The venerable Sub Pop label, which has put out records for everyone from Nirvana to The Shins, is trying their hand at the online music store game—and they’re doing it mostly right. They have over 200 full-length albums up for sale in 192kbps MP3 for $US9.90—stuff from the aforementioned bands, Hot Hot Heat, and Sunny Day Real Estate, just to name a few. And they’re already looking at ways to improve the store.
True, they’re not offering single tracks yet, some of the albums can be had for cheaper on iTunes and they’re 49 percent owned by Warner, one of the Big Four. But! They plan on upgrading the bitrate soon and adding album art to the packages in PDF or a similar format—right now, they have cover art embedded in the MP3s. And when they do, anyone who bought a previous version will get the updated version for free. Better still, they’re actually open to feedback from customers.