Related link: http://music.ign.com/articles/611/611637p1.html
A while back, I complained that the iTunes Music Store had too few independent or import titles, that I couldn’t find much to buy because my tastes are obscure, and its early catalog was Mainstream American Crap.
What a difference a year makes.
Lately, I have had better luck finding things on ITMS than at regular music retailers, even fairly big stores like Media Play or, for that matter, Amazon. I once tried to get Mary Prankster’s gleefully offensive Blue Skies Forever from Amazon and they didn’t have it and weren’t getting it. Oh, it’s there now… via anonymous resellers on Amazon. For $39. For a CD that is only 29 minutes long.
Vancouver’s Janet Panic doesn’t even show up on Amazon, but she’s on
But today’s news takes it to the extreme, since I never thought anything like this would happen: 15 soundtracks from the Final Fantasy video game series, previously available only in Japan, are now on iTunes. Not available in stores. And they’re cheap. Check out its page and you’ll find 4-CD sets for $25… stuff that I paid $50-60 for. Soundtracks to the earliest, NES-era games are $6. Possibly the best deal is the two-disc symphonic concert 20020220: Music from Final Fantasy (), for just $10, a nice warm-up to the US Dear Friends tour.
My only gripe is a few missed translations: “Suteki Da Ne” is usually translated as “Isn’t It Beautiful”, not “Isn’t It Wonderful”. And there’s the whole “Aeris/Aerith” thing when translating “エアリスのテーマ” (for the benefit of you normal people, there are two kinds of Final Fantasy VII fans: those who think the heroine’s name is spelled “Aeris”, and those who are wrong. See you in the talkbacks, kids!)
Sure, there are still significant holes in the iTMS catalog, and we can all name artists who are scandalously absent (I’ll start: no Zappa?!), but it really seems like there’s a nice Long Tail effect here, where iTMS is starting to be the best, if not only, way to find music beyond the feeble offerings of the usual retailers.
Could the iTunes catalog get any deeper? What else really needs to be on iTunes (OK, other than the Beatles, duh.)