Stupid people shouldn’t buy music from iTunes

rexblog.com: Rex Hammock’s Weblog:

“Another person in
my office lost all of her Apple iTunes store purchases when her
PowerBook’s hard drive crashed (another rant for another day).
Despite the obvioius fact that Apple knows she has purchased these tunes and that her problem was caused by an Apple hardware problem, their response is: You should have backed it up. Huh? To what? ”

Some guy named Rex knows some stupid people. “To what?”. Well, maybe to the built in CD burner that Powerbooks come with. Unless she has a really, really old Powerbook. There’s another gem buried in his rant against DRM.

But because of the encyrption (or, DRM – “digital rights management”) of the iTunes store-purchased files, you are forced to go through an easy, but time-wasting and illogical few clicks to rip out the encryption. Again, Apple gives you the tools to convert the file into a non-encrypted file (they call it “Burn Disk,” but it might as well say “Get rid of our Ridiculous Encryption”).

Yes, because it was the DRM that caused the hard drive to fail, and it’s the DRM that prevented her from burning the DRM protected files to a CD-rom, where she could copy them back to her hard drive, add them to her library, and re-authorize her computer to play the songs. Ah, but he addresses this.

Don’t just back up the encrypted (DRM) version of the tune. By burning a CD, you will get your tunes out of the iTunes store format and into a format you can use without it having to be “authorized” by the Apple store. I (and my testing panel) have learned this the hard way. For some unique reasons, I have had three different computers during the past year. Having children who share some musical tastes also means a couple of other devices use the tunes. I’ve had to de-authorize and re-authorize my Apple store account more than the allowable times.

So there are two issues really, the first is disaster recovery. Which burning the DRMed files to CD takes care of. The second is hassle. I’ve read about some people who have had to contact Apple to allow a new computer authorization, usually it’s gone pretty smoothly. If you think you’re going to go through a lot of computers and you just don’t want to have to contact Apple, either burn the music to CD or just skip ALL digital music stores and rip them to your computer. Would it still be Apples fault if she had lost all of her Word documents? Back your stuff up if you care about it people.

Me? WHen I download a song, or an entire CD, from iTunes. I burn the DRMed file to CD, then if I have enough songs, I burn them to an audio CD.

  • Rex

    Listen. The point of my post was to say exactly what you’re repeating: Burn you iTunes purchases to CDs and then you don’t have to worry about authorization, DRM or losing the tunes due to a hardware problem. That a consumer who is not a technically savvy person (there are 27 million iPods out there and people other than geeks own them) doesn’t have a half-dozen disaster recovery plans in place does not mean he or she is stupid.

  • > So there are two issues really, the first is disaster recovery. Which burning the DRMed files to CD takes care of.

    Well, kinda. It’s also another digital-to-analog conversion, so quality suffers twice over.

    > Me? WHen I download a song, or an entire CD, from iTunes. I burn the DRMed file to CD, then if I have enough songs, I burn them to an audio CD.

    I’d rather have a jukebox in the sky that knows what I’m authorized to listen to. If I reformat my hard drive, or smash my computer with a sledgehammer, no matter– I just reconnect to the cloud and pull down the music again.

    This is more of a subscription model, so it has its own pros and cons, but it’s a big pro for this particular scenario.

  • Scott

    >Well, kinda. Itís also another digital-to-analog conversion, so quality suffers twice over.

    No, I mean I burn the actual file to a data CD rather than to an audio CD. I like the data cloud idea though, wasn’t that originally called “Hailstorm” though?

    Actually, my friend just said “what he wants is either a Napster or Yahoo music subscription.”. Ehhh, I don’t like renting my music. At least with iTunes, even if I have to deal with DRM at least I have options. After a mis-spent youth in front of a large bass guitar amplifier and many, many nights cruising in my friends Mustang with the 15″ subs thumping, I can’t hear any difference in quality between analog and digital sound.

  • Jeff

    Your Word example is flawed, because if you copy your word file anywhere, you can still edit and use it any way you wish. It’s yours. There’s no need to ask for permission to use it on another machine.

    For the same reason, your solution to backup the file up to CD/Otherbackupsolution is also not complete. The issue would NOT be alleviated purely by a backup. That would solve the problem for NON-DRM music. Reactivation is still in your future. If you would like to spend your time calling up and asking for permission to use the stuff you bought, I suppose that’s your business, but as for me, I’m not stupid. I’ll stick with allofmp3.com. Higher quality, no restrictions, will play back on all devices… easy choice.

  • KLS

    I had the same problem as the first posting. My hard drive crashed and I can’t seem to get any answers from Itunes as to how to retrieve my purchased music. However, all the blogs I read seem to indicate that I’m an idiot because I didn’t back up my music. In my case, I started getting “distress” messages on my computer within minutes of downloading the music. I backed up a few recent documents that were important to have, and could not backup my music in time. Sometimes things just happen – I had a firewall, virus scan, spyware, etc. I do backups routinely. I resent being called an idiot and left out to dry by Itunes and other bloggers for something that was basically beyond my control. If the new technologies are dependent upon putting up with a bunch of arrogant, finger-wagging bores with no information or real help to offer, I pass. You can have it.