A couple of things have changed about the way I buy music:

  • The iTunes store now sells DRM free music, so I can actually play everything I buy on all my computers and my iPod.
  • I’ve got a 50 songs a month eMusic subscription.

So my usual decision making process usually involves working out which would be the best value. iTunes sells by the song and by the album, while eMusic sells just by the song. This generally means that very long songs and albums with fewer tracks are better value on eMusic, while albums with lots of short songs are better value on iTunes. Of course, if the music is packaged in a pleasing way on CD, then I’ll buy the CD and pay more for it too, but I am quite picky about what I’ll buy physically because our house is getting quite cluttered and we’re running out of space. This year I’ve bought music via all three methods detailed above, and I think 2009 will be the year that I don’t have a consistent way of buying music.

Of course, there’s always Jamendo when money is tight.