Putting too much trust in pre-ordering music?

I’ve been using the iTunes Music Store for a couple of years, ever since I got my first iPod. While I love the concepts of being able to buy music singles or entire albums at my leisure and getting easy previews of the songs, I’ve been appalled recently by the number of album pre-orders that are showing up on iTMS. For example, the new Jack Johnson CD (Sleep through the static) has been on there since Christmas).

Pre-ordering a DVD of a movie you have seen or that you saw a good preview for is one thing, but my main problem with the concept of pre-ordering music is that you have no clue whether or not an artist’s next CD will be good or not. All you get is a single song preview which is typically one of the best tracks of the album, or which is just the first single released.

Again, going back to Jack Johnson, I was tempted to make a pre-order for his new CD since I absolutely loved his last one, “In Between Dreams”. It was kind of tempting since they even offered an extra track that you would not get when the CD actually comes out. In the end, I decided not to pre-order and was actually glad about it when I logged onto iTunes today and saw that there are not really any tracks that catch my ear on his latest effort. Perhaps 30 seconds song clips are too short to form an opinion, but the opinion of many others on the site seemed to indicate similar feelings towards the new album. So, in short, I wonder how music pre-orders have become so popular.