I Still Purchase Physical CD's

Apple recently released it's new music service which will finally rival what Google Play has been doing for quite some time; allow streaming of pretty much anything for a monthly fee, even allowing caching songs for offline listening. This was the same music service that Taylor Swift wrote a letter to Apple about because Apple wasn't going to pay artists, producers, etc during the 3-month free trial. Spoiler alert, they are now.

There was a time when I bought into the idea of all digital. I stopped buying physical CD's and would simply buy them from the Apple Store, Amazon, or Google; depending on who I was least displeased with at the time. It didn't really matter after Apple removed DRM from their music. I could listen to any of it on anything. I could even upload all my Apple songs into Google and/or Amazon.

Then I learned something very interesting about Apple's, Google's and Amazon's TOS regarding digital rights to music that I was purchasing. And I learned about it in a very strange way. Bruce Willis vs Apple.

TL;DR - You don't really own the music you've payed for. You pay for the safety of not being sued for having that music on your device(s). So basically, you are paying for the right to play that music. But you do not technically own it.

Most people won't care. In the grand scheme of things, as long as I get to listen to the music I want, I don't care that much either. Out of principal, however, I just felt like the digital providers are reaping all the rewards while the consumer is getting the short end of the deal. Additionally, while not likely, what happens if any of these content owners go black; die. Even more likely, what happens when an artist decides they don't want Apple to sell their work anymore? Do I get it taken away? Amazon has done this with Kindle Books. Legally, the same TOS that we all agree to gives them the right to take any digital content away without a refund or warning.

All content included in or made available through any Amazon Service, such as text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, digital downloads, and data compilations is the property of Amazon or its content suppliers and protected by United States and international copyright laws.

For these reasons, as long as I am able to, I will purchase physical CD's. Not only can it not be taken away from me while I sleep, but I get to decide how much compression I want when I make the digital versions. I get the sleeve with all the creative art that someone went to a lot of trouble to create. I can legally bequeath them to whomever I choose. At the end of the day, they are mine.