I freely admit to being a huge nostalgia head, which only seems to be getting worse the older I get. (I can only imagine the calibur of “In my day…” curmudgeonry that I’m going to engage in when I’m 60.) I spent much of my childhood not really listening to music at all, believe it or not, but as my tastes started to evolve, I mostly became interested in songs from my early years or from before my time entirely.
So, naturally, there’s plenty of inventory for me to like at the iOldies Music Store, which recently contacted me to ask if I’d take a look at their site. They bill themselves as offering “Boomer Music”. Which is funny, because that would be my parents’ generation, not mine. Still, ever since I was a teenager I’ve been far more likely to spin records by Genesis, The Beatles or Billy Joel — almost all of it pre-1990 — than anything my peers cared about. In 1987 I didn’t care about Def Leppard, in 1993 I didn’t care about Beck, and now I don’t care about pretty much any modern music. Whether it’s metal, prog rock, pop or whatever, give me the old stuff.
iTunes may appear to have an iron grip on the music market, but there are alternatives — and my recent rants about putting all your eggs in one basket (by getting all your online services from the same provider) should make it clear that I like alternatives. The iOldies Music Store is laid out like a juke box and is obviously going for lovers of ’50s and ’60s music with its visual style, which frankly is kinda hard on the eyes, but once you start searching it looks like they have a pretty large catalog, including eclectic material and albums from foreign bands. Interestingly, not all of it is old, either — although some of these recently-dated albums might be compilation discs of older material from bands I’m unfamiliar with.
What’s interesting about iOldies Music Store is that they try to amalgamize a variety of music formats in a single store. So you can get songs as downloadable MP3s, or order CDs, et al. Some of these options may not be available for certain songs; I think we’re all familiar with the minefield that is digital music licensing these days, so this should not be surprising. They have a “Retro DVD” section too, which includes stuff like Soupy Sales and a motley crew of other oddities.
I haven’t actually purchased anything from the iOldies Music Store, but it doesn’t look like their digital tracks are DRM’ed in any way, which is a minimum requirement for me when buying music downloads. I do have some gripes, though, in that the site is a little difficult to navigate as it does not seem to use pages in a traditional way, and the UI is often slow to respond. The iOldies store appears to be in beta for the moment, though, so some of this stuff could be a work in progress. If they can iron out the issues, they might have a future as an alternative to the big music store players.