Apple introduced iTunes on January 9, 2001, but it wasn't that big a deal; world domination took years to fully develop. I admired the effort, and Apple figured out a way to get people to pay for downloaded music. That's a good thing.
My biggest problem with iTunes is that it doesn't sound as good as a CD or LP, and Apple hasn't even bothered to offer high-resolution FLAC downloads for those who care about sound quality. No, Apple instead spearheaded the race to the bottom for sound quality. Worse yet, you can sometimes buy the CD for less than the price of the iTunes album; I paid $7.99 for the new Spoon CD, "Transference," on Amazon.
Why would anyone pay more for lower-quality sound? Or why does iTunes regularly charge the same price; downloads should always be a lot cheaper than physical product, shouldn't they? I guess not; buyers happily pay a premium for instant gratification. I don't get it.
So I'm left wondering, would CD sales have tanked if iTunes never appeared? Maybe Tower Records and a lot of great local record stores would still be around. I don't know about you, but I discovered tons of great music in small, neighborhood record stores. In NYC it was easy to score great deals on used CDs, at lower prices than on iTunes.
Maybe that's what I find so unpalatable about iTunes, the way it crushed the retail side of the record biz. In the pre-iTunes era you probably bought your tunes in your town, didn't you? … Read more