Still Waiting for iTunes Music Store Canada, Sort Of

2004: As poor cousins, we Canucks are used to waiting a tad longer for some of the wonderful goods introduced south of the border. It’s been some time since the iTunes Music Store made its appearance in the States, and, well, we’re still waiting.

Mac Scope

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re all very happy to hear that our European cousins have the chance to spend their hard-earned cash at the iTunes Music Store – but considering our geographic proximity, you’d think we’d be first in line for the goods.

Now I’m fairly certain that the hold up for iTMS Canada has very little to do with Apple and pretty much everything to do with gaining distribution rights in the Canadian market. Then again, our relatively small size might also make our little, frozen corner of the world a less appealing place to do business.

Whatever the reason, the drought seems to be coming to an end. In Canada, iTunes’ Next Online Target, the National Post reports that Apple is taking a serious look at the Canadian market. With any luck, the iTMS may make its Canadian debut fairly soon.

With iTMS Canada becoming a reality, I may have to make a decision regarding buying music. Personally, I’m not a rabid music lover. Because of this, I rarely buy CDs. The pay-per-tune model makes the most sense to me.

But – and it’s a big but – I have my reservations about iTMS. While it makes perfect sense to me to pay for music, I’m a little uncertain about what’s happening to the music once it leaves the online store.

If I buy a CD, I take it home, and the record company has nothing more to do with the process. I use the music as I see fit.

With iTMS, Apple retains some control over the music. Once I’ve made my purchase and downloaded my tunes, Apple can still tell me what I can do with it.

Before firing off an email explaining (in occasionally colourful language) that artists must be compensated for their work, note that I am not saying artists shouldn’t be compensated for their work. Thanks for noting that.

As a Canadian, I already pay a fee for recordable media. This fee is ostensibly used to compensate artists for potential losses due to copying.

I’m wondering if the rules for the Canadian iTMS will be any different from those in the US and European stores. Would it not make sense to reduce the copying restrictions for Canadian users? Why tax us twice?

Whatever the answer, I’m certain the Canadian iTMS (when it finally appears) will be a hit.

Whether I jump on the bandwagon is another matter.

Update: The iTunes Music Store Canada launched on Dec. 3, 2004.

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