After the recent discussions of the evils of digital music piracy, this story struck me as interesting: Apple Launches Paid Music Service. I saw mention of it earlier today and heard a little about it on NPR on the drive home from work. I think the idea makes sense–making digital music available legal and convenient. But there are a whole host of problems with the concept as currently executed and this venture in particular. The Apple service is just idiotic, as it currently works only with Macintosh computers! They might as well offer all forms of music except pop, rock, country, rap, and classical. Plus, in typical Apple fashion, they are grossly overcharging. A big lure of digital music for me, aside from the free aspect, is the ability to sample music that I haven’t heard on the radio and wouldn’t buy to see if I like it. At 99 cents a song, that’s not happening. Indeed, that price is too high anyway. It’s not much cheaper than the per song cost of commerical CDs right now, and they don’t have to ship it, package it, print labels, provide jacket art, a jewel case or, indeed, even the CD. If it was something like 15-20 cents a song, it would be much more likely to be a success.