rotten apple

Once again an Apple update seems to be billed as more important than life itself and once again it leaves regular customers who were relatively happy with the previous version disappointed. This is going to be a bit moany and, if you’re an Apple obsessive, you’re not going to like it. However, it’s just a company not your God or football team so why not act that way rather than supporting a product?

Essentially the problems seem to all be focused on Microsoft users and people with large collections. Could this be accidental or are Apple going to war on this? Will I need to buy an Apple computer to continue with the service I have enjoyed so far? Some argue that it’s free and so there should be no complaint, I would argue that the service has encouraged me to pay for iTunes downloads and as long as I use them I am still a customer who requires service as well as access to what they have bought. It’s as if when CD players were invented, customers were forced to throw away all their old records, forced not chose! Then there’s large collections. What harm could I possibly be doing to their income by simply owning a lot of music that I have already paid for? Well, that’s simple – with a lot of my own music, I am less likely to pay them a monthly subscription fee for any iCloud service. Block my access to my music that I have paid for and you can then charge me to listen instead.
It does seem as if Apple want to go to war with people’s collections. The fact is that cloud subscriptions could easily take over the existing market but subscribing to Spotify should allow customers to not feel like they are renouncing their existing collections in order to join a new cult. I would urge people to choose Spotify for this reason although you can expect Apple to make it problematic for you in the future if you use an Apple computer.
I had 2 problems with an album that I paid good money for over iTunes this week.

I will NOT write a caption that says 'Dude! Where's my sidebar?'

I will NOT write a caption that says ‘Dude! Where’s my sidebar?’

1) Initially, the new screen format for iTunes seems to have made it impossible to manually drag albums onto an ipod. This isn’t a problem if you sync but is a problem when you have more music than hard drive space and run two ipods. The solution is to click on the View option and opt to ‘show sidebar’ exactly like you did before and then, once the ipod is visible in your sidebar, dragging can be accomplished.
2) I have had a couple of problems with faulty downloads before. They claim to be 4 minutes long but cut out after a few seconds and go straight to the next track despite mysteriously registering the song as having been played (if you skip a song manually, it doesn’t!). Previously iTunes did give me a refund but that seems to reveal that they didn’t quite understand the problem. After a few days waiting for service that never came, I decided to just go ahead and buy the song in question for a 2nd time. Previously, I have been careful to avoid doing this and so did not realise that if a song is already bought, then iTunes will actually mention this and then offers it to be downloaded again. This worked. I then went back and downloaded the previous song that had caused me problems too, thus discovering that while customer service had helped me get my money back, they definitely did not deal with the problem. I also obviously missed something but that’s where customer support is supposed to step in and facilitate my understanding of the product.

I write this with very limited IT knowledge and merely to offer help for other people suffering at the hands of iTunes and in the hope that others suffering may not feel alone. That Apple get criticised merely comes out of describing the way this has panned out. I imagine that iTunes 12 will finally do away with convenient access to music already bought and will instead make paying to rent a cloud compulsory. Classic capitalism, take away something that people already own and then force them to pay for it. It’s not just the record companies who will suffer and artists will also receive less royalties too, but the customer has also been squeezed with this new scheme. Money which previously funded artists and record label executives will not be removed and the product given away for free, instead everyone will suffer except those who control the means of production, the product and access to the product. I won’t shed many tears for the executives and many of the artists, but people must realise that Apple is simply mugging people for their music.

Prophet for profit.

Prophet for profit.

If Apple are not being unreasonable about this, they might perhaps include explanations of the potential problems of downloading new versions of software or even, heaven forbid, try to solve them despite there being no money in it. After all, my iTunes downloads make me a valuable customer on some level, don’t they?