Every once in a while something great comes along and fills a specific need. Once there was Napster, then Kazaa, BearShare, and LimeWire. Then off in the cold north grew a small group started selling music according to ROMS; which is the Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems – which they fell under (loosely). They were closed because Russian wants to be part of the WTO (World Trade Organization), which I could care less about.
It was a great service, a fair price for music and they regularly paid the royalties that the Russian Government set as the percentage. This service was right in the sweet spot, under iTunes in pricing and one wasn’t “stealing” music via file sharing. So, for many people it was the right service at the right price. [Sidenote: 320kbs encoding for between 15 to 30 cents; per song. iTunes Plus has a max of 256kbs for $1.29.]
I have to admit that the file sharing “ISSUE” as the RIAA has drawn it, means that even songs that are paid for under Russian law are illegal [when they are bought from another country]. AllofMP3 did put up a legal notice, but didn’t prevent anyone from buying music from their site. Which can be considered shady.
I will be honest, aside from iTunes, there is not a decent music store out there unless you have a Sam Goody, Super Wal-Mart or a local record shop. I only buy music on sale. And when I import cds into iTunes, I always use the highest quality setting. I can’t hear every nuance; but I like knowing that as much depth as possible is in my mp3 file.
I don’t know where the masses will turn to next, but I sure hope that AllofMP3 can be resurrected like ThePirateBay.