I’ve been playing with the Apple Music Store once or twice a week since it went live about a month ago. Except for the first couple of days, when it was probably swamped due to all the initial publicity, using it is very smooth and surprisingly fast, even on a dial up connection. They really do have a large selection (not as good as Amazon, of course) and the best feature is that you can get a 30 second sample of every song in the catalog.

I couldn’t tell you about the download and purchasing process, however, since I haven’t bought anything. It’s not the prices – 99 cents is the top end of what I would pay for a song (75 cents would be closer to ideal). And from what I’ve read the digital rights management is not obnoxious (but I still hate the concept!). The problem is that they don’t have anything I want.

I like a lot of different music but the tracks they have in the store is all stuff I already have (mostly on CD and we won’t discuss the rest :-). Before I’ll be buying anything from the iTunes store they need to expand the artists and labels they carry. Including the Rounder catalog would be a good start. I’d also like to see a “if you like this, you might also like these guys” feature that some online stores have. They need an indie band section for all those people and groups the “big five” will never touch. How about a one-hit wonder section for all those single tracks from albums you’d never buy in a million years?

Good start, Apple. Now work on the next steps!