Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The sad state of buying sheet music online

I've been trying to buy some sheet music online. I've found a few places who will sell me the music if I will download and install their special sheet music viewing software.

What?

I want to buy something from them I don't want to start a relationship with them. Why would I want to download their software just to be able to buy something from them?

I think the software is designed to stop me printing more copies than I pay for...

What?

Like I don't know how to print-to-file and then do as many copies as I like. As if I don't have a "print-to-pdf" printer driver as well.  As if I didn't have a document-feeder-printer-scanner-fax-machine-copier right next to me like most of us have these days (and a simple scanner would have been enough).

I finally bought my sheet music from Freehandmusic.com and instantly regretted it - as far I was able to tell their distinguishing feature was that they don't warn about the special software until AFTER the music has been paid for. It's possible they do warn about it but I didn't see any warnings, even at checkout time.

But I didn't use it. I did get a refund.

Of course their special treat-everyone-like-a-thief software doesn't run on my computer anyway.

Without too much trouble and while looking for someone who would sell it in pdf form able to find some illegal pdf-scans of the music I was trying to buy.

So my choice is illegal music or nothing. And I'm trying to pay.

So I chose nothing.

Remind me why the music industry is struggling again...

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