The first five on the top 10 singles list on iTunes is quite fickle.

A few weeks ago, I purchased Dr. Dre’s single “I Need a Doctor” on iTunes, and at the time of purchase, it was not even ranked in the top 20 singles list. Just 15 minutes later, I looked at my screen and it was number one. Then just two days after, “I Need a Doctor” dropped to the number two spot and the whole order of the rest of the top five singles was out of whack and quite confusing. Why can’t America just make up its mind?

I feel like watching iTunes is like watching the stock market. One day a song will go up in the ranks and then the next day it will fall. Not only do I not know what song to invest my $1.29 in, I don’t know what song to invest my time in. If this ever-changing chart of top singles won’t give me a straight answer, I will never know what to turn to find the hippest and coolest tracks … woe is me. It seems that every single that a popular artist debuts rides the iTunes pop chart up and down.

One day Katy Perry’s “Firework” may hold the number one spot, but then the next day the Black Eyed Peas can rise from number 20 and reclaim their reign as chart-topping masters. It is difficult to tell who really is the number one pop artist because it is constantly changing according to digital sales. This brings me to my next conundrum — how important are digital sales?

On Wednesday mornings I am certain that I will find at least three “Glee” covers in the top 10 list, but by Thursday evening they can sink to the bottom of the charts because all the Gleeks have already snatched up their singles. Then, a new pop tart will sit high up on the chart. If the digital sales of singles are peaking and then declining, then they can’t be very popular, right? The popularity of the song is very shallow because someone will buy it and then may never listen to it again. That doesn’t make it popular or well liked — it just makes it profitable.

You never can tell if a new single will be a hit based off of iTunes. People may download a top 10 track because they see it is a top ten track, and if others are downloading it, they should too. It’s peer pressure — we learned about this in high school. If someone else does something that seems cool, you may be more inclined to do it, too. Remember, just say no — to Ke$ha (her love is a drug).

The only way to gauge a single’s popularity is by monitoring radio plays. Sure, a song may sell well in the digital world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will fare as well in the actual world. Analyzing digital sales may not be the best way to determine a song’s success since the iTunes chart keeps changing. Radio play is a better way to determine how well a song will do, because radio plays are based on listeners’ requests and DJ’s reactions to songs. With digital sales, if the public is not satisfied with what it has, people will presumably continue to buy more, just to satiate their longing for music they can appreciate.

And by now, the top song on iTunes have probably changed — figures.

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