Arbitrage=the art of buying low and selling high with no risk. If one could sell online music at the same rates as the iTunes music store, there would be real arbitrage opportunities this week.
To wit: eMusic is shutting the doors on its unlimited downloads policy at the end of the month, but until then it’s all you can download (meaning, there are a ton of people including myself doing just that right now). Meanwhile, the iTunes Music Store seems to be adding a bunch of labels that were formerly found only on eMusic, including Matador (Cat Power, Pizzicato Five, Mark Eitzel, Pavement, Yo La Tengo) and Fantasy/Prestige/Riverside (John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins, Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Evans, Joe Henderson, and other brilliant 1950s jazz sessions), and Lakeshore (Granddaddy). Alas, no arbitrage. Otherwise I could download all the albums for free on eMusic, resell them on iTunes, and make a killing. I’ll have to settle for just downloading the albums for free.
In compensation for the lack of arbitrage, the iTunes Music Store has added a few artists and albums that never made it to eMusic, like the White Stripes and Pop Will Eat Itself’s 1989 album featuring the insanely brilliant “Can U Dig It?”. If music keeps getting added like this, I’ll forget all about my disappointment with eMusic. Eventually.