It's weird because I've never liked buying digital music. There's something about owning a physical copy of something that gives me a sense of security. If my computer ever goes kapoot, I have all my CDs saving my music. Yeah, you can burn them yourself, but something is nice about having the authentic cover and the booklet and all that.
I'm getting sidetracked. Here's a laydown of how I viewed Steam and iTunes:
- Product is cheaper than buying the physical copy
In every online music store, buying the tracks is a few dollars cheaper than buying the CD. Steam has killer deals all the time so you can almost always get the game you want for a lower price than the hard copy, if you don't mind waiting a little while.
- Product can only be used in one program
Unfortunately, this is the case with both. It's a much, much larger problem with iTunes since music files have a range of uses and there are dozens of other media playing applications that could make use of them. Steam is a little less of a deal since you don't necessarily have many other choices.
- Product must be registered online before being used
Yup, both have this in common. You can't play games or listen to music until you've registered them. This is actually more of a deal for Steam than it is for iTunes.
- Product is credited to your account, meaning you can re-download whenever you want
Does iTunes have this? I don't think so. See, with iTunes, you are paying for security, but it's not your security. It's Apple's, or the music industry's. You could buy $5000 worth of music on your account, your hard drive crashes, and Apple just says "tough luck." With Steam, I've already bought several hundred dollars worth of games, and if my hard drive ever explodes, I'm calm-cool-collect, cause it's all in the cloud.
Guess who has this? Amazon. Yes, if Amazon keeps track of all the MP3s you buy and let's you re-download them whenever you want, wherever you want. This is just one more reason people should use Amazon instead of iTunes.
However, I feel like I should add this. One reason I hadn't accounted for before choosing Steam:
- The Program sucks
This is most definitely true for both, but probably more for Steam, as much as I hate to admit it. I hate iTunes because it's slow, intrusive, and resource intesive. But it does what it's meant to do (play music/videos). Steam has continually screwed me over when it comes to games being unplayable or not being able to connect me to a game. It's definitely something to take into consideration, and I'm damn well hoping that Valve puts on their big kid boots and starts actually making changes.
- Apple: If you want to really get a good music store, give everyone a license to the songs they buy, so they can download them anywhere, anytime on authorized devices.
- Valve: If you fixed your sucky client, you'd have the best system ever. In anything. Ever. Do it. Now.
PS - If you wonder why there's been so many whitespaces in my posts, it's not because I'm trying to add drama. Apparently both Blogpress and Zoundry go crazy with the returns.
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