Wednesday, April 08, 2009

iTunes launches variable prices, up to a point

Apple have launched the new, record company pleasing 'tiered pricing' levels to iTunes in the US. It's not all bad, of course, because as well as ramping some prices up to $1-29, other downloads were going to be cut to just 69 cents.

You win some, you lose some.

The trouble is Richard Menta has been looking, and he can't seem to find any of these cheaper downloads:

Do you want to download Heart's 34-year old Barracuda? That will now cost you $1.29. Of course, to some Baby Boomers that song serves as a mini national anthem to the 1970's so it may not be the best example. Maybe, I should look at not just at older music, but music that is less popular too.

So I next checked iTunes for the Katydids wonderful 1991 album Shangri-La. That album was not a big success and hit the bargin bins early on. It has been out-of-print on CD for over a decade, but it is on iTunes. Surly, those tracks had to be priced at $0.69! Nope, all were $0.99. All the tracks from late-80's college faves Camper Van Beethoven and the Lyres also stayed at $0.99.

Menta even found Apple punting tracks from Ada Jones, whose 1920 recordings are in the public domain, at 99 cents.

But he couldn't find anything at 69 cents. Not a thing.

Surely Apple wouldn't have told everyone an outrageous lie to try and make a price rise look like part of a more-friendly-sounding restructuring, would it? Would it? Why won't you look me in the eye, iPod?