Having trouble with iTunes today? The shop might not be loading? Or it’s loading veeeeerrrrrrry slowly? Your pain has a name, our friends. And that name is Beyonce.
Surprise! New Album!
No, she’s not slowing down iTunes because she and Jay Z decided to just buy every song ever released for giggles. It’s because she’s released her new album last night with literally no announcement whatsoever. And, yes, that has had fans swarming iTunes to buy it, but this isn’t the first time Apple’s had to deal with a feeding frenzy. The problem is as much the way the album is constructed as anything else.
The “Visual” Album
Essentially, each track on the album, and there are fourteen of them, comes with a music video, and there are another three videos in the mix besides that. And, yeah, that’s a pretty neat gimmick, but having to download that much data to that many people at once will make any IT administrator gulp and wonder if perhaps he should have gone to culinary school.
Adding to the problem, the album is an iTunes exclusive. Adding to the problem even further, you either give Beyonce $16 and download the whole thing, or you go home; you can’t buy individual songs until next week.
In other words, it’s a huge publicity stunt on iTunes. Still, with the music industry the way it is, you can’t fault even the biggest pop star in the world for trying something new to attract eyeballs. And if nothing else, at least it’s timed instead of an attempt to get us to buy albums again. You just might want to start downloading it now, before you go to work, because otherwise, you might be waiting a while.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.