I cannot say that I am much of an Apple fan. Perhaps it is because everyone seems to think that I: a) already own a Mac and/or iPhone and b) should, because I am a “creative.”
Well, I don’t. I’m pretty much a hardcore PC person. I left Apple around the IIe (2E) period and whatever they have morphed into is nothing I recognise.
I feel it’s necessary to establish my bias because everything Apple does or comes up with seems to arouse such passion that it’s becoming one of those “let’s not talk about it” subjects like race and religion.
Despite my distaste for Apple, I do have an iPod (hell, I’ve gone through several) and the requisite iTunes account. I also have a Zune and a Zune Marketplace subscription that I felt balanced things out between the two titans.
Well, that balance seems to only work in the US, apparently. The Sydney Morning Herald today features an article about the price discrepancy that Australian iTunes customers pay compared to those in the US, a mark up averaging 40% higher, and that is taking the GST into account.
Personally (and here’s that bias again), I always preferred Microsoft’s monthly subscription format as opposed to the per song format of iTunes, but sadly, that’s a bit buggered down here as Zune has yet to debut down under.
The one beacon of hope that might keep Apple in check is Telstra’s Bigpond Digital Music Shop, but as the article mentions, the selection does not match those of Apple’s.
So what’s the alternative?
Well, I’d suggest that old neglected stalwart, the brick & mortar music store.
Never hurts to interact in person once in a blue moon.