BigPond selling DRM-free MP3s from major labels.

  • Posted: 16 August 2008 06:23 PM

    This week, BigPond (an arm of Telstra Australia) began selling DRM-free MP3s from the major labels.

    Tracks are priced competitively. $1.69 (equivalent to iTunes for recent releases) or better for tracks that aren’t charting.

    Personally, I welcome the competition. As an iPod/iPhone owner. I can now buy MP3s (at 256kbp or 320kbps) from somewhere other than iTunes. And yes, I know this has been in some way possible before but AFAIK this is the first mainstream online music store (certainly the first in Australia)  to sell MP3s from major labels.

    But, except for the occasions when a track isn’t available from iTunes, I don’t know why I would bother with BigPond. Here’s why.

    First, the d/l process is a pain. Buy from BigPond and you first have to find an MP3 version of a track you want - first preferences often lead to a WMA track - and then you add it to your cart, then you pay, then you click to download, then you click to save. I queued up about 30 tracks in my cart and chose to download all. Not all d/ls made it. I now have to backtrack through my download history at the site, where I have two more opportunities to d/l the tracks I’ve paid for.

    Now, granted that the secondary d/l opportunity is a good thing, the experience totally sucks compared to the ease of use and service reliability of the iTunes store. I know others have had trouble with iTunes but during the course of about $600 worth of music downloads, I have not experienced one issue.

    So tell me, would you buy from an online store just because it had DRM-free MP3s, despite the user experience being inferior to the iTunes Store?

    And please, let’s not have an argument about DRM, or the discussion will derail.


    Karate ni sente nashi