"How Ya Wanna Pay, Pal?" (12/10/04)

Oh happy day! Faithful viewer Richard Tjoa just tipped us off to Apple's latest press release announcing a new addition to the methods of payment accepted at the iTunes Music Store: now tune junkies can feed their legal habit with a steady stream of funds from their PayPal accounts. "PayPal?" you ask, "Isn't that the thing people use to buy junk on eBay?" Well, yes, but not exclusively, see; as Apple's latest move clearly shows, PayPal is an increasingly accepted form of online payment for a variety of non-auction-related goods and services. PayPal: it's not just for Star Wars collectibles and bad costume jewelry anymore! (Or, ahem, AtAT merchandise.)

Now, we haven't exactly done a ton of digging into the matter, but if memory serves, at least here in the U.S., you don't even need a credit card to get a PayPal account; you can hook one right up to a bank account and fund it that way instead. What that implies is that the credit-deficient now have a simple way to siphon their savings dry as they pump up their electronic collection of Connie Francis songs. Previously that would have required, say, trucking down to Target to buy a bright green iTunes prepaid card, or paying an adult to hook you up with the goods. ("Excuse us, sir, but if we give you money, can you go in there and buy us beer and cigarettes? And then go online and get us an iTunes gift certificate?") But now it sounds like all those underage eBay jockeys with PayPal accounts wired into their "college savings" accounts can trade in four years of higher education (c'mon, who were we kidding anyway?) for one slammin'music collection.

Best of all, in that last scenario, this arrangement discourages stealing from the music industry-- and encourages stealing from Mom and Dad instead! You say you really want that new Lindsay Lohan album but your account's clean out of money? Don't illegally download MP3s with KaZaA; just swipe items from around the house, auction them off on eBay, and watch the funds come rolling into your newly iTMS-friendly PayPal account! What could be simpler? And the wrath of your parents is probably a far more palatable alternative to a six-figure RIAA filesharing lawsuit.

Between credit cards, gift certificates, prepaid cards, allowance accounts, and now PayPal, Apple's really working hard to provide as many methods of payment at the iTMS as possible. Next up? Well, it's just a guess, but we're thinking cash-- like, maybe you click "BUY NOW" and a ninja with a cash register swoops silently in through an open window, affixing you with a steely-eyed gaze that says "that'll be $15.93, please, and if you've got any singles, that'd be great, because we're running a little low." Once that system's in place, it's merely a matter of time before Apple accepts payments for iTMS purchases in pints of blood, as well as transplantable human organs (minus a nominal surgical extraction fee). What could possibly be more convenient?

SceneLink (5093)
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 12/10/04 episode:

December 10, 2004: Heads up, eBay junkies; the iTunes Music Store now accepts PayPal. Meanwhile, unconfirmed rumors of speed-bumped eMacs and PowerBooks make the rounds, and Microsoft readies its next development kit for Xbox 2 gamesmiths-- and apparently it's going to be a Power Mac G5 again...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 5094: Geez, You're NEVER Happy (12/10/04)   Look, we know that, drama-wise, we've been a little iPod- and iTunes-heavy for the past few weeks, but that's the risk of adopting a vaguely reality-based plot stream: generally speaking, we go where Apple takes us, and for better or for worse, Apple's paddling in some very musicky waters these days, while the surface of Lake Mac remains still and unbroken...

  • 5095: The One-Week Respite (12/10/04)   Sorry, people, but we're not doing Wildly Off-Topic Microsoft-Bashing Day this week. Don't get us wrong, it's not for lack of material; if we felt like it, we could, for example, riff on faithful viewer Lee Dronick's suggestion, which is Information Week's article on how Penn State University just urged all 80,000 of its students to stop using Internet Explorer immediately and switch to a browser at least slightly less likely to compromise the security of their systems and/or transmit the plague...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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