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Apple Deleted Rivals’ Songs from Users’ iPods (wsj.com)
296 points by kenjackson on Dec 4, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 216 comments



Apple deleted all my songs that were _legally_ purchased from _iTunes_. What did I do deserve that? I bought a new iPad.

So what happened is that I was living in Canada. I bought a bunch (maybe 30-50) songs directly from iTunes over the years. I had them on my iPad mini.

Later on, I was working and living in US, so I changed the country to US and added a US credit card to my iTunes account. Everything was fine.

Then, the iPad mini with Retina display (aka iPad mini 2) came out and I wanted to upgrade to it. Normally, I have nightly backups to iCloud, but since they are (unfortunately) not as thorough, I made a full local backup to my MacBook, and restored it on the new iPad mini with Retina. All the apps and settings transferred fine, but all songs were missing. When I went to "iTunes Song Purchases", it was empty, as it doesn't consider purchases I made in the Canadian iTunes Store as purchases.

I know that if I remembered/knew which songs I bought, I could buy them again and it might not charge me a 2nd time, but it's like playing russian roulette - you have to confirm a purchase and if it matches, you don't pay, else you do. Plus it's a lot of work to find/remember which songs I bought.

At first I was pretty unhappy about it and was gonna try to do something, but then I just gave up on it and moved on. It's not completely Apple's fault, because they have to deal with countries and having separate stores. I wish there was one global store and 1 country and 1 currency and I wouldn't have to deal with this just because I moved to new coordinates, but yeah.


It is Apple's fault because they could have easily defaulted to preserving all songs rather than deleting them. It took extra work for Apple programmers to add a function to iTunes that removes songs not purchased in the same region. Were they really coerced into such behavior? It's more likely that this "feature" was a selling point for record companies, not consumers. Moral of the story: check who owns software before using it.


>> It took extra work for Apple programmers to add a function to iTunes that removes songs not purchased in the same region.

I certainly wasn't involved in the project, but it's easy to imagine a scenario where it's actually easier to do it this way. "Replace data" is an easier operation to implement than "merge."


That was my read on this too. Consider how an iPod reacts (or used to, I haven't used one in a long time now) when you plug it into an iTunes instance that isn't the one you originally synced it with - it asks if you want to flatten everything and replace it with the contents of the connected library.


"Moral of the story: check who owns software before using it."

How do you check software behaviour without using it and falling into the trap?

I agree that it is most likely a feature that music companies request. They usually don't allow sales and use under equal conditions everywhere (see youtube).


>How do you check software behaviour without using it and falling into the trap?

Read the source code. You shouldn't trust software that doesn't let you do that.


Not necessarily true: in a simple relational DB, it could be that 'region_cd' is part of the primary key. This would have the same effect, and was probably driven by a then-reasonable initial requirement. It seems very likely that no 'delete' ability was added to support this.


Color of bits comes to mind...


> It's more likely that this "feature" was a selling point for record companies, not consumers.

From parent:

> I know that if I remembered/knew which songs I bought, I could buy them again and it might not charge me a 2nd time

So if they don't charge you again, then what's the selling point for record companies?


The selling point is that there's enough uncertainty and complexity in the process that many (most?) people won't successfully avoid charges for re-buying music.

The icing is that the mere existence of the complex, uncertain process insulates record companies from accusations that they're forcing people to re-buy music (as with the transition to CDs). Re-buying just happens to be the much more convenient option.


Apple can say they don't automatically copy over songs purchased in another region. Allowing you to "purchase" the songs again for free sounds like a workaround that the parent found. However you look at it it's not for the good of the customer.


Correct. The back door is already written in the terms and conditions. Have fun reading them. Wasn't it Steve Jobs who said, he never signs a contract that is longer than a page?


Jobs was a master of saying one thing today and then contradicting himself tomorrow without hesitation or acknowledgment.


Steve Jobs could have said whatever he wanted without it being true. The problem isn't in him saying it, the problem are certain persons who believe it and repeat the nonsense.


Is your comment in any way related to my post?

Steve Jobs may not have signed complex contracts. This does not exclude, that Apples layers make the customers sign complex contracts, does it?

Steve Jobs promoted the digital lifestyle, although he was a vinyl junkie and owned high-end audio stuff. The point is, that the advice he gave about the length of contracts is good, unimportant if he followed it or not. It is useful for customers to follow and that does certainly not exclude apples customers (although, nowadays, you may not be able to buy a slice of bread, if you insist on short terms and conditions).


> However you look at it it's not for the good of the customer.

Yeah, it's obnoxious as fuck. But it doesn't cost any more money.


Your reply is completely unrelated to the parent. shurcooL backed up his device and restored to a new device, and the music was missing. Most likely, he didn't actually sync the music to the computer, so the computer didn't have the files in order to sync back to the device. The fact that it was from a different store meant the device also couldn't redownload them from the store (because the per-country stores are effectively completely different stores).


> Most likely, he didn't actually sync the music to the computer, so the computer didn't have the files in order to sync back to the device.

Quite the opposite. I had the computer before the iPad mini, and all music is on it. In fact, it still has the music.

I did a full backup and restored on new iOS device, and this brought back everything (apps, settings, contacts, etc.) except the songs.


If your music is in iTunes, and you restore your device from iTunes, and you have iTunes set to sync music to your device, then your music will be synced to the device.

So either your music isn't in iTunes, or iTunes isn't set to sync music to your device.


Or perhaps your reading comprehension sucks


That's a very un-called-for comment. He said his computer has his music. He never said that he had his music in iTunes and that iTunes was set to sync his music.


> Normally, I have nightly backups to iCloud, but since they are (unfortunately) not as thorough, I made a full local backup to my MacBook, and restored it on the new iPad mini with Retina.

Sounds like he made an effort to preserve his files. I know from personal experience how easy it is to mess something up with iTunes and lose all data. Like when the iOS 8 upgrade failed and the only way to unbrick the iPad was to reset it through iTunes.


This is the way it is intended by Apple.

I made the same experience moving to a different country and changing the "nationality" of my Apple ID. When contacting customer support about all my missing purchases, they said that this was standard procedure. It seems that Apple basically stores a country flag in your account, then everything you see and buy applies to that flag only. When you change country, you get a different "walled garden". You still somehow "own" all the content, you just can't see all of it. If you try to e.g. install an app you bought when registered in a different country Apple will give it to you for free stating that the purchase has been restored because you have already bought it. It still won't show up in the purchased items list.

I suspect if one were to switch back, it would go back and show all old purchases but not the recent ones from the last region. This seems to be their current implementation which they also seem happy with. It's really sorry state, because so many people move between countries these days and this is very unintuitive and causes a lot of annoyance.


> It still won't show up in the purchased items list.

It does show up once you have "purchased" it for free from the new store.


Asking for a one-world government is a pretty absurdly extreme response to iTunes store licensing problems.

I imagine the problems a one-world government would create far surpass any potential benefits you may have imagined.


> I imagine the problems a one-world government would create far surpass any potential benefits you may have imagined.

That’s implementation-specific. Not necessarily a hypothetical one-world government must work like the government that’s running your country or mine.


The same thing happens for app purchases, it happened to my while moving country. At the same time, I did not have any problem with the Windows Store or Google Play.


Windows Store used to be extremely bad pre-Windows 8 - I live in Uruguay and it basically didn't work unless you lied repeatedly about your location, age, etc., and required several factory resets (that was my experience with a Nokia Lumia 800).

It turned me off Windows as a mobile OS, but from what you're saying, it seems they've cleaned up their act now.

Edit: it seems they're still boneheaded with regards to the Xbox: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8698610


That depends. Are we letting Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz run it?


No, just the sort of people that are attracted to ruling the world.


So... yes.


I certainly assume, it is a bug. Getting software to handle complex behaviour correctly is not easy.

But that does not help. Songs are gone, money may be gone, lots of work to do, legal action may be possible, but for a few songs? Why not take this as a warning, that a company will not take good care of our property? Apple did this before, a few years ago, btw. Microsoft even closed its music store (remember the Zune?), which resulted in total loss. Cloud stories will come. The only lesson that can be learned is, we shouldn't give up control over our property, certainly not to companies who benefit from our losses. However this is implemented.

Physical media for music is a way. The best sounding CDs from the early 80s cost cents only. Some even gain resale value (mfsl gold editions for example) as listeners with good taste realize, how crappy recent remasters sound.

When I commented a review of the Beatles vinyl mono editions recently, another guy (a grumpy old brit, for sure) replied: 'I spit on your digital downloads' :o). Maybe that's good advice (Although it would be interesting to understand, how he wants to spit on digitial data - it is not even physically available to spit on).


> Why not take this as a warning, that a company will not take good care of our property?

I think it's probably good to ask, are things like this even property at all? And if so, whose property is it really?

I "bought" a movie on Vudu. It said "Buy this movie" right there on the screen. But what I really bought is a longer rental license than the normal "rent this movie" license.

If Vudu goes out of business, what do I own? Nothing. If I rage-quit Vudu, what do I own? Nothing. If the ultimate rights holder objects to the "sale," a la Amazon and 1984, what do I own? Nothing. (And I don't want compensation for the lost movie/book, I want the fucking item that I supposedly "purchased.") And I can't decide to sell my movie to someone else.

Like owning real estate, digital property is a bundle of rights. But with digital property, that bundle can probably be comfortably held between thumb and forefinger like a pinch of salt.


> Microsoft even closed its music store (remember the Zune?), which resulted in total loss.

No, they didn't - the Zune music store is still around as Xbox Music, and any songs you bought via the Zune store will still be there (or mine are, anyway.) I believe you're thinking of PlaysForSure, which was not Zune related, but according to Wikipedia the closure of MSN Music did not result in total loss. Maybe there's some detail I'm missing?

That said, I agree with your larger point. All the music I care about is either physical or in DRM-free MP3 format and not synced to anyone's cloud or store.


Ah, ok. Thanks for clarification. I did not follow the story to the end (or did not expect that the story went on, after the shutdown was announced). Maybe I also mixed it with Sonys connect service. But indeed, the point is still valid: if the stores are not profitable, they can be shut down and the content can be removed.


> it is not even physically available to spit on

Right on!


> I certainly assume, it is a bug.

If it's a bug, that's a suicidal testimony.


The very same thing happens with people moving country.

Having moved from the UK to the US, I lost access to everything I'd purchased when I updated my billing details (no longer having a working UK credit card).

All Apple support could do was give me a list of the software/music I was missing, I presume to make re-purchasing easier.


That's so bad. Account management has always been abyssimal.

No account merging, no transfer of purchase is a part of it. I found the easiest way has always been to keep multiple accounts and switch accounts when switching stores.

But when I say "easiest" it's more like "less horrible than all the other way you can get screwed" and you still have to so many battles to fight to have your content where you want.


Did you try contacting iTunes customer support? In my experience they're pretty good at trying to resolve the issue. I don't know how much power they have when it comes to different country stores (i.e. whether the customer support can even see the store for a different country), but I'm sure they would have done what they could to restore your purchased music.


I was going to at first, and I'm guessing it's likely they would've been able to assist in some way, but then I just didn't bother to.

To be honest, it was easier for me to accept the loss and just move on. I don't listen to music that much anyway, and when I do, I can just stream from Spotify or YouTube.


No, that is Apple's fault, they have a list somewhere of all your purchases and all they have to do is make sure you can download them again.


Why didn't you just pirate the songs you had already paid for?


because its illegal?

Why would you pay for the songs when you could pirate them? Presumably because you want to conduct your activities legally.


If you already paid for the song, there's absolutely nothing wrong with downloading the song in a format so that you can listen to it. In a strictly moral "money for the artist" sense. In the Netherlands, this used to be perfectly legal as well, as it should be (maybe no longer, as recently something changed about our laws concerning 'downloading').


Last time I checked, it was illegal in the UK.


I have songs from both the AU and US iTunes stores - when I do a restore from iCloud backup it just asks me for my password for each account and happily downloads both. Not sure what went wrong for you.


I have just one account. I changed it from Canadian store to US store.


> Plus it's a lot of work to find/remember which songs I bought.

You could try looking at your billing history. It's frustrating to navigate, but I would be surprised if Apple flushed that too: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT2727


I'm pretty sure if you log into the Canadian account again there will be a list of past purchases.

At least there is for apps


No, this happens if you change your country in your existing account. I moved from one country to another, changed my existing account, and poof all my purchases were gone. I could get them for free again if I knew my purchases. This worked up to a certain point. Now, if I redownload an album that I already purchased, it wants to repurchase it again (after warning that I already have it).

It's a mess.


You can switch the account back to Canada and get access to your old purchases. I've done it before.


Of course I can switch back (Netherlands in my case). They could also just fix this, because it is stupid and unintuitive. And the competition supports moving across borders correctly.

If rights are a problem (which seems unlikely, since I can still download it if I know what I purchased). Just give me the apps and music that they have licensed in both countries.


I suspect that this is what happened—they need to log into their Canadian account, which they somehow got logged out of.


It's the same account - he changed what country his account applied to because he now has a US card. There is no Canadian account to log-in to. I guess if he tried the reverse he could lose his US purchases.


Yep, that's exactly it.


Welcome to the DRM future.

That music that you brought, you don't own it, as you also do not own those computers you are carrying on your pockets.

And just wait untill people start to really apply DRM to contracts and biling, the aplications it was conceived for.


Fully agree that Apple needs to do more to support users who work across multiple countries. I still have apps purchased with different accounts and need to enter a range of passwords everytime I do a restore.

Have you tried speaking with iTunes Support. They are very helpful and can sort out your missing purchases.

> It's not completely Apple's fault

It's not even remotely Apple's fault. Content licenses have always and likely will always be done country by country. And seriously 1 currency ?


> It's not even remotely Apple's fault.

Because Apple clearly indicates that your iTunes items are not bought, but rented for an undetermined time. It's right there, on page 17 in the small print of the EULA, in plain sight.


Yes, Apple's customers are typically ones who cross boarders and have international careers.


Every time a story like this comes along, a whole host of commenters tries to absolve Apple (or ${insert_other_company}, although the phenomenon seems to be especially prevalent when Apple is mentioned) from any wrongdoings, whether perceived or real. Why is this? It bears a remarkable parallel to the same behaviour often seen in discussions involving religion. An honest question to those of you who feel the urge to defend your favourite company from all accusations, what makes you do so? It is not as if these commercial entities have any loyalty to you, so why stand up for them?


It's about consistency. Consistency is our nearly obsessive desire to be (and appear to be) consistent with what we have already done (buying an iPhone, for example). Once we've made that choice, we encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.

If you're interested in this sort of behaviour, you might try Robert Cialdini's book, Influence, the Phychology of Persuasion (http://www.amazon.com/dp/006124189X/).

[Edit] I'm an idiot. I forgot that I wrote a post about this a while ago - here's a summary of Cialdini's (and related) stuff: https://www.wittenburg.co.uk/Entry.aspx?id=439dc4d5-33db-45a.... It's about influence, and to that end discusses some of our behavioural traits.


I agree, but I think it runs in other directions as well.

People rush to attack companies and find unlikely conspiratorial and malicious motivations for companies' actions too. I think the reality is that we're not all that logical. We're logical too, but logic is only part of how we form opinions. A lot of it is some sort of habit. If you see bourgeoisie conspiracy and class conflict as a driving force in the world, your version of events is likely to be whatever supports that. If you see corporate conspiracy everywhere… If you see governments accumulating power everywhere.. If you see a Google conspiracy everywhere..

But I tend to side with you. There's something offensive about the loyalty consumers have to big brands. The relationship just isn't mutual, which gives it an unsavory slavish flavor.


For my taste, brand loyalty is drastically less harmful and unsavory than the equally troublesome loyalty to political parties. (At least in the US, can't say about elsewhere.)


I'm not sure I agree, but I think I can see where you're coming from.

Political parties and loyalty to them tend to devolve into something fairly absurd. But, at least this is using the instinct for what it's meant to be used for. Making factions and tribes and getting your tribe into power. If the tribe Chiefdom is up for grabs, get your clan's main man the hat.

That's what this instinct is designed to do.

Loyalty to a brand of shoes or phone or whatever and developing a tribalism over that is a weird absurdity. With a prospective chief (or president) there is at least the theoretical possibility that your candidate represents your interests and gets your support that way. With brand loyalty, we can't even pretend that's possible. You're loyal to the brand because of an instinct being hijacked, for sure. It's like being loyal to a fictional character, being sad because a couple break up in a soap opera, or getting a mouse all excited with a pheromone soaked cue tip.


Brand loyalty does more personal harm as it turns individuals into milch cows. As to whether loyalty to a political party or orientation is harmful depends on whether that loyalty is balanced - will the party stand up for issues you care about? The bigger the party, the smaller the chance they will. It does not get much bigger than the D/R split in the US while still maintaining the semblance of choice.


Unfortunately, political loyalty lasts far longer than brand loyalty.


Political party membership is about identity, not brand loyalty. Related, but distinct.


I'd argue it's likely both identity and brand loyalty. Identity, because it gives individuals a language with which to declare ones self, and those that classify individuals a way of referring to groups of people. Brand loyalty, because it results in individuals supporting a political agenda that may run counter to their personal or philosophical self-interests.


My personal belief is that we have more power as consumers than as voters.


What did we just say about bias and personal belief!

;)


Could you spell it out? Because the words "bias" or "belief" don't appear above this comment as of right now (and I've read them all in detail)...and I'd like to know what the snark you're point is :) You seem to be saying that whatever the bias or belief is, it's probably illogical. Is that correct?


Sorry. I didn't mean to be snarky, or serious.

It's just that we were talking about biases inherent in brand loyalty, beliefs, religion, political affiliations and world views.


I think people just like looking right. Part of that is jumping on others' choices when something bad happens, and defending themselves when others do the same.


It's amazing how many desires of its own our mind has. The desire to be good members of a group. The desire to be consistent, even if it leads us to be consistently wrong. The desire for big explanatory abstractions at the expense of interpreting reality to fit into them.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm struggling with this damned primate brain.


I would also highly recommend Influence. Preemptive word of advice for anyone looking for the audiobook version: it's under the title Influence: Science and Practice. Which is the title of the textbook version of the book.


It's called 'cognitive dissonance': when two 'cognitions' (ideas, or feelings, or facts) contradict (are in 'dissonance'), we feel uneasy, so we resolve the situation by suppressing one cognition. To do so, we usually need to resort to convincing ourselves of what are really logical fallacies or sophisms. E.g. cognition 1: I only buy from companies that are good; cognition two: company I bought from did something bad. Fact is I have something from the company, so the only resolution is: accusation against company is false.

An easy way to convince yourself of something that is not rationally true is by evangelism: telling others that yes, this is the best way or greatest thing. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it yourself.

This phenomenon is especially strong with something that people derive identity from, like religion or (especially for juveniles who have not yet developed a complete identity) psychological feelings of affiliation with subcultures revolving around a certain music genre or goods that project a certain lifestyle to others (designers goods like expensive hand bags, shoes or iPhones).


The Apple brand is really strong.

I was reminded of this recently when I started seeing a lot of tweets along the lines of "Now that I've been using the iPhone 6 for a while, the iPhone 5 looks like a postage stamp. I can't go back to such a small screen"

Only a little while back these same people would ridicule large phones.

I think most companies would kill (figuratively) for that sort of audience.


Hundreds of millions of people have bought iPhones. How sure are you that the people who defended the smaller screen are the same as the ones who defend the bigger screen? My personal experience is that people who were sceptical of a large screen iPhone before Apple made one, mostly still are.


the same behaviour often seen in discussions involving religion

yup. Here's one of the best explanations I've read to date about why those discussions usually are useless and result in yay/nay but nothing more: http://www.paulgraham.com/identity.html In short: when beliefs take over, reasoning steps aside.


I love that article. In fact, it may be my favorite article ever written (although "What you can't say" is a close second).

What I've come to realize though is that to a certain extent, it seems futile to try and overcome tying things to our identity. I've often been accused of being overly analytical in everything I do (including things like relationships, which apparently you're not supposed to evaluate using statistics).

The problem is that my attempt to catch my own biases kind of drives me crazy in a way. I already have OCD, and all of my layers of meta-analysis toward my own arguments and viewpoints just ends up exhausting me. Add that to the fact that when I get in an "unwinnable" debate (you know the people; the ones who never give an inch) I just end up getting cranky and unhappy.

So while I do think this primitive, illogical, emotionally biased soup of a thinking machine we call a "brain" is far from optimal, I'm not sure if it's much better healthwise to attempt to force it into the other extreme.


force it into the other extreme

No. Extremes are always bad - except in one case: me making this claim is also sort of an extreme. But the only good one, lol :]

For the rest: I think I know what you mean. I used to be self-analytical like that as well. Getting older though I found in the end it just made me unhappy because all this analysis (for me) led to mainly focussing on the bad points and ignoring all the good points. So now I'm easier on myself and instead of constantly trying to fix my whole self in one go I'm trying to do it rather gradually: firstly always try to do good and good only and secondly when I figure I'm not doing good (well, just admitting that and trying to fix it is already a good start and steps beyond what some ever achieve), or being way too biased, or wanting to kick people becasue they are being complete asholes, etc, etc, a short reflection going for example like 'ok, I'm too biased here, that's not so good, but it's also nothing to be ashamed of, just try better next time' or 'ok, the guys opinion clearly differs from yours and is possibly also completely wrong, but that does not mean he's a complete asshole. Better try to educate him instead of trying to kick his ass'. No idea if that makes sense to anyone but after some years of doing this I think I've actually become a better person. And definitely less unhappy. Nonetheless, sometimes I'll still be a complete ass myself mainly in online discussions. Working on it though :]


Identity has many different meanings depending on the context, just look at the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity

How it is being used in pg's Identity, I believe, is referring more to a Self-Concept (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-concept), or 'How one views one's self.' On the other, statements like "I've often been accused of being overly analytical" and "I already have OCD" refer more to Self-Knowledge, which the Self-Concept Wikipedia article suggests is distinct. The difference is in how we think about how things relate to ourselves, and is critical to what pg is saying.

For example, the article brings up an example in which a thread about programming degenerates into a religious-like war when programmers identify as a "X programmer". By incorporating X into their identity, or Self-Concept, they are saying 'X is part of who I am.' By incorporating X into their Self-Knowledge that would sound more like, 'X is something I know.'

The Self-Concept is dangerous because when someone else comes along and says something like "X sucks" the X-Programmer interprets it is "part of who I am sucks" as opposed to "something I know sucks." The latter is easy to dismiss (or discuss), but the former is personal and offensive.

pg warns that the more of these ideas we build into our Self-Concept the more exposed we become. By allowing more ideas into our Self-Concept we create new path ways for others to strike at our primitive, illogical, emotionally biased core. And its not that having that primitive core is bad, it's just that 'sophistication, logic, and rationalization' are slow and take a lot of energy. Presumable, that's why we have that primitive core, because people who try to rationalize threats to their well being are beaten, eaten, and humiliated; they can't react fast enough or keep it up long enough.

So don't try to hit the other extreme, you'll just wear yourself out. But be careful what you allow into your Self-Concept, because your Self-Concept isn't rational.


> It bears a remarkable parallel to the same behaviour often seen in discussions involving religion

Apparently, the same parts of the brain are triggered.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/gaming.gadgets/05/19/apple.reli...

"The neuroscientists ran a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on an Apple fanatic and discovered that images of the technology company's gadgets lit up the same parts of the brain as images of a deity do for religious people, the report says."


Note: a company put a single Apple blogger under an MRI not as part of a study or "a report", it was one scan that was paid for by a documentary series called Secrets of the Superbrands hosted and written by comedian Alex Riley ("Britain's Really Disgusting Food" and "Movies' Greatest Cars")

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2203728/?ref_=tt_ov_st


The next level of this may be that those parts of a brain that fire when considering a deity's will are more highly correlated with the parts that fire when thinking one's own desires, than when thinking of the will of others.

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21533.full

Perhaps we're really describing the same mental faculty - conflation with brands, and religions, and political parties, are all just manipulations of the brain's habituated desire circuits, and to the person experiencing the "loyalty" just feel like being "true to oneself."

This may be a tautology.


I'm sure a lot of people are fans of particular companies, but I think it's unfair to label anyone who expresses doubt in a class action law suit or newspaper headline as a defender of a company.

In a world of spurious law suits and sensationalist headlines, it's a savvy person who doubts stories like this.

And in reality, this really does sound like a bug right now. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I don't see any point in deleting a users music this way. Apple doesn't have a problem implementing unpopular policies that irk it's customers. So why be cloak and dagger about this?


I have a hypothesis. And I think it applies to your comparison with religion as well. It has nothing to do with the typical "sheeple" argument. Or at least, that's only half of it. It's a matter of "forces", equal and opposite. While Apple does seem to attract a lot of folks coming out of the woodwork to defend it, I would say it also attracts a disproportionate amount of hate as well.

You'll see this happen pretty much anywhere. Politics? Far right wing nutjobs come out of the woodwork, angering far left nutjobs who come out of the woodwork to counteract the former. Ditto with military forces. Rebels/terrorists come out of the woodwork, suddenly extreme force (e.g. aerial bombardment, rendition, etc) is A-OK to cancel them out. Religious fanatics come out of the woodwork, and then the atheist fanatics come out of the woodwork.

The middle pretty much ignores the fringes until the battle actually affects them. Then everyone's coming out of the woodwork.


You like Apple (or Google). You think they're one of the few companies in the tech sphere who know what they're doing. You feel they respect their customers. You like their leaders. You want the future of tech to be in their hands.

And yet, every time you look online, you see people talking about how horrible they are. People laugh at you for using Apple (or Google) products. A number of non-controversies about the company's products come up every year, just to give angry people another link to click on. And when the real controversies come up, all they do is reinforce people's established opinions. "How just like Apple (or Google). Fuck that company."

You don't want this stuff to become part of your identity, but in the end, your hand is kind of forced.


Most people I know like Apple and Google. The carriers are the ones that have screwed up Android.


People become really invested in brands and start to associate it with their identity. Apple has an amazingly powerful brand that people who identify with tend to do so very strongly and for reasons they're not quite aware of (think of all those "think different" type ads designed to make each owner of an Apple product feel like a special snowflake).

Attacking the brand feels like attacking them and they get defensive about it.


Most companies these days are about marking their brand and associated products as a certain lifestyle. But Apple may have taken that to a new high.

also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelism_marketing#History

Likening it to religion is likely not as far off as it first seems.


As long as your religion is the best hardware currently available.


Meh. Apple more or less markets "business" hardware to consumres. Not really that different from not buying the "consumer" models from most other brands.


But Apple does not seem to have "best hardware currently available" anymore and still fanboism level seems to be bigger than any non-Apple brand level


By the specs that is true. I guess I should have said best performing hardware. Having twice the specs means nothing if it performs worse.


I was under the impression that Apple uses the same components as most generic PC's since they switched to Intel.


Something makes people stand up against what they think are unfair accusations. Otherwise trial by jury etc. wouldn't work.


It depends on the difference between perceived rating by others vs your own. If you come in and see 10 people attacking Apple, you might start defending it. "It's not _that_ bad!" If you see 10 people saying Apple is completely innocent, you will try to convince people Apple is somewhat at fault.


I'm only speaking for myself here, but I consider Apple to be fundamentally different from most other companies. Most companies seem to have their priorities in this order: Money, money, money, money, product. Whereas Apple seems to be: Product, money, money, money, money. The fact that they make such good products, and they are so far ahead of everyone else in terms of the focus on the product, that's why I'd treat them differently. I mean, if they do something illegal, they should get punished for it. But if another company does it, it's not the same - the other company was never thinking about the product or the customer, they were only thinking about profit. Whereas Apple truly seems to care, at least in some instances, about their products and their customers.

Think about what I just wrote, and tell me what does that say about the current state of the corporate world?


I keep hearing how apple makes these "good products", but I certainly don't see it. Many people I know hate their apple products, but still use them for certain reasons, ie: everyone I talk to has facetime so I have to have it.


Here are a few Apple products that have not been matched yet by the rest of the industry (or took a long time to be matched):

- 4K/5K desktop (the new iMac) that just works out of the box, without apps displaying tiny fonts

- TouchID on the iPhone 5S/6, a fingerprint login that actually works

- MacBook Pro unibody, including the trackpad precision

- MacBook Air

Try to come up with a similar list for HP, Dell or IBM. Maybe they do great work in the server space.


^ This guy gets it.


I don't use Facetime, but I believe that the image quality is much higher than with Skype, because it's not using the relay node system. Probably more people use Skype because 'everyone' they talk to has it than because it's great.

Equally, it's hard to see how their laptops could be considered anything less than good, whether OX is for you or not.


I hate trackpads, and I put my own ram and hard drives into my laptops. So no, from that respect, they're awful.


I consider Apple laptops to be far less than good.

The keyboard is very specific to OS X and it's annoying to use under any other operating system. They don't build proper trackpad drivers for Windows or Linux last time I checked. They steer you directly towards the most expensive model if you're a professional because everything is soldered onto the motherboard.

You don't get a copy of Windows with it and if you're in business, you're going to need that as nobody in business really runs OS X (and that BYOD propaganda you're hearing about is just that - no IT department wants to infect their actual network with outside devices, so you'll most likely be stuck in some kind of DMZ without any real access.)

They're also stuck in the past. The Surface Pro is the future for mobile workers (but until Apple "invents" their version, I think most of the Apple apologists here on HN would probably disagree.)


I actually agree that some sort of reconvergence of laptop and tablet designs is likely--a la Surface Pro if you like. It's sort of silly for me to carry two 11-13" computers with me when I travel. The problem is that no one has quite broken the code on that convergence although the Surface Pro probably comes closest.

>You don't get a copy of Windows with it and if you're in business, you're going to need that as nobody in business really runs OS X (and that BYOD propaganda you're hearing about is just that - no IT department wants to infect their actual network with outside devices, so you'll most likely be stuck in some kind of DMZ without any real access.)

This is utter nonsense though. I go to (way too many) professional conferences and I see way more Macs than I do Windows boxes and that's not even counting the Linux systems. This partly reflects the fact that I go to a lot of developer-centric events but even at a show like VMworld, you see at least as many Macs as Windows.

As for the lack of modularity, like it or not, it's increasingly the norm these days across most manufacturers. People like slim and light and modularity tends to work against those things.


I hear you. Regarding the prevalence of Macs in business though, I have yet to walk into any business office and see more Macs than PCs unless it's an advertising agency and even then, they still have a lot of PCs and their back-end networks and web servers are usually running Windows. (I'm on the East coast, tri-state area.) Then of course is the Mac's global market share. In the global market, they have about 6%. So, it's a relatively minor OS in my opinion.


It does depend on the business. I see a lot of them in my circles and relatively few Windows systems. Obviously you're right about the overall share numbers. They're up a bit but are relatively niche overall--which is shockingly different from what I see at the events I attend.

I was just reacting to the statement that you must have Windows to be useful in business.


>Most companies seem to have their priorities in this order: Money, money, money, money, product. Whereas Apple seems to be: Product, money, money, money, money.

Everytime someone mentions this I cant help but recall the iphone that couldn't make phone calls unless you held it correctly.


One phone. There are companies out there who, generation after generation, make the same mistakes with their products.

At least Apple learned from that one.


That was still product, but product design (metal frame) over product engineering (properly isolated antennas).


That was a terrible product design in addition to being a terrible product engineering IMHO. Holding that phone for any meaningful period of time was not enjoyable.

As a side note the 6 feels great.


> An honest question to those of you who feel the urge to defend your favourite company from all accusations, what makes you do so?

Whatever psychological mechanism it is, I'm sure these companies are abusing it (or would if they could).


People identify themselves with the brand. When the brand is discredited, people feel they're being discredited, hence the resistance.

This is where marketing tries to be.


I read a study (sorry no link) that says when people with irrational beliefs are presented with evidence to the contrary, it strengthens their beliefs.


This is also true when it comes to political views.


Who is standing up for Apple in this instance? Or others, for that matter?


Have you read any of the comments on Hacker News? Apple apologists abound here.


The past couple of years I've gone back to buying physical CDs and ripping them myself (abcde is fantastic) in the quality and format I like.

My music collection is synced to Dropbox and automatically syncs across all my PCs and to my phone.

I've also come to enjoy walking into music stores and browsing the music looking for something that I'll enjoy coding to, and a lot of the time here in Australia it ends up being cheaper buying physical CDs nowadays, especially if you're not buying the latest stuff.

There's more than just convenience.


I do the same thing. I bought music from Amazon for a while. Every now and again I bought some German music from Amazon.de. The purchase works well enough but after that none of my non-German music works in the Amazon player. The Xbox One will simply not let me purchase anything that's not from my region.

The CD or DVD just takes all that pain away.


The XBox One is an absolute disaster area when it comes to multi-region support. The single most annoying example is that the interface language is linked to the country you're in. For example, living in France, with a French credit card, I can't configure my XBox in ENglish if I want to be able to buy things. I can lie to my XBox and tell it I'm in Australia after having purchased things though, and it will then let me play my games in English, but I will have to switch everything back to French if I want to buy something else.


Why not just use Amazon or Google music and download everything ? Google Music is especially good because it lets you download a .zip with complete album compared to Amazon that only lets you download one song at a time.

I used to buy and rip CDs but it takes time and space and feels really backward.


I have a wall bookshelf which has a corner-to-corner shelf in it for CDs, and another for DVDs. That makes the bookshelf more interesting and gives an otherwise really cold-looking room warmth, without taking up space. As mentioned, Amazon makes it frustrating to buy digital content from another region (although it does work). Google is not an option because I'm one of those people that avoids anything Google, no matter how convenient their products may be.

All of this is very subjective. Your points are well made, nonetheless.


What pain compared to just buying MP3 files from Amazon? Unless you need a hardcopy I don't see an advantage (from a convenience POV).

I can see problems happening with the Amazon Player (I never used it), but CDs don't help with that.


I buy something from another region and download it using Amazon's tool. I then buy something from my own region, and the download tool and player can't download it, saying it's now tied to that other region. It takes a phone call to fix.

Also, I'm constrained by the encoding Amazon gives me.


Ah, thanks.


These days, companies keep trying to control a whole stack. Buy music from our store, use our software to play it, sync it to our devices. Buy ebooks from our store and read them on our reader.

I like your approach: pick the best thing in each category and use them together. A dumb TV with a good picture, getting video from a video input source of my choosing. An ebook in a standard format, read on whatever I want to use.

The short-term convenience that a "complete ecosystem" provides is often a giant pain the long run.


CDs do not have this problem. That's why I still buy them, despite the "pain" of ripping a CD (it'll be a problem if I ever move to a skinny MacBook and have no CD drive anymore - how will I share CDs of music I have recorded with the drummer...?)

Plus, to take the songs from you, they'd have to break into my house and walk away with all my CDs.

I also have interesting sleeve notes and details on who mixed the album and the equipment they endorse, as well as photos and beautiful smelling paper in the sleeves.

Great!


Plus, for the majority of recordings it is the only way to get lossless copies.

And to reply to the usual criticism in advance: No I don't hear the difference between 320kbit MP3 and lossless, but I want to be future proof for the time some advanced codec like Opus finally takes over. For some reasons, storage space on portable players has stopped to grow at the 8 or 16GB mark, while SD cards go well into 128GB by now (with affordable prices). Thus, like 8 years ago, a factor of 2 or 3 in the compression ratio still makes the difference between me carefully having to choose which of my music I want to copy on my player or just dumping the whole library on it.


> how will I share CDs of music I have recorded with the drummer...?

External / USB DVD drive, or an USB stick, or Dropbox, or Mega, or some other service like that.


Sadly my drummer isn't as technical-savvy as us on here. He lives out in the country and has a poor Internet connection, plus downloading file and writing an MP3 to disc as audio would probably be beyond him - he is in his mid-50s.

The external DVD drive offered by Apple seems prohibitively expensive for what it is; also, carrying an external drive around to save just a few millimetres on MacBook height seems stupid to me.


The main reason I prefer purchasing on iTunes vs physical CDs is that I do not have to purchase an entire album to get the one song I like. I know there are singles CDs, but usually just for certain hit songs.


>Augustin Farrugia testified that Apple did not offer a more detailed explanation because, “We don’t need to give users too much information,” and “We don’t want to confuse users.”

A very revealing statement about the way Apple perceives its users. Shut up, pay, and don't ask questions.


A very revealing statement about your biases.

As somebody who has had to do tech support, I fully understand the desire to provide the users with less information. Believe me, most of them confuse easily.


As someone who has also had to do tech support, I have hated Apple for this ever since, because it limits the user's ability to provide me with any information. 'An error has occurred.' Thanks Apple, real informative.

I always admired the technology and integration in Apple gear, but since the days of MacOS system software I have always hated the dumbed-down, hard-to-customize operating system, and have never purchased an Apple product. I'm going to have to pick up an iPad at some point because there are so many good apps aimed at Musicians, and I respect the fact that OS X is basically BSD in gift wrap so I can get to a command line if I really want to know what's going on. But I don't feel that enthusiastic about it, because I think there's something fundamentally user-hostile about obfuscating what's going on behind the curtain.


As a software developer and ex-linux user (it's still crap on the desktop) it's quite clear Apple have segmented their user base. Out of the box it's quite simple, but get a (free) developer account and install Xcode and you have the full power of the BSD system right there, but with a windowing system that doesn't crap out when you plug in a new monitor.

Unfortunately it is rather opinionated and you do have to do things 'the mac way', but if you live in a Terminal having copy on a different key to interrupt is amazingly useful. Also having windows auto-restore when plugging in an external monitor, I only just learnt that Windows doesn't do this.

As for errors, almost everything is logged in some way, but again it's hidden from regular users.


Apple's error messages are often no better than what UNIX system utilities give you, to be fair.


...both of which I feed directly to Google to gain enlightenment. It's almost like no one needs to bother catching an exception ever again!


Also, a lot of users don't give a shit about how something happens (all the gritty details). They just want to understand what is happening.

Most of the time this is because they have better things to do.

When it comes to documentation: if the implementation details are not important to the user, you should skip them. Words on a page that a user reads but doesn't care about is wasting their time and they could be reading about other important details.

If you have a broad user base who largely don't care about implementation details you're better hiding them from everyone rather than showing them to everyone.


The flip side of that is being completely opaque, and pushing all responsibility on the user. E.g. ISPs terminating large, encrypted file transfers and then playing dumb when a user tries to call them on it, "it must be a problem on your end.'


What are the chances that the person you spoke to had any knowledge of the action you are talking about?

EDIT: For that matter, how do you KNOW that the ISP did indeed terminate your large encrypted file transfer?


> What are the chances that the person you spoke to had any knowledge of the action you are talking about?

Little to none, but this is by design. If they had made such a decision, tracing it to them is difficult. Easier to tell the phone reps nothing and push the blame onto either end of the transfer rather than on the path in-between. How many people will pursue this past just venting about it on the Internet?

> For that matter, how do you KNOW that the ISP did indeed terminate your large encrypted file transfer?

If it's a single transfer, then you really can't. That said, you can establish a pattern. For example, if your connections always terminate around the 20-minute mark and this happens regardless of the other end of the connection (or the network path to that end-point), you could make a compelling case that it's the ISP's fault at the very least.


I find Apple highly culpable for many things, but I won't fault them for defining their public interface their way. At some point private implementation details are just that.


It's part of the move away from ownership and towards leasing and licensing of everything. Because there is much more profit there.

I started out as a BSD guy, who transitioned as the *nix desktop got better to gnu/linux. The more I learned about the differences between gpl/bsd and the more I thought about the philosophical underpinnings, the more I am convinced that Richard Stallman, while eccentric and sometimes hard to bear for some, was and is a man ahead of his time, and that he is absolutely right when he talks about the four freedoms.

Despite this, at my recent new position, I gave in and decided to dive into the apple ecosystem because "spend less time fixing your system and more time working!" was what I kept getting told. I also have apple users so the ability to support them is important.

That being said, I have been increasingly dissatisfied with the whole system, both in it's functionality and its philosophy. (which is a whole post within itself)

I'm about ready to scrap it all and return to something I have more control over.

The bottom line is this: If you don't have root on your device, you don't own it. (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android phone, Windows phone, Smart TV's, gaming consoles, we are increasingly surrounded by devices we don't have control over. I was listening to a talk about why bsd is a better ecosystem, and it is, in many ways, and the presenter said something that really struck me. He said, paraphrasing, "...and we recently found out [whichever]bsd is in the playstation 4." He said it in a way that was supposed to be impressive, as in "hey look, our shit is so awesome and business friendly that it got put on the new playstation!" An audience member then said something along the lines of, "is the source code released?" And of course the speaker had to mumble "no" and move on quickly.

It's the epitome of the problem. BSD licensing enables companies to restrict the freedom of the user, full stop.

I truly believe GPL is just getting started in the future of science, technology, and communication.


hmm, I dont understand.Afaik Ipods were synced with Itunes,seems to me that one could put anything on Itunes,no matter where it came from.So if I synced my Ipod against my Itunes database,all songs should have been on the Ipod.

Did Itunes used to work differently?


No, you're correct.

I believe this refers to the case going on right now [1] where RealPlayer Music that was sold in '05 or so as 'iPod Compatible' was locked out more than once by iTunes updates.

The thing is it worked (like PlayFair before it [2]) by circumventing/faking FairPlay, which was/is quite likely a violation of the DMCA. Apple patched the bugs and thus "excluded competitors".

So because Apple "excluded competitors" (who where breaking their encryption) they artificially keep the price of music high by stifling competition (ignoring record company contracts and the fact that Real had a 3% market share at the time).

You're right thought. Throughout the entire life of the iPod you've been able to play DRM free MP3s that you got through any method, legal or otherwise.

Don't forget, Real didn't have a good reputation. And they were breaking Apple's DRM so you could play files that had their DRM so it's the "they were fighting for people's freedom" card isn't very strong.

I see this as the same as when Palm faked USB IDs so the Pre would sync with iTunes. Someone else hacked their way into taking advantage of Apple's software and then got mad when the hack was removed and claimed "unfair competition". Sour grapes.

[1] http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/12/03/steve-jobs-video-t...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay


It's no different from Microsoft changing DOS until Lotus wouldn't run on it. I'm amazed at how many people will defend everything Apple does.


It's different in that DOS was an operating system for a general purpose computer, whereas the iPod was sold as a closed, non-interoperable consumer device. I'm not defending Apple's actions in the case (I'm not familiar enough with the details) but I don't think your analogy is sound.


They weren't there to wince for DR-DOS, Lotus, Borland, or consider the lurid details of just how dirty MS played to sabotage them.


Thanks for the explanation.


It's not possible that it violated the DMCA because it would be fair use to copy legally purchased audio files to an iPod, regardless of vendor.


The DMCA has no exemption for "fair use". Fair use is a specific term, the meaning of which does not include being able to play any audio on hardware with copy-protection.


More specifically, the DMCA (in the relevant provision) covers bypassing technology that prevents copying.

Copyright law covers copying itself.

So if you bypass some encryption to copy something, we have to look at two different areas of law, one for the bypassing, one for the copying.

Fair use provides some exemptions to the copying.

DMCA exemptions are promulgated by the Library of Congress, developed in consultation with the Copyright Office and after public notice and comment periods, and updated every three years. DMCA exemptions are not automatically renewed, so the exemptions can change radically every three years.

Public comments have frequently requested a catchall fair use exemption to the DMCA, ie, if the anti-circumvention tech was bypassed only in service of a fair use of a work, then there should be no violation of the DMCA.

Such an exemption has been rejected so far, but could be adopted at some point in the future.


The DMCA covers bypassing technology that prevents the copying of protected works. I don't think it was ever intended to cover bypassing the parts that prevent you from using it to protect your own works from copying.


This has actually been the subject of (depressing) scholarly research.

"Further, we conclude that the exemption proceeding is constructed not to protect noninfringing users, but to limit courts' ability to exonerate them via the traditional defenses to copyright infringement."

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=844544


Actually the case law means that the DMCA has been judged to have have an exemption for fair use [1]. Because neither Real nor their customers were trying to gain unauthorised access to copy-protected materials, it seems unlikely that their behaviour would be considered anti-circumvention.

1. http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2010/07/court-...


The MGE case is not the sort of victory you (and Ars) present it to be. It's actually remarkably narrow and doesn't gut the worst of the anti-circumvention provisions.

In simple terms, imagine a box with a padlock on it. The DMCA says, roughly:

* You're not allowed to examine the lock to figure out how to make a key for it.

* You're not allowed to make a key for the lock.

* If you somehow get a key for the lock, you're not allowed to use it.

* If you somehow get a key for the lock, you're not allowed to give it to anyone else.

* If you somehow get a key for the lock, you're not allowed to tell anyone else information about it that might let them make their own key.

The MGE case tried to claim, basically, that once someone else has already unlocked the box, it would be a DMCA violation to look inside. And the court of appeals just said "no, that's not something the DMCA forbids" while leaving all the other bits (you're not allowed to have/make/distribute/etc. the key) in place.


You needed iTunes to act as a conduit to get songs onto the iPod, but you could either sync it with one iTunes library, or leave it in manual mode and load songs from any iTunes.

It worked then exactly the same way as it does now[1].

You couldn't sync songs on the device back into iTunes though[2] - if you had it in manual, put some songs on it (from another iTunes library, a third party app or anywhere else) and then tried to sync it with your iTunes, it would remove everything on there before syncing over your iTunes library.

1: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201593 2: Without one of many third-party helper apps. Sentuti was a lifesaver!


I think they're referring to this: https://gigaom.com/2006/10/02/dvd-jon-fairplays-apple/

Apple DID let you sync raw MP3 and other non-DRM files, but only through iTunes.

Apple did not delete those to my knowledge, but it sounds like the allegation is that Apple deleted DRM'd files that were side-loaded through other programs like DVD Jon's Doubletwist.


That's how I remember it as well. You either had to load your music in via iTunes or buy it on the store. Any other way could wasn't very user friendly. (I'm assuming the suit is about 3rd party software attempting to directly sync with iPods, rather than use iTunes)


I don't really understand how they differentiated either.

My assumption would be that they somehow determined if a song or album came from another media service through, for example:

- Some file metadata (somehow). - Or perhaps by looking at what programs you had installed on your PC.


The OP is sort of hiding that this was related to a DRM issue.


>Updates that deleted non-Apple music files were intended to protect consumers from those system break-ins.

How convenient that Apple chose a security solution that just happened to give them an unfair advantage over their competition. Quite the happy coincidence there.


If their intention was to stifle the competition, it seems logical that they would have prevented the device from accepting music ripped from CDs or music downloaded illegally. Alas, they did not do this, because the success of the ipod was predicated on widespread copyright infringement. Who would pay 350$+ for a music player if they had to pay for all the music too? No, this was a simple case of keeping the record companies happy with the DRM scheme. Remember, when the iPod and other players hit the market, the record companies wanted to sue them for facilitating music theft. Same thing happened with writable CDs. The consumer was not harmed.


The intention was to stifle the competition in the moneymaking part of the business. IIRC at one point Real were like "name your price" for a license for the DRM technology, and were told it was not for sale.


You're right that that's probably not a genuine reason. Apple likely tried to get an advantage over their competition.

However I'd argue it's a fair advantage. Apple are not obliged to make competitors' DRM work with their devices.


Whenever I buy a song on iTunes (or any other online store), I immediately convert it to mp3, and move the mp3 to another folder that iTunes doesn't know about. Then I shut down that proprietary pile of cow dung and play, sync, etc. the song in any way I like, using any program I like, on any device I like. It's a bit of hassle, but in exchange, I actually get to feel like I own those files.

I think I started doing this shortly after Amazon got into a minor shitstorm for remotely deleting copies of 1984 (of all books!) from Kindle devices. News like this makes me happy that I've been doing what I've been doing.


The AAC files that you get from iTunes are DRM free so you shouldn't need to convert to MP3 and take a small hit in quality. Most devices _should_ be able to play the .m4a files.


If you're getting lossless files, you should probably be converting them to FLAC. You might (read: will) take a small hit on quality going from AAC to MP3.


I still have some stone-age devices that can't handle FLAC, and my mediocre ears can't hear the difference anyway.


So I've bought music from itunes and amazon. The amazon program, downloads the music, opens itunes and through some scripting magic (applescript) adds those songs to itunes which then auto sync to my ipod. Amazingly seamless.

Requiem was a drm stripper for itunes music and videos. It was a clear that apple figured out what was going on and made software updates to break it. Once apple beat it for good I stopped buying videos (and pretty much stopped watching tv).

Now music is DRM free. Video, saddly is not.


I too started by purchasing MP3's from Amazon because f*ck DRM. However once Apple ditched the DRM, I started buying from iTunes, and rather like it's ability to "sync" music purchased on another iOS device to the device I'm currently using (I have a family with 5 iOS devices).

I tend to purchase most songs while in my car (after hearing it on Pandora/Sirius) and don't know if it would even be possible to purchase and play immediately a track purchased from Amazon on an iOS device (without a computer).


I switched to Amazon once they started doing digital music sales. You can purchase and immediately play music from Amazon on iOS devices, without a computer, using the Amazon Music app. By default, the music streams from Amazon, but you can also download it to your device.

In fact, I can stream/download music from CDs and vinyl I bought years ago through Amazon.


I've stopped buying music from musicians I can't contact directly and communicate with, without having a middleman/record-company in the mix. Its not hard to find great, quality music, made by real people out there in the music world. So much great stuff goes unnoticed because people are distracted by the majors, but I think the industry has changed. There's nothing quite so rewarding as listening to a great album, then mailing the artist and paying them directly, and getting a response from them personally.. The record companies don't offer anything near this level of personal contact and I think its changing everything.


> There's nothing quite so rewarding as listening to a great album, then mailing the artist and paying them directly, and getting a response from them personally.

Bandcamp seems to be doing about the right thing, actually. It allows to keep the interaction between artist and listener reasonably personal, while at the same time offering options to make the process easier and more streamlined from artist’s perspective. It also is very transparent about their fees—you know your money will go directly to the artist (though I’m not totally sure how it works with labels, for them Bandcamp seems to offer a separate kind of account).


I'm curious to hear more about the meaning of "The system was totally hacked".

"Farrugia told the court that hackers with names like “DVD Jon” and “Requiem” made Apple “very paranoid” about protecting iTunes. Updates that deleted non-Apple music files were intended to protect consumers from those system break-ins. “The system was totally hacked,” he said."

Is he stating that the iPhone OS (was it called iOS back then?) was completely hacked, or that the work-around to get music onto an iPod outside of iTunes was "hacked"? I'm assuming the former, just curious on the background there.


It's interesting that I don't hear these stories from the Android or Windows Phone ecosystems.

I think this might be a situation where Apple being first-mover has been a disadvantage to them; they started with a "sync to one single computer" design, and have been patching on that over and over to move into the new ecosystems. The other options in the market started with a "sync to cloud" design, so they had to solve issues of merging and collating data from multiple devices out of the starting gate.


> I think this might be a situation where Apple being first-mover has been a disadvantage to them

Also, when Android started, music was only sold without DRM. And incompatible flavors of DRM is what this whole thing is about. Windows Phone was around then, but I don't know much about music on it.


Not cool. I love my apple products and ecosystem; but an effort should be made to identify and reimburse.


>Farrugia told the court that hackers with names like “DVD Jon” and “Requiem” made Apple “very paranoid” about protecting iTunes. Updates that deleted non-Apple music files were intended to protect consumers from those system break-ins.

Deleting DRMed media files and system software somehow solves system intrusions? That's rich. Pretty clear who the bad guys are here.


You're assuming that when two companies have a fight, one of them is a good and the other is a bad guy? They can't both be bad?


I was thinking more about the consumer who might wish to use the files he/she purchased.


Your first problem: You bought Apple.

Your second problem: you expected a bad actor to suddenly be good.

Your third problem. You kept buying Apple because it's 'shiny'.

Guess you should have listened to Stallman. He may be a nut, but he does call it right.


He's nutty, not a nut. Subtle but important difference.

His calls are amazingly far-reaching. But yes, he can call 'em. The trouble is, his Al Gore beats his delivery. They both gotta up their PR game.


Good point. He is nutty, but still is right on.

I work in Emergent technology/ R&D at a university, and we get questions like "what can I buy that will just work"? I look towards Free Software, and what is published. If there's a free software solution for it, it'll never go away. However, if there's a loose corporate control, then it probably will fade. But if there's iron-grip control, the device will go away as soon as something shiner comes out to take its place.

That last one is Apple.


How is that a problem?

The official way to upload Songs in the Ipod-Iphone is using Itunes. I have uploaded myself lots of music purchased on other services or my own into Itunes without a problem.

It will be a problem if Itunes restricted the music it loads in the devices, like the misleading tittle implies, and like other devices did(and are History now),it does not.

I have also uploaded music from Linux programs, caring not to update the firmware of the device over the supported ones, but I would not have made a drama if it were not to work.


They still do the same type of thing. Glad I paid 930 dollars for a device I can only use with music from their store from one computer.

edit: Those downvoting seem to be seriously hostile towards consumers. If people are giving you 700 dollar profits per sale, I think you should be a lot more upfront about your limitations. Hiding a disclaimer in fine print on a support page is just plain wrong.


Ok, but you're completely wrong. It can play any mp3 or aac that doesn't have any DRM weather it's from Amazon, some other store or pirated.


Well, firstly, I believe Amazon music is DRM locked, the only way you can download it on an iPhone/iTouch is through their 'app', and you cant export it.

Secondly, yah, that's true, if you only use one computer. If you're like any one of the millions of people who use more than one computer, the second you plug your iPhone/iTouch into a different computer, the only options you're given are to 1) Eject or 2) Erase.

Considering what I spent on the iPhone, I should be able to do whatever I please, but that's clearly not the case.


Amazon music isn't broken/DRMed, and hasn't ever been. It is just standard MP3s, and I play them in iTunes all the time.

It is (very marginally) more hassle to buy them from Amazon and then drag them into iTunes, but hey, it feels good to fight The Man. (Plus, albums are often $2 or $3 cheaper on Amazon than in the Apple music store.)

EDIT: history of the DRM-free Amazon Music store: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Music


I buy from itunes and Amazon (plain mp3s). The music downloader auto imports songs into itunes if you tell it too.


I don't know if Amazon even uses DRM but if they do, how is that an Apple issue? Apple doesn't even use DRM for it's purchased content anymore.

While I'm sure a small portion of the population has more than computer, I don't see why you'd need to sync your music on more than one. All the other data can be sync'd through iCloud (contacts, etc).

Do you also see why that restriction might be in place? They don't want to let people plug it into anyone's computer and "share" all that music.

I suppose with iCloud Drive now part of OSX you can just sync keep your music or iTunes folder in there and sync that.


Why should the consumer ever be forced to jump through hoops to get something that they OWN to do what it should do out of the box?

I didn't pay for a license, I paid for the device itself, far more than it costs them to Manufacture. BTW, the FTC and FCC stand by that fact every time they issue an injunction forcing carriers to unlock out of contract.

Small portion? Seriously? in 2013 there were more than 500 MILLION internet connected devices in the US alone[1], spread out among 117 million households[2], but that's a small portion?

[1]https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&e...

[2]http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/03/18/npd-us-homes-now-ho...


An Internet connected device does not equal a computer, I'm pretty sure more people have a cellphone than a computer these days too.

You have the means to sync and copy your music yourself around your own devices, there's nothing preventing you from doing that and as I mentioned it's getting easier with things like iCloud Drive now.


Okay, so even if 300 million of those are phones/tablets alone (which they aren't), that's still 200 million computers for 100 million households, and in my book 2 is still greater than 1.

I'm honestly curious as to why you feel the need to treat consumers/customers like trash? I'm supposed to pay extra for iCloud drive because...reasons?

Why is your opinion that anyone who does things differently than you wrong? Because that's what you and everyone else here has said.


This conversation would probably go better if you didn't blame SG- personally for treating customers like trash.


It absolutely amazes me that there are so many anti-consumer people here.

Apple is not a SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS. They produce tangible goods that consumers own. Outside of violating state or federal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you are legally entitled to do whatever you so choose with your property.

Why is everyone okay with Apple dictating what you can or can't do with your property? You paid for it, and not just for a license. It is YOURS, why are you giving up your rights?

If Microsoft only allowed you to sync one Email account in Windows, would you still go "well, I don't know why you'd need multiple accounts, you're stupid if you do".

Does everyone here tell their customers "tough luck, I guess try to get around that "feature"'?

The only reason apple does this is because they sell music. If they didn't, there would be absolutely no incentive to put these types of constraint on a consumer device.


I think a lot of people don't really understand the extent of their rights, or when they should take offense at someone offending their rights or ability to exercise them, so they presume that the large company that produces neat-o products must be right, because they have attorneys, and attorneys are usually right (pedantic) so why bother.

At least, that's how I think we slouch.


This is absurdly untrue.


Proof? I can prove it in video, screenshots, anything. The second I plug my iPhone into my laptop, which is synced to my iTunes account, the only option I have is to erase all of my music.

I love how people on HN blatantly just say "untrue". Really? I don't recall you being present during these experiences.


> The second I plug my iPhone into my laptop, which is synced to my iTunes account, the only option I have is to erase all of my music.

There are two ways to set up an iOS device. One is to have it sync to a computer. This is what you have done. Yes, it's set to sync to a particular computer, and you can change that computer—but with this setup, the contents of the iOS device are just a copy of what's on the computer, so if you change the computer, it replaces the files on the device. Generally, it's not a great way to go, it's mostly a holdover from early iPod days. Second is to not have it sync to a computer. If you have more than one computer—or no computers with iTunes, this is a better idea. Honestly, there isn't really a good reason to plug the devices into a computer any more, except to charge.

> I love how people on HN blatantly just say "untrue". Really? I don't recall you being present during these experiences.

Why would we need to be present during for your experiences? We've all had our own experiences, where we've done what you claim is impossible.


Really? You accomplished that? Funny since even APPLE says it's impossible

iPhone can only add music or video from a single iTunes Library.

http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201593


Read above that, it is one of the probable conditions, "If you see a message that your device is synced with another library." There are 4 other probable causes for that message mentioned there.

If you set your device properly, which you are incapable of, you will not see that message and hence the cause does not apply to you.


1. I set it to "manually manage" the second I unboxed it, before ever putting a single song on it.

2. If you're going to insult me, learn to count and learn directions, The bullet points your referring to are below and there are only 3 of them

> Read above that, it is one of the probable conditions, "If you see a message that your device is synced with another library." There are 4 other probable causes for that message mentioned there.


Like I said, when it's set to sync, it will only sync with one machine—the idea is that the iOS device just contains a copy of that iTunes library. Change the library, and the music changes as well. That bullet point only applies if your iOS device is set to sync (hence the line above it). If it's not set to sync, it does not apply.

However, that's not what you claimed. What you claimed was:

> a device I can only use with music from their store from one computer

You can use music from many music stores, or none at all if you rip your own from CDs. And you can connect to many computers, if your device isn't set to sync with a particular library.


Take video or screenshots if you want. I'm not really interested in your story. I've got over 22,000 examples of why you're wrong in my library right here. They weren't purchased from Apple, and they're playable on all of my OSX and iOS devices via Apple's built-in apps with zero hassle.

Not all of them came from the same computer, either. They were added to my iTunes library over the years from several Macs and PCs. Some were ripped from CDs, some were purchased from other stores (Amazon, eMusic, Bandcamp) and some were downloaded from filesharing services.

I don't think you're lying. It seems like the root of your problem is that you selected "manually manage music and videos," but to be honest I'm not sure, because the defaults have worked well for me across quite a few computers and portable devices.

The gist of your argument seems to be that Apple makes you go through hoops to use non-iTunes music by default.

In reality, it works really well by default, and it seems like you jumped through some hoops to screw it up.


What do you expect to have happen? Sync to multiple itunes libraries? How exactly do you expect that to work?

Besides the technical issues it would be a complete user interface nightmare when dealing with storage issues on the device.

There are a lot of different streaming music services available too(not to mention you can stream your itunes purchases too.) If you are manually managing your music where you expect songs to magically move from one computer to another through an iphone you might consider finding a different solution than complaining that apple doesn't magically solve your problem.


[flagged]


I'm going to assume you are being genuine, in which case will be your friend: http://www.mediamonkey.com/


the comment you made was "Glad I paid 930 dollars for a device I can only use with music from their store from one computer".

Maybe you want to reword that to "Glad I paid 930 dollars for a device that can only sync music from one of my computers but sync all the rest of my data across as many devices as I want".


Yeah, my comment has nothing to do with data, it specifically says music.

Maybe I should reword my comment to be "Glad I paid 930 dollars for a device that can only do what Apple's Business Analysts think is acceptable."


Sell it and buy something else. You do have that choice...


Apart from Spotify and other apps that can play Music?


There's Amazon Music. I just searched briefly and saw quite a few music apps too.


Buy a different device?


>Those downvoting seem to be seriously hostile towards consumers.

There are just lots of Apple fanbois on HN, nothing more than that.




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