In a recent podcast, a guy complained (damn non-internally-permalinkable things — fix that!) that a big problem with the iTMS is that the files are locked to a given computer and that, if that computer takes a dump, you’re screwed. He complained that Apple makes it too hard to back your songs up.
For all the complaints one might have about Apple selling DRM’ed music (and I have some myself), the idea that the songs are “too hard” to backup isn’t a valid one, IMO, since all the tools necessary to do the backups are built into the application, and they’re not hidden, either.
Really, there are only 2 steps to backing up your music —
Creating a smart playlist
You now have an ISO-formatted CD or DVD that you can place in a media safe, a safe-deposit box, mailed to your nephew, or whatever. None of this is hard.
Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the
pens will multiply instead of disappear.