April 30, 2003: So, I've just bought and downloaded my first album online via Apples new music store. I'm sure it ain't perfect, but it's the closest I've seen to a model that might actually work. First of all it was freakishly easy to use. I opened iTunes, clicked the "Music Store" item, typed in a search query, previewed a song (all songs have high-quality 30-second previews), and clicked "Buy Album." Maybe 10 minutes later the album was on my computer. But the important part is that I can burn copies onto CD (to take in my car, to backup, etc), and the price is more or less reasonable (I think $0.99 is a bit steep for one song, but they discount the album price, so most albums are $10-12, i.e. less than you'd pay at Tower Records who must be fairly terrified these days). In short, it's easy and cheap enough, and the restrictions on use are mellow enough, that I'd rather get my music this way than by hunting for pirated copies on LimeWire. My biggest worry now is self-control.