Old_Honky - 12:21 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
itunes looks to be the worst of the commercial music download sites, but most that I have investigated are limited in a similar manner. i.e. you just rent the use of a particular track on a limited amount of devices you never actually own it in the true sense of the word.
It is an unwarranted overreaction to the perceived threat of illegal downloading. I remember the days of audio Galaxy when you could find virtually any audio track in minutes. Why couldn't the performing rights people have just licensed successful and working systems like audio galaxy and then we all pay a monthly fee or a per download fee. It was the obvious and easiest thing to do but instead we now have limited, consumer unfriendly monoliths like itunes which work well enough if you want to download something popular and listen to it for a few weeks then forget it but that's about all.
i tunes and their ilk are the equivalent of bbc radio one which replaced the old off-shore pirate radio stations of the 60s and 70s. A more limited service and not exactly what the customers want to listen to.