It is a safe assumption that digital music is going to continue to grow into 2010. There’s no denying that iTunes, Rhapsody, AmazonMP3, and the like have made getting your favorite music quick and easy. There’s still one major problem with downloaded music. The files being sold via any of these services is not the identical quality of that same sound file on a CD.
Any of those services I mentioned above sell “ripped” music, lossy compression, when a lossless compression is far superior and closer to CD quality. It’s a very big reason why most of my music purchases remain on CDs (or what I like referring to as “hard copy”).
I am not against digital purchases. Many mp3s on my computer came from AmazonMP3. They have albums on special every day, of which I’ve scored two I like for $1.99 each. In addition, most recently Flyleaf’s Memento Mori was on sale for $5, and with a $3 coupon I secured a copy of the album for $2. I love bargains, so picking them up that cheap wasn’t a hard decision. There are some music that is only available via download, such as new releases or exclusive versions, so buying a hard copy is not an option.
The regular price on most albums is $7.99 and up, not too far away from the price of a CD. Buying a hard copy of the album is worth the couple extra dollars (if it is higher) and a delay in getting the music if I’m getting a better quality product. If the $7.99 album was in a form that was lossless then I would consider the download over the CD.
In the past selling the lossless files was difficult due to the file sizes. Lossless files are much larger than your typical mp3. Now most people buying digital music are doing so on high speed Internet connections, on which the file size isn’t that big of a deal.
In my opinion there aren’t many reasons for selling the inferior sound file over a higher quality file. So what is the holdup?