Posted by Sari
iTunes has the potential to become an addictive thing, but at the moment it just makes me grumpy. Resons are many, but the main is that the product has obviously been designed for people who just want to download the leatest hit/album by Britney Spears. If the stuff you want does not conform to the song/artist/album fields, searching for it becomes a nightmare. This is especially true with classical music. Looking for Sibelius in all fields, for example, does not give you Barbara Bonney singing “Flickan kom från sin älsklings möte”, the only version of that song available.
Another problem is that in three cases out of five, they don’t have what I am looking for. I admit that sometimes I am looking for stuff that is bit out of mainstream, so that not finding anything from the Beirut-based Soap Kills, was not that big a surprise. But most of the stuff I want is not that obscure. Tragically Hip is one of more recognisable Canadian bands. Remy Zero fronted for Radiohead.
These, of course are available from other versions of iTunes shops where I can't shop. But hey, at least the Finnish version has Finnish music which would not be available anywhere else. As if. I tried to find Mariska's "Murha", Liisa Akimof's "Kesäkissa", and Raptori's "Oi Beibi". Nada.
The unavailability might not be all iTunes fault, it might have something to do with record companies and rights and whatever, but the former certainly is their own doing. One would think that Apple could have designed better search interface than this, and have some care in inputting the data so that users might actually find what they want.
Also, they might have wanted to invest something to make browsing the store more viable. Not everybody goes there looking for a particular song to download, so a browsing interface which was actually, you know, usable might actually increase sales. Again the problems rise when you stray out of the pop/rock format. When you browse the genre “opera” you get a huge and totally useless list of artists. From B.B. King to Brian May. Yes. Those famous operatic legends. So as a law-abiding person I continue to check iTunes every now and then to see if they have added anything interesting, but I can’t but lament for the good old days of Napster when even the most obscure thing you could imagine was available to be shared.