iTunes Music Store Sweden Launches

I just bought Chopin & Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas played by the incredible Héléne Grimaud. I discovered her through my mother who was blown away by her Bach performance in the Stockholm Concert Hall. Apart from being one of the top interpreters of composers such as Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Arvo Pärt, she apparently runs a wolf farm in the state of New York!

HeleneShe has eyes like a wolf, too!

This wonderful music aside, I’m not terribly impressed by ITMS. That it’s so successful is really proof of the fact that this market is in its infancy. After all, Apple’s music initiative is 100% vertically integrated; They own the hardware and the software the platform runs on, they own the distribution platform itself, they own the player, they own the format, hell they almost own the artists. I’ve sold over 1000 tracks on ITMS, and what do I get? Well, not much! In fact extraordinarily little! And thanks to some bizarre licensing deal, my record seems not to be in the Swedish store (Just one track).

Browsing around, I also realise how much I miss tabs and the normal browser interface. Where is the “bookmark this track” button? Where are the easy-to-use permalinks! This is an n-dimensional space I’m navigating after all! I discovered lots of music metadata errors when browsing the classic catalog — where can I submit the errors? Sadly, my comments on Beatport seem to apply for ITMS aswell!

But, there is still nothing preventing Apple from creating a browser based store later on. They can solve the music integration the same way they’ve done with Widgets, which is quite beautiful (Or they could do it with an HTTP header, which would enable Firefox integration). And lastly, they have promised to open up iTunes when the iPod’s market share drops significantly. Even though I love Apple, I actually can’t wait to see this happen.