Pet Peeve #38: Album-Only Songs

A few weeks ago I saw an interesting movie called Drive. One of the best parts of the movie was the music–and the lack there of–depending on what the scene called for. I realized after seeing the movie that I think there was only music in the scenes where Ryan Gosling was driving, perhaps because that’s when he felt the most alive.

The soundtrack is awesome. There are three or four recurring songs that are intense and unique and kind of a mix of modern alternative and 80s pop. I knew as I was watching the movie that I wanted to buy the songs.

But when I hopped on iTunes, I saw that all but one of the songs had the dreaded label “album only.” The same was the case over on Amazon. Thus, to get the four songs I really wanted, I had to buy an album of extraneous sound effects. I’m happy to pay $.99 or even $1.29 for a song, but $14.99 for four songs? Not gonna do it.

Why do some studios do this? Do they really think it makes people more likely to buy the album if they package all the songs together? Rather, I think it makes people more likely to illegally download the songs they want. I don’t do that (really), but I think studios are leaving money on the table as a result.

The whole idea behind digital music is that you get to pick what you like and leave out what you don’t. “Album only” goes completely against that.

I don’t run into this all that often anymore, but it still happens from time to time. What’s the last time it happened to you, and how did you respond?

(Now I’m thinking I should have made this a True Tale of Survival and responded by running around naked. Next time…)