Downloadable Music for Your Mac and iPod

Where do Mac users buy their digital music? Well, overwhelmingly they purchase at iTunes. Despite the many mentions I hear of alternative music sources, nearly 75% buy from iTunes.

I wish I could compare this to the same poll taken a year ago, just before Apple announced that iTunes would be DRM-free. Since removing copy protection, I have removed my own personal boycott of iTunes. (My problem was that DRM hurt honest music buyers like myself much more than it hurt pirates).

For online sales there was a strong runner up in Amazon has been selling DRM-free mp3 files for some time now and nearly 25% of those responding said they have purchased from Amazon.

But Amazon was only in 3rd place. In 2nd place with a 35% response was “Buy physical CDs, then rip them to my Mac/iPod.” This was the original method for getting music on to your iPod before the iTunes store was born. And it was the method I used for years to avoid DRM.

A lot of other services were listed in the poll, but none received more than a 3% response. This shows just mow much of a hold iTunes has on the industry.

Here is the original poll post:
Where do you buy your downloadable music? Do you get it from the iTunes Music Store? Or, do you have another source? Perhaps you purchase CDs and rip them to iTunes instead of buying online? Let’s narrow down the scope of the poll by not including free sources of music, but only places where you purchase music. And, of course, the music must be compatible with the Mac and iPod or iPhone. You can select up to 6 answers if you use more than one of these services.

  • iTunes (74%, 148 Votes)
  • Buy physical CDs, then rip them to my Mac/iPod (35%, 70 Votes)
  • Amazon (24%, 48 Votes)
  • Lala (3%, 6 Votes)
  • eMusic (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Rhapsody (2%, 4 Votes)
  • CDBaby (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Amie Street (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Beatport (1%, 1 Votes)
  • 7digital (0%, 0 Votes)
  • mTraks (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 200

Comments: 9 Responses to “Downloadable Music for Your Mac and iPod”

    12/18/09 @ 3:21 am

    Another thing I do, I go to my local library, check out a Music CD and upload it to iTunes. Free song(s) on my iPhone & iPod!
    This is great for those soundtracks or albums with only “one really good” song on it.

    Anonymous User
    12/23/09 @ 12:06 pm

    I didn’t answer because I have two important sources you don’t mention:
    1) CDs of my friends
    2) free music from the Net or my friends
    3) illegally obtained music – **** copyright!

      12/23/09 @ 12:12 pm

      But those are all “free” sources of music. The poll is about buying music. And it makes me sad to hear someone say **** copyright. As a book author and content producer, this sort of attitude is making it hard for me to make a living.

    Anonymous User
    12/23/09 @ 3:18 pm

    I don’t mind paying for songs and ebooks, and I realize that the creators of the content have to make a living, but I hate DRM.

    I have bought hundreds os $ worth from iTunes and Fictionwise, but I really hate DRM

    I want authors, artists and composers to make money, but NOT lawyers.

      12/23/09 @ 5:10 pm

      I’m with you there. I hate DRM. I refused to buy music from iTunes for years until they got rid of their DRM, in fact.

    12/24/09 @ 9:37 am

    I mostly buy stuff on iTunes. I used to purchase CDs, but iTunes is easier (and often cheaper). Most albums on iTunes comes with the liner notes in PDF format anyway, so I’m not missing out on anything.

    I don’t agree with file-sharing, but it’s interesting to hear what people like Ed O’Brien (from Radiohead) have to say about it. Not sure how this one’s gonna play out.

    12/29/09 @ 5:28 pm

    I wonder if continuing to purchase music via CDs just makes me old skool. Then again…aged 44 (and hurtling towards 45) I do not purchase much in the way of new music as almost all the music I want to own I already have in my possession.

    Yet, when I do come across something I’m off to to purchase the CD.

    Clearly I embrace technology (otherwise I wouldn’t be here on MacMost), but there is something more rewarding in my opinion about opening the jewel case, browsing through the booklet and playing a CD on the stereo in my car or the stereo in the t.v. room.

    It’s not unlike how I miss spending a Saturday afternoon visiting record shops and hitting the bins in search of something I want or don’t have. Granted, those days are long gone. Back then purchasing music was a social activity…something you did with friends.

    Now we just sit with our laptops, or whatever, and order stuff by the glow coming off the screen. It’s lacking something….it’s too impersonal….it’s not as rewarding. At least it isn’t most of the time.

      12/29/09 @ 5:40 pm

      There are also a lot of advantages to buying CDs. You get virtually uncompressed audio. Rip into iTunes for digital use at any bit rate you like. You get the CD itself as a “backup.” Re-rip it later at a different bit rate. You get the art in the booklet. You can play the music immediately in your car without transferring it to something first. Lots of advantages.

    2/3/10 @ 11:09 am

    I use mTraks which is the least expensive of these that you list for mp3 unrestricted files. It works out to 33 cents per song with a $9.99/mo subscription and you get 30 free for signing up to try.



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