Alright, late last night I downloaded Apple's new iTunes music service and player. Here's my preliminary review.
Install: Beyond painless, typical Apple interfaces. Even creating the purchase account was simpler than it is for most clicks and mortar online stores.
Usability: Also painlessly Apple, haven't burned anything yet or incurred any of the DRM restrictions since my stuff is so new, I'll speak to that when it comes up. Sounds great as a music player, although the display is a little large, may fool with that later.
Selection: This is what threw me. As you can tell from my earlier posts, my main types of music are Hardcore, metalcore and old punk rock, so not a whole lot of this stuff was available. Even big names, say like "Madball" or "Agnostic Front" turned up nothing. This isn't really why I got iTunes though.
My real desire was for the ability to purchase classic rock and country ala carte instead of getting corny undermixed greatest hits albums or reams of stuff I didn't want or need. Results are mixed, and vary by genre and artist.
The Country section is KILLER. You can find it, and get the most of the system. For example, Toby Keith's newest, Shock and Y'all is only 9.99 for the entire album, at least six dollars less than in stores, or .99 ala carte. They seem to have the complete works of Cash too, as well as Haggard, Loretta and on. Their alt country was a little down, although they had all the classics from Hazel Dickens. Folk was in good shape too, plenty of Prine and even the old Utah Phillips IWW record, which is another outstanding deal at 9.99.
However, the classic rock is EXTREMELY spotty. After the high profile deal with the Rolling Stones, only their less desirable and live stuff is up there. On Mellencamp's seminal "Scarecrow" album, the songs have been cherry picked to not include the ones you'd actually want. The Smiths aren't even available at all, but most of Morrisey's solo stuff is. I did get some CCR stuff, and the entire GNR discography is up. I guess nothing's perfect.
My question is are they planning on making more songs available in time? I'd love to pick up tons more Smiths, Pogues, Mellencamp and other assorted odds and ends, and thus make them some more money, but they're going to need to offer it first.