I decided to buy some more songs yesterday so I went back to iTunes (see first entry).
I recently bought four Led Zeppelin CD’s through Columbia House because they had a Buy 1 Get 3 Free offer. At the music store one CD was $17 and the box set was something like $90 for all their music. But by buying this one album plus shipping and taxes I wound up getting 4 albums for $32 (which gave me enough bonus points for another free album). Otherwise I’d have never bought Led Zep 3, but you really do need 1 and 2 and Houses of the Holy is probably my favorite (already had IV).
Anyway, the thing about it is that all of these CD’s only had 8-10 songs on them. So by buying individual songs through iTunes you’d only pay $8 on some of these and $10 is the max for single CD’s anyway. Take off some of the songs that aren’t that good and buying albums is cheap!
So that brought me back to iTunes. But it really takes some work. I probably spent at least an hour picking out 12 songs. First I want to make sure I don’t get some kind of re-mix. Then I want to make sure I get a well-produced version instead of some re-re-recorded blur. Then you have to make sure you get the right version. One song was Ray Charles’ Night Time is the Right Time. Well, Ray’s been around long enough to record that 10 different ways from Sunday probably, but I wanted the good version with great baaaaaaaby backup singing. It’s hard to tell that even if you play the 30 second snippet you’re allowed. Turns out I got the right one.
But on Bob Marley’s Kaya I got the totally wrong version because even though I checked on allmusic.com what was his best album with that song, it was an early version, not the slicker one he made later on. Allmusic probably liked the rawer version, but I like the more commercial one that I presume he did later. As it turned out if I had listened to the 30-second snippet I would have been able to tell right away so I just didn’t run through the whole process (though the 30-second snippets are a pain on dial-up). $1 down the drain but at least I now feel fully entitled to the version I acquired on my own that I like.
I really blew it on Trio’s Da-Da-Da. First, it turns out I already had the song on a compilation CD I had bought and that’s why I never downloaded the song in the first place. I had just never converted it to MP3 and forgot I had the real thing. Second, they had a 6:30 version and 3:30 version. Both are 99 cents so you go for the longer one, right? Stupid. The song consists of the words “you,” “don’t”, “love”, “me”, “I”, and “Da”. And “Da” isn’t even a word. You just don’t need six and a half minutes of that. Worse still, my compilation CD has the long version, so I just have that one twice. And that was one of the only reasons I bought the stupid compilation CD in the first place.
All sales are final, so even though I hadn’t finished downloading the extended dance version of Da Da Da, it was too late.
I can chalk this up to experience. Even though I spent an hour picking the songs, I should have taken longer. Really part of the entertainment value of the whole process is browsing around and finding stuff out. For $12 I still got 10 really good songs and that’s better than you would do buying most CD’s.
I’ll do it a few more times I think. One I’m thinking about is the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack which only seems to have four or so really good songs.