updated 01:25 pm EST, Wed January 31, 2007
iTunes helps environment
One of the advantages seldom considered for the iTunes Music Store is its impact on the environment, but the blogger responsible for Torants observes such concerns. In his most recent entry, the blogger observes that while a CD copy of an album might serve as ample backup, many materials go into its production including aluminum, nickel, dyes, polycarbonates, and more. Moreover, every CD requires packaging, and both parts are assembled and shipped to distributors as well as retailers. The result is a considerable waste, and why the Torants blogger has come to prefer iTunes.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the most recent Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco announced that over two billion songs were sold at the iTunes Store. Figuring an average of 12 tracks per album, that amounts to as many as 166 million CDs that would together stack to a height of 1,050 miles. Laid flat, 166 million CDs would cover an area equivalent to 640 acres that would amount to a substantial amount of landfill space, even when stacking and compression is taken into account. Another five million iTunes tracks are sold daily, which comes out to 416,000 CDs, or 2.6 miles.
Calculating the costs of transportation also reveals some surprising results. Assuming a single tractor trailer can carry about 605,000 CDs (80,000lbs.), Apple's iTunes Music Store has already circumvented about 275 shipping runs. Additionally, the iTunes store is saving five more shipments weekly not including secondary runs.