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April 10th, 2009

One Not Great Thing About MP3 Stores

Two words: variable pricing.

Yeah, the big news this week was that iTunes, Amazon, and Wal-Mart all rolled out variable pricing on songs thanks to the geniuses at the RIAA. $0.99 is no longer the benchmark for tracks, as $1.29 is now out there for a lot of them. Allegedly $0.69 tracks are somewhere but they appear to be housed in a server farm located adjacent to Jimmy Hoffa’s body.

But that’s not my main beef, if you can believe it. On Tuesday a new album was released which I was interested in. iTunes had it for $9.99, Amazon $8.99. “Great,” I figured, “Tomorrow I’ll get it from Amazon.” I hopped back to Amazon Wednesday to find that the album was… $9.99. No warning about the price change, no “sale” notice, nothing but a price change.

Now you and I both know that the storage costs for the album are next to nothing for Amazon. So why the price change? Release day special? Maybe. Greed? Probably. Silly little tactic? Definitely. But a buck is a buck.

I’m not against Amazon and other stores changing their pricing; I’m against the lack of notification. If something is on sale, make it clear, OK?

Posted in Technology

Matt April 10, 2009, 6:07 pm

I refuse to pay for digital music. Unless it comes with a handjob, I am not paying for a product that is not tangible.

Paul April 10, 2009, 6:08 pm

Glad to see that you value music so highly.

Ryan April 11, 2009, 6:20 pm

Matt values music, believe me. He just values other services even more. 🙂

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