/Services/chapter6.html

Anyway, I knew of the whole kerfuffle about iTunes jacking its prices to placate the big record labels. I knew that it would result in ever higher prices, and mostly I didn't give a fig since I largely didn't enjoy their crap music. I was happy that in public they at least claim to be trying to rid themselves of DRM, which never *really* mattered since it seemed like someone, somewhere, always had a hack or a bootleg despite the "added protection". I always grunted at this whole state of affairs since in general, it screwed artists. And, I bet my gut instinct that the stupid record companies would suffer lower sales for being even larger jackarses than usual during a recession.(http://www.pcworld.com/article/163005/report_itunes_price_hike_hurts_sal...) and many, many others. The mixed bag here is that they had a slight increase in revenue anyhow, since they were milking the stupid teens that didn't give a toss that they were flushing more of their lion's share of disposable $ down the drain.

During my little foray at the iTunes music store, which I *again* had to download another version of iTunes to get to, I noted that the couple of pop songs I wanted were happily booting about at 1.29. Boo, but expected. What's odd to me here is that it's so much after their release it's not funny. We're talking 7 years out in one case. Yes hooray, you had a hit quite a long time ago. I suppose we're doing our damndest to import the Disney model of creativity into the music industry. None of this is any surprise of course, but it's worth saying that the variable pricing isn't variable if it's 7 years out and the song is still being vended at a premium. While I place the same level of faith in music execs as I do in the US Government in regards to its keeping to its treaty obligations, it should still be pointed out that they promised us, the consumer, that this would be good if we were willing to wait. Time is money, after all.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june09/itunes_01-07.html

I suppose they meant wait in the geological sense of things.

What is different 7 years on is that iTunes is no longer the only show on the block. So I went ahead and booted on over to amazon. This was now personal to this Librarian. I ain't payin' a premium.

What I found, two years on from the price change at iTunes, 7 years on from the release of the album in question, things still looked like this:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/07/itunes-store-now-infected-with-variab...

So guess who I'm not buying this track from? Guess where I'll look first next time? Guess what I think when the record corpos do their wing ding dance for more money and Apple caves under their "intense pressure?"

To support indie artists, take a trip over to cdbaby.com and explore a bit. Coupled with liveplasma.com (disappointingly down at current) they can be great tools to get your patrons deeper into a music genre.