iTunes wants $120 from me

This popped on the iTunes Store under my account this week, and I got a chuckle out of it.

iTunes Plus Upgrade Offer

It has to do with upgrading my old iTunes purchases from the standard format to the iTunes Plus format, which doesn’t include DRM features.  It wasn’t so much that they made this offer (which I of course shot down), it was my chuckle at how much music, and money, I’ve actually purchased from iTunes in the passed year or so. Honestly, it was almost sort of depressing at the same time.
The Before
First, a little history before I go into the fact that I’ve purchased over 1,500 songs from iTunes (yikes!).  Like many people, my music interests have changed over the years, but as far back as junior high, I always remember being plugged into some form of walkman, CD player, etc.  Sparing all the long details, my most recent interests over the past few years have been various forms of electronic dance music, and mostly from overseas.
The Problem
The problem with liking this type of music is that there is so many categories out there, but so little selection around here in your mainstream stores.  I won’t even begin to try and describe some of the flavors of electronic music that are out there and the ones that I enjoy the most because it’s ultimately very subjective.  But back to the fact that I have had all sorts of trouble getting my hands on new music, which I’ve grown to accept.
Past Solutions
My solutions to this problem has been ever changing.  Gone were the days where Tower Records was still open in Schaumburg, where much to Cindy’s dismay, I could spend 30-60 minutes browsing through their selection of electronic music. It was by far the most expansive selection I was able to find in a store without leaving the country.
Next up, Amazon. This was back in the day before Amazon launched their own MP3 store, and where the majority of my now dusty CD collection originated from.  For awhile there, I was pretty addicted to Amazon, for everything from Music to techie stuff, to books, well, you get the idea.  Mostly, those days are behind me.
The CD game from Amazon started to dry up and having to fuss with CDs all the time was starting to get really old.  At this point, I still hadn’t bought an iPod yet.
So, in lieu of CDs, I went looking for music of the digital variety via the Internet.  I stumbled across Digitally Imported (di.fm), which was really an electronic music lover’s dream. I subscribed to them and for awhile, I was even (somewhat illegally, a gray area) recording some of their streams for my own private use. I ended up in the scenario which is the same reason we don’t have a DVR, I had too much music downloaded and no time to listen to it.
The iPod Cometh
I finally jumped on the iPod bandwagon a few years ago and picked up one.  They had already been very popular, and I went with the 30GB Video iPod. Thus began my history with iTunes and shopping for music online there.  Overall, I’d say it’s been the most successful solution I’ve come across for finding my types of music. For awhile there (back to the 1,500 song number), I was just as addicted, if not more, to buying music on iTunes than I was with ordering CDs from Amazon. Luckily, that has died down significantly in the past year.
Now, don’t rush to judgment yet (I’m sure it’s too late for that).  Many of my early purchases from iTunes was via the almight iTunes Gift Card, which became my most received gift for about 2 years.  That was the hook, though, that got me into the habit that started to take over.  I can’t say for certain how many of the 1,500 songs I’ve purchased from iTunes since March ’07 have been with gift cards or my own disposable income, but I’m not in any real hurry to find out. :)
One Minor Drawback
I did have one minor drawback with my iPod listening habit last year, and it was with the purchase of my new car.  You see, I had grown quite accustomed to the AUX input jack right on the front of my after market car stereo that went into my old Dodge.  But when it came time to take that car out and shoot it, I was amiss to realize that the stereo in my Pontiac G6 did not have such an option.  Bummer.  And trust me, I do NOT like those FM transmitters.
I have been eyeing the new iPods lately, with all their iPhone-like features and WiFi capabilities.  While the majority of my music resides on my PC and only the smaller selection make it to my iPod, I think being able to buy music right from my iPod would just as well do me in. :)
But it’s all about priorities, and since I’ve already seemed to have invested quite a bit of coin in new toys for our upcoming Maui trip, this one is going to have to wait.  My birthday is in April, however, so in case anyone is reading this (wink, wink) and is not sure what to buy me (wink, wink), this would probably be right up there on the list.
Oh, who am I kidding. Everyone stopped reading this after the iTunes graphic. :)  
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