I have several iPods and am quite happy with buying online music from the iTunes Music Store and a couple of other sites. I haven’t bought an actual physical compact disc for at least a year and wasn’t planning to buy one ever again.
That Starbucks had six computer screens equipped with MOD Systems software, and four were being used by people who were browsing through the touch-screens and listening with the accompanying headphones.
The system had lots of recommendations for users. I went right to the search and hunted for the band The The. I found eight albums — not bad. Then I searched for the band Morcheeba. Nothing. But the system told me that Morcheeba appears on an album by Lyrics Born, which I hadn’t heard of before, and after giving it a listen I decided to buy it.
The system on the whole was slow. It took several seconds for a song to play after I selected it, and there was an overall lack of responsiveness. But once I got to the purchase stage it went very smoothly. I swiped my credit card, and the system took several minutes to burn a disk and print out liner notes. I assembled the materials into a nice-looking cardboard CD package and was ready to go.
I left having discovered a cool new band. I purchased – and received – a spanking new CD in minutes for $12. I wish the blackberry green tea frappucino I ordered had been as satisfying, but that’s a story for a different day.