The Long Tail Has Let Me Down

What I’m looking for is exactly the sort of thing that the Long Tail said would be easy to buy online. I want to get songs from Cotton Mather, a band from Austin that had a few albums in the 90s and then split up, but the Internet isn’t cooperating.

Their albums are out of print now and I could buy the physical CDs on Amazon or eBay for about $30. There are two problems with this. I don’t want to buy CDs anymore when all I do is rip the music to my computer and stick the jewel case in a box in my basement. I also don’t want to pay extra just because there’s a limited supply of this band’s round plastic discs in the world.

I want to buy individual songs online for $1 a piece, but looking around on iTunes, Amazon’s MP3 service and Google I can only come up with a couple of their songs. Isn’t this the sort of hard-to-find niche product that companies can make money off of selling only a few copies when there are virtually no stocking and distribution costs?

Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough or there’s a licensing problem or something else, but I’m disappointed this isn’t easier.

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