a couple of itunes items

The rumor that Apple will start selling better than cd-quality downloads is making the rounds again; Kirk McElhearn notes it over at Kirkville, is appropriately skeptical, but adds that he thinks Apple “will soon begin selling lossless files.”

Good. I hope he’s right, and that there’s a reasonable upgrade path for albums already purchased through iTunes, much as Apple offered when it moved from 128 kbps to 256 kbps aac files.

While I’m at it, a couple of other iTunes thoughts; bear in mind I’m ok with iTunes, and don’t understand the irrational hatred it brings out in some people.

Item one: its critics are right to complain (though not at the length and anger with which they complain) that iTunes is big, and on a less than great machine, can be slow to load. On the old dual core laptop running Windows 7 I use for most things, it takes 10 or 15 seconds to come up.

Contrast that with my PandoraOne player, built on Adobe’s Air technology, which launches almost immediately. So as an iTunes Match subscriber, I’d like a lightweight “iTunes radio” player. My guess is they won’t do it because the point of iTunes is to sell you stuff, and adding a separate radio player would introduce an additional step between your wallet and Apple, but it would be nice.

Item two: pricing sanity on big box sets. I’ve been eyeing the Julian Bream “Complete RCA Albums” collection on Amazon, where I can get it – all the cds, the case, the (presumably) nice book – for $115. iTunes price, with no booklet? $149. I would love to stop buying cds, but at those prices can’t afford to.



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