For me the answer is yes... And no.
If it is a new musical experience for me, and I like the way the snippets sound, I still tend to buy the whole “album”. If I think it might be a stretch, then I’ll purchase just the song (or songs) I heard that sounded interesting. Then maybe go back later and pick the rest up.
Case In Point
Karen Elson on NPR’s Morning Edition ~ June 10th 2010. I was on the way to work Thursday when the segment aired. They played a couple of clips (mostly in the background) during the interview. “The Ghost Who Walks” and “Pretty Babies” I thought she had an unusual style of singing. So when I happened to be stopped at an intersection I pulled out my phone and started up Shazam.
Shazam is a music identification application or service. It has been somewhat less reliable than it has been in the past and with all the background and foreground noise from being in a car and the interview taking place I was afraid I was going to be unsuccessful and actually have to take notes. But I got lucky and i worked and identified “The Ghost Who Walks” from there it was a short walk to find her via my emusic account. The 30 second snips of all the songs intrigued me enough to get ‘em all.
“Pretty Babies” is the song that got my attention.
On The Other Hand
If, on the other hand, it is older stuff and I’m just replacing or purchasing something I already know, then I tend to buy only the song(s) I want from a given album.
At any rate in my opinion the songs are worth giving ‘em a listen.