I was excited for 2 reasons when I saw that the Alana Davis‘s version of Carry On from the Sony super bowl commercial was available for download for $.99. First, I’m a Crosby, Stills & Nash fan and Carry On is a great song and this is a good rendition of it – but it is the ability to buy and download a single song that was big deal in my mind. Unfortunately, my initial enthusiasm would soon be dampened.
A friend of mine and I have been talking for a while about the ability to purchase and download individual songs as a new music retail model. It requires a fundamental shift from the current way that the record companies make money: getting people to shell out $20 for an album that has a song or two that someone wants. The thing is, if they don’t sell songs individually, the P2P networks fill the void and they get nothing. I think that this is a good idea and can work.
Then I tried to actually buy it… ugh. What a mess. No Mac support – period, no Mozilla support for buying the music (got all the way through to the actual purchase page before it crapped out and I had to go through the whole process again in IE), can only play the file in Windows Media Player… I did end up buying it from my PC at work, but even then it wasn’t smooth. It told me I didn’t have Windows Media Player (I did), then sent me some upgrade file that I guess is used as a license key of some sort. I had to then open up the key, authorize something to be sent back to Sony, go back to the Sony web site, log in again and then jump through all the hoops to actually get to the download. Very cumbersome and disappointing.
The song is good, but my initial enthusiasm was turned to frustration. I doubt I’ll buy another single anytime soon, it just wasn’t fun. And after all that, I still have "find" an MP3 copy somewhere to use with my Mac.