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iTunes Playlist: Paid in Full

December 26, 2013 – by Per Christensson

iTunes Icon In February, I committed to purchase all the songs I had previously downloaded, and had not paid for, by the end of the year. For the past eleven months, I have been working towards that goal, and today I purchased the final unpaid song in my library. Now I legitimately own all the songs in my iTunes playlist, from A-ha to ZZ Top.

I deleted all the songs that I downloaded illegally and replaced them with songs I purchased from iTunes. Below are the final numbers.

  • Deleted Songs: 1,174
  • Purchased Songs: 1,295
  • Total Cost: $974.74

The number of purchased songs exceeds the number of songs I downloaded since I bought additional songs and a few “greatest hits” albums as I was purchasing the songs from iTunes. It also includes a handful of songs I purchased that were unrelated to my existing playlist. Most songs on iTunes cost $1.29 when downloaded individually. However, since I downloaded a few albums and compilations, it reduced the average price of each song to less than a dollar.

So why did I buy all this music? The simple answer is it was the right thing to do. I had downloaded songs without paying for them. As someone who generates revenue through websites and software programs, I felt it was rather hypocritical to expect people to pay for my products when I haven’t paid for music I downloaded.

Sure, I downloaded the vast majority of my unpaid music while I was in college several years ago (remember MP3s?). I didn’t have as much money back then and for awhile I didn’t even realize it was wrong. But my financial situation or ignorance was not an excuse to steal music. I’m not proud of how long it took me to pay for the music, but I’m glad that I now have a clean music library.

This process also had an unexpected benefit – I discovered a lot of new music! I ended up downloading dozens of new songs and several complete albums, which has added more depth and variety to my iTunes library. For less than a thousand dollars, I now have a fresh playlist and a clean conscience. It was well worth it.

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