Sorry I've been away for a while

In light of Apple's new online music store ($0.99/song, AAC format with minimal DRM, better encoding than MP3, etc.) a new era has begun in digital music. Finally, there's an alternative to scrounging around on Kazaa or Gnutella for a song, downloading it at .4 k/sec, and having it be half-corrupt when it finally arrives. Apple's service is fast, full of variety, and is constantly being added to every day. And it's legal.

So my question(s) is(are):

Now that there's a relatively cheap, fast way of acquiring music, which do you see yourself using? Do you screw the $1 per song and go for the free, illegal, low-quality route, or do you use the possibly expensive, legal, high-quality route? I, for one would be downloading songs like mad from Apple if I had a credit card. I think that the artists who make great music deserve compensation for their works, and as a fellow artist, I understand the desire to support one's self through creation.

Do you think the artist should be compensated for their work?

What if they're dead?

What if you can't find what you're looking for on the store? Would you go get it on one of the file-sharing networks?

I'd like to see what you all think. Apple's service is only available to mac users, but within the first 18 hours online it sold over 275,000 songs, netting Apple, the labels, and the artists a profit of about $100,000. Granted, that was in the first few hours of the service, when most people were just giving it a try. The real test of whether this will work will be in the next few months, when the initial curiosity dies away. A Windows version is in the works, I believe. I know most of you use Windows/Linux... would you use the service once it's available for your platform?

Just interested in seeing what you think.

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