7digital

I was looking for a store which sells all those DRM-free MP3s to us Amazon-Store-less Germans and discovered 7digital.de. I haven’t bought the latest Green Day album yet over iTunes, so I tried this instead. The good thing: it was available and DRM-free. The MP3s are encoded in 256 kbps and are obviously tagged correctly and have an embedded cover image. The album costs 9,99€, just like on iTunes.

So far for the good stuff. The website design and navigation is pretty bad, there are no recommendations or you-might-like-this-toos, one still has to use iTunes to actually find new Music. The previews are pretty short and need Flash. Not everything that is offered is actually a DRM-free MP3, there are some DRMed WMA files for sale, too, and if you are not careful, you might end up buying an album you cannot listen to.

The worst part of the experience is the downloading, though. You end up with a list of individual tracks you bought and a notice that there is some tool which makes downloading easier. After clicking on that, a page appears which talks about how the tool is spyware-free (duh, I just bought shit from you and you do *not* spy on me, amazing!) and compatible with Mac and PC. Windows on your Mac it seems, as there is only an EXE file up for download. Thankfully, that’s not that bad, because the tool actually sucks ass 🙂 So now you end up with a list of links to MP3 files, which you all need to click one by one. 16 times for an album. 32 times for two. This will get old soon, I suppose. The good part: when you sign into your account, you can re-download all purchased files, but it is not entirely clear to me if that works forever or just for a certain period of time.

In the end, a service with nice content and reasonable prices, but an amazingly bad user-experience. /me will be happy when everything is iTunes-Plus instead of this…

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