Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On the Dangers of 1-Click Purchasing

Here's a deadly combo here at the House of Fielding:

- abysmal weather
- 1-click purchasing at Amazon.com
- 1-click purchasing at iTunes

I've removed my ability to purchase in one click, but this doesn't seem to curb the impulse. There's a world of music out there as expansive as the world itself. And, in fact, in many ways more accessible because music knows no bounds in terms of enjoyment while language can be a real barrier in the practical sense.

I bought some sing-a-long music for the M's recently (take note, O Parents of MJEs, it's arriving by post to Gumpa's house), so my already-eclectic iTunes Library has a Children's section, along with Swiss Folk Music (oom-pah pah!), very old jazz, electronica, and stuff you'd wish never be caught singing on public transit. A cross-section may look like:

To-Wa-Bac-A-Wa - Louis Dumaine's Jazzola Eight
Five Little Monkeys Swinging In a Tree - Munchkin Music
Four Ton Mantis - Amon Tobin
Schürzenjägererzeit - Schürzenjäger
B.O.B. - Outkast
Instant Pleasure - Rufus Wainwright
Theme from Dr. No - Henry Mancini

I've had to merge some of the genres together because the list was too long and the more obscure songs didn't really deserve their own categories. Also, the genres were in different languages, so the iPod wasn't shuffling within genre properly. When I travel somewhere I tend to buy music locally, from various places such as markets, street vendors, pretty much anywhere. Sometimes I really don't know what I'm getting, but I like the element of surprise. I don't think I've regretted anything I've bought this way.

I usually purchase off iTunes Canada because songs/albums are cheaper in Canadian dollars, but the selection isn't the same as iTunes USA. In fact, it's so different that I end up switching between the two, according to what's available. I've found items on iTunes Canada that aren't available on iTunes USA and vice-versa.

Amazon.com is (usually) cheaper than Amazon.ca and has more merchants, but the sites are so different selection-wise the only similarity is really the UI.

One band I have not been able to find an album for on any of the sites -- iTunes USA/Canada, Amazon.com/.ca -- is the Bo Kaspers Orkestra. Although I should qualify I'm looking for something reasonable -- Amazon.com is currently showing almost $38 for their Greatest Hits album, and I can't find anything at all on iTunes.