iTunes and K-pop

Wow, iTunes has finally caught up with the world’s (and my) love of K-pop and many different Korean artists are now available.  Which is great – and listing “K-pop” as a genre makes it easy to find them.  But searching through the different names I found some oddities… like five (5) versions/listings of Big Bang.  Only two of the versions/listings had albums (the same ones), while the other three were empty but the albums weren’t all the Korean Big Bang’s – some were the Norwegian Big Bang (yeah, there are two groups with the name “Big Bang”) and apparently the two albums that were actually the Korean Big Bang’s were fakes.  Very confusing and unprofessional.

Thinking it was just a one-off mistake perhaps (although that was several mistakes on just one band) I searched for another group or artist I really liked.  Several are missing in a quick look like JYP, Lee HyoRi (finally did find an entry for her), Alex, and Rain.  I finally decided to check out No Brain and while they are listed as “No Brain” in the search, when I clicked through to one of their albums, their name was in Japanese.  Searching a little further down the list and I found No Brain again but this time spelled in Korean.  And they were not the only band/singer/artist who was listed in English and in Korean (with different albums under the different listings).  Another oddity was when I previewed one of T.O.P.’s songs – it wasn’t him but some girl singing bad pop in English.

All in all, very confusing – should I search for my fav K-pop artists in English (being as I’m on the Canadian site) or Korean (their native language) or both?  And why are there fakes (or at least albums that many people online are insisting are fakes and seem to have a different copyright owner than they should)?  I’ve always been a fan of iTunes and it’s where I buy the majority of my music but I think I’ll stick to YesAsia.com for my K-pop if the music on iTunes isn’t legit.  Plus that way I get the cool inserts that often come with Korean CDs 🙂

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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