Digital Distribution Done Right

I don’t much care for digital distribution.  I may have mentioned this a time or twenty before.

I like having physical copies of things I own, and I like the feeling of having control.  Most digital distribution seems designed to make me feel like I have no control over the things I’ve bought.

I know that this brands me as a bit of a luddite, or a member of the tinfoil-hat brigade.

I do occasionally buy an XBox Live Arcade game, or download an episode of a TV show from iTunes, and I have to get over a bit of self-loathing every time I do it.  It’s putting money into systems that I have a bit of a philosophical objection to, and it’s a little shaming to admit that my philosophical objections go out the window when it comes to stuff like Rez HD or Trigger Heart Exelica or watching last week’s Bones.

So, when Amazon sent me a $5 credit for their music store after I bought some CDs, I didn’t rush out to amazon.com and go browsing for tracks.

On the other hand, my wife has been watching an awful lot of fan-produced music videos recently – not that there’s anything wrong with that, I discover most of my new music in exactly that way, though I’m more often on niconico instead of youtube – and she decided that she wanted a specific song, and I decided that it was a chance to save 18 bucks on buying the CD.

I logged on to amazon, and with some trepidation bought the song.  I expected that I would get told that I needed to install some plug-in, or use some download manager, or, well, that Amazon would make me jump through hoops of the sort I really don’t like jumping through.

Instead, I got a “save as” dialog.

That is Doing It Right, and I commend Amazon for it.  🙂  I even went and bought two more songs, just because they made the experience of buying music Not Suck.

OK, well, I haven’t actually BOUGHT any music, I’m still using up that $5 credit, but they have made the experience of, well, GIVING me music Not Suck.

I guess the real demonstration of how much goodwill they’ve earned will come at the point when I’ve burned through the $5 credit and am faced with the prospect of actually giving them money, but I think I’ll be OK with it.

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