Oh sure the song is on iTunes and I would love to be able to buy it there (along with loads of other music) but the powers that be at Apple have deemed us South Africans unworthy and because I don’t have the right credit card and foreign address details to spoof the system, I am left with very few legal options.
Sure, one option is to just go out there and buy the album … have you seen what these things cost lately? A CD costs R150. Wow! Ok, so I haven’t bought a CD in a while but I really remember when they were a lot cheaper. Another option is to go to a store that sells Windows Media Audio encoded music (shudder!) and buy the song there, rip it to a CD and then import into iTunes (which probably isn’t legal so that isn’t a great option either) but the one local option likely to have the song, Musica, told me that Internet Explorer 7 was the wrong browser for the site (I needed IE 6 or better – just not IE 7) and that was the end of that idea.
So instead we are once again left in this dusty backwater town on the Web, not trusted to buy music from the iTunes store despite what must be the tremendous success of the iPod here in South Africa (witness the iPodcast competition being promoted by Apple SA). This really pisses me off. No wonder some people pirate music, they are not given legal options to buy music online if they are not in a major market. I mean seriously, what does it really cost to open the iTunes Store here (even without the movies and TV series we will get to in 5 years time when our TV networks decide to put them on – another rant) and let us Saffas buy loads of music from the store? Doesn’t Apple like our money? It seems to love our money when we spend it in the Apple store or on Apple products, so why not online, in the iTunes Store where we could rather spend all our money buying music from Apple than from the likes of Look & Listen and Musica?
And you know the worst part of it all? No-one from Apple is going to tell us when we can expect to be blessed with access to the iTunes Store. All we will get is a bland, unhelpful statement that there are no plans to open the iTunes Store in South Africa this century, or at all. Aside from quality issues with recent Apple products, this is the one thing that really brings me to despise Apple on days like this.