Every now and then, I download some songs from the internet. I respect the authors of these songs, so I usually buy them from iTunes. But I also have the good habit of cleaning my computer every 2 to 3 months (windows re-install) so I did that a few days ago.
Basically, what you expect from a web-store like the iTunes store, is that it will automatically re-download the songs you had before you cleaned your PC. I mean, if Steam can do this with games of 5 GB, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Apple with songs of about 3 MB-. Sure, we are talking about a lot more songs than games, but I don’t think many people buy 5 GB off the iTunes store.
So, I logged into my iTunes this afternoon, after installing iTunes again, and I clicked “Check for available downloads”. It told me I already had all songs! Well, in my Purchased tab, I only saw one song, and that was a free song I downloaded from the iTunes Store because I wanted to test something. So, I checked the iTunes FAQ and it told me I would have to backup all my songs!!
Isn’t it ridiculous that I have to re-buy all my songs again? Is it really too much that I expect the iTunes Store to re-download my purchases after I re-install my computer? Steam does it. The EA download manager does it. Battle.net does it. And a way bigger company called Apple can’t do something as simple as this?
They force us to have DRM on the songs we purchase. They force us to backup everything we buy, but we can’t burn them on CDs if we want to listen to them. They can only be on five computers at the same time, and if you accidentally forget to deauthorize your computer before re-installing your PC, you can only have four computers at the same time. The iTunes Store really limits what you can do with the music.
I don’t think I’ll ever buy off the iTunes Store again. I will resume my old habits of downloading them from Usenet and Torrents, and if I respect the author well enough, I will make a donation to them. Sorry Apple folks, but it’s 2009 and this kind of trickery isn’t wise.