iTunes Music Store: Moving beyond ‘Best Of’ albums

Posted by Pierre Igot in: iTunes, Music, Technology
May 12th, 2004 • 10:42 am

There is something rather contradictory between the very concept of an on-line music store and the fact that so many of the “catalogue” albums currently being added are “Best Of”-type albums.

For example, one of the albums recently added to the iTunes Music Store is Blues with a Feeling – The Very Best of Taj Mahal. And that’s just one example. Far too often, when you look for an artist in the store, especially someone who’s not currently in activity and is not a hugely popular figure, all you’ll find in the store is a compilation of “Greatest Hits” or a “Best Of.”

Yet the very concept of an on-line music store, especially one based on the sale of individual tracks as well as full albums, is that people should be able to create their own compilations. What the store should be offering is the entire back catalogue of the artist, and let the customer decide which tracks he wants to buy, if he doesn’t want to buy them all. I personally don’t need some record company executive’s idea of which tracks are “the best” in an artist’s body of work. It’s precisely because of the excessive influence of record companies and their non-musical agendas on what is and what is not available in record stores that so many people are turning to on-line music sharing.

I’d like to see Apple putting more effort into breaking beyond that old mould and moving closer, at a quicker pace, to the ultimate holy grail of a on-line collection of all the music ever recorded, accessible to everyone. It’s not going fast enough for my taste. (Heck, being in Canada, I can’t even use the iTunes Music Store yet.)

2 Responses to “iTunes Music Store: Moving beyond ‘Best Of’ albums”

  1. brian w says:

    And voila: Wired reports today that Apple Wants to Open Song Vaults.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Thanks for the link! It does sound promising indeed.

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