Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Ho-hum. The iTunes music store has sold a hundred million songs now. And four of those are mine. Not a lot but all I could find that I liked and didn't own already. Also I'm not fully enthusiastic about music downloads for all the DRM crap, so I won't invest too much.

But the great thing about this mark is not that Apple pulled this – a bit later than they wanted perhaps – but still reasonably quick after the introduction on the store, thus proving the music industry people wrong with their 'helping honest people stay honest' strategy. No, the great thing is of course that this mark and the countdown towards it is very educational. We are flooded with big numbers millions, hundreds of millions, billions every day – yet it's very hard to grasp what these numbers mean.

In the case of iTunes, the occasional visit of Apple's web page would illustrate how the number rises and how long it took to sell a million songs. Then you could figure out how many songs were sold per day, per hour or even per second. And you'll get to the conclusion that hundred million, or 100000000 or 108 is a rather large number.

And then you'll hear that the sales by iTMS are only a tiny fraction of the total music market, and you'll be reminded how much music is sold and how many people must be there to enjoy it. Fantastic.

July 11, 2004, 23:48

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