Okay, I admit it. I pay for my music. And for a variety of reasons: I work at a university, and so if I want to download during work hours, I wouldn’t want to do so illegally (you must know that in the US, universities are targeted heavily by the RIAA!); I like having the full album with full images and whatnot; I buy a lot of “indie” music and like supporting those artists…the list goes on.
It’s not that I’ve never played with illegal downloading…I could never afford the 50 GB of music I own! But those were the early days of Napster, before Lars Ulrich went and ruined it for us all. Nor am I utterly against illegal downloading (in other words, I’m not going to report you!)
For the past few years since I’ve had an iPod (rather, various iPods), I’ve bought my music on iTunes. Now that I am also a Mac user, I find that everything is just simpler. I can buy music quickly and easily, flip it over to my iPod, and so on and so forth. I could even buy it on my iPod Touch (but I won’t, because last time I did that, it disappeared during a software upgrade! Fortunately, Apple support took care of me). I take advantage of both the free weekly song and the free weekly iTunes Latino song (what? it’s free!), and often the free TV shows and movies on offer. I’m what you might call a loyal customer.
Until today, that is. Now don’t get me wrong, I will continue to buy my music. Much of what I buy is stuff I find listening to last.fm (which is great about hosting little-known artists); in fact, that’s how I discovered Maria Mena, my latest favorite artist. But oh! iTunes and Rhapsody only carry one of her albums, because only one of her albums was released in the United States! For the past few months, I’ve been dying to have a listen to Cause and Effect. I googled: it’s available on Amazon.com, but for a hefty fee of $24.98 (a Japanese import? she’s Norwegian!) And if I wanted to bundle it with two of her other unavailable albums? Over $70!
And so I did what any person in their right mind would do…I went to The Pirate Bay, where I was able to download three albums (plus three otherwise unreleased songs) within 10 minutes! And here I am, enjoying all 51 of Maria Mena’s tracks! Seriously, check her out…she writes all her own stuff and has the voice of an angel. And thanks, Pirate Bay!