11 Cents Cheaper, But Missing Words...

december 19, 2003

So, Wal-Mart has finally unvealed its own online music store that seems a cheap knock-off of Apple's iTunes music store. Yes, the songs are 88 cents a piece, that is a whole 11 cents less than songs sold on iTunes Music Store. But, the songs are censored. Just like the music sold in Wal-Mart retail stores, Wal-Mart's online music store will only sell "sanitized" music. That is unlike Apple's iTunes store, Roxio's Napster, Rhapsody's listen.com, or MusicMatch's music store which sell the real version. The iTunes store gives users the choice of sanitized or original versions. Gee, now that's an idea, let the user decide what they want to hear! Not to have some big corporation decide for the consumer. I don't know what Wal-Mart is thinking, but unlike retail stores, consumers have a big choice online. Online, there is no driving distance, so I can choose easily where I buy music. And for a mere 11 cents a song, I choose to buy from Apple who lets me choose what I want to hear, not from Wal-Mart who censors for all. In the long run, where would people really choose to shop? A place that sells censored music or a place that lets the consumer choose? I think the latter, yes, it is 11 cents more expensive, but I can get the full version -- the version that shows the vision as the artist wants to present it. If I want to hear the word "fuck" then I should be able to buy the CD that has that word on it. Why should I be forced to buy a version that has been cleaned? And who decides what's good for me? Me! Not Wal-Mart. Of course Wal-Mart is a completely hypocrital corporation since their [url=http://www.ultramookie.com/comments/705_0_1_0_C/]DVD rental service[/url] continues to rent movies with bare breasts ("Swordfish"), cussing like "fuck" ("Training Day"), drugs ("Blow"), sex ("American Pie") and murder ("Jeepers Creepers"). Can a company be anymore hypocritical? Maybe the Wal-Mart music store will be successful, but with places like [url=http://www.listen.com/]Rhapsody[/url] selling non-censored tracks for 79 cents (yes, that's 9 cents lower than Wal-Mart), I can't see why someone would choose Wal-Mart for limited versions of songs. When will Wal-Mart realize that on an open network like the Internet, giving the consumer their choice is really the only way to go. To switch places to buy music on the Internet is easier than offline where Wal-Mart has driven music shops away. For me, it's still Apple's easy to use and well-implemented iTunes Music Store.