I recently heard a clip of “To Show You My Love” by Mike Schmid (Warning: Music plays automatically). It’s a sappy love song, but I liked it enough to want to own it. I found shortened MP3s of the nearly all the songs on the album page but that wasn’t good enough. The album site linked to CD Baby where you can buy the entire album for $9.99. I considered it, but decided to search for other options.
I wasn’t sure about wanting the whole album. I mainly wanted that one song to start with. As luck would have it Amazon had it for $0.99. Then I considered the per track cost of $0.62 on CD Baby. Did I want to pay a dollar for a single song when I could get the whole thing for $10?
I continued looking.
My next find was PayPlay.fm, where the entire album was available for $8.88 (per song cost of $0.55) and the individual songs for $0.88 each.
It was better, but I pushed on.
My final stop was a site I’d never heard of before, but may be returning to in the future. It’s called Amie Street and the entire album cost $2.72 ($0.17 per track) and they also sold each track individually for $0.17. The lowest you can add to your account is $3, leaving me with $0.28 left to burn (one reason I’ll probably be back).
Amie Street bases its prices off popularity. The more popular an album or song becomes, the higher its price. All songs start off free or very cheap and can be no more than $0.98. It’s a novel way to reward early adopters. Be warned, prices can change quickly. The album went up to $3.04 after my purchase and may continue to rise as more people find out about the Schmid.
The download came in a zip file with album art and 16 320kbps non-DRM tagged MP3s. My only suggestion is to include a text file with the lyrics. I can’t find them at any of my normal lyrics sites.
A nice bonus is that the MP3s remain available in my Amie Street library and can be played with an iTunes lookalike online player. They seem to be treating their users right. Next time I come across an obscure artist I want to hear more of they’ll be my first stop (especially if I move quickly and get it for free).