Not so down on iTunes afterall…

I’ve written previously about some of my frustrations with the iPod and iTunes, and it’s probably partly because I feel they seem to be dominating etc… But I have been using iTunes and there are some pro’s compared to walking into a CD store… And I mention this because I have been getting into some Chinese and Taiwanese bands -stuff I’d never be able to buy in a record store here, even in Chinatown.

I’m a bit of a fan of the indie and underground scene of Taiwan (thought more last generation) -such bands as Tizzy Bac, 1976, 8mmSky and To A God Unknown.

I’ve also become a fan of Cui Jian, often referred to as the ‘father of Chinese Rock’. I’d actually bought a cheap tape of his in Chinatown (Sydney) -it was in the sales bin, but the quality was poor. I’m guessing it was a ‘daoban’ -pirated copy, unless the record company just did a botch job.

Anyway, the plus side of iTunes is that it’s easy to check out overseas acts, you can listen to a 30sec clip and ‘cherry pick’ -the very thing Record Companies don’t want consumers doing. So, maybe CDs are cheaper, and if you’re lucky, you can find your favourite band for $10, giving you at least $1 per track, you don’t have the option of cherry picking, or avoiding the ‘fillers’.

But there are still drawbacks to iTunes -some bands I still can’t get hold of. One of my favourite bands from Taiwan is ‘The Chairman’ -and I’ve been dying to get their lastest album but can’t find it on itunes. Maybe I need to use their Chinese name, but I think I tried that.

Another draw back is even popular Chinese artists don’t have their back catalogue on iTunes. I’m not a huge fan of Coco Lee, but she has an amazing voice and there some old songs I wanted to track down, but not available on iTunes unfortunately…

Tizzy Bac

Cui Jian


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