“iTunes has been hailed as the first successful online music store, with over 50 million songs downloaded. Its success has been due largely to Apple’s powerful name, the iPod, flexible use of the tracks, and the 99 cent-price per song or $9.99 for an album. More than that, it has been celebrated as a sign of things to come for an industry still in its infancy,” Matt Buchanan writes for The Washington Square News.

“Despite iTunes’ success and the growing success of other services, the record industry still isn’t happy; it thinks that 99 cents a song is too cheap, and the five major labels (Universal Music Group, EMI, BMG, Sony and Warner Music) are discussing a price hike ranging from $1.25 to an eye-gouging $2.49 per song,” Buchanan writes. “At that price, downloading music will become far more expensive than buying CDs, which would practically destroy the online music market.”

Buchanan writes, “This is counter to everything the record companies should be doing. If anything, they should be cutting prices to make it more attractive to download music legally. Instead, this move will push online music junkies back into the world of file sharing. After all, who wants to pay more for less?”

Full article here.