I’ve been using iTunes for years. Once it was available for Windows I jumped at the opportunity to use it. I loved the interface and the organizational tools. It gave me a reason to start purchasing music online with the iTunes store, which was a welcomed alternative to buying plastic CD’s. After realizing that the iTunes store deleted songs that I owned off of my hard drive, I left Apple for my new love, Amazon.com.
I’m sure you are familiar with partial albums on iTunes. Partial albums don’t give you 100% of the tracks. A partial album may have 1, 2 or even 3 tracks missing. Some say that it’s to encourage CD sales but others say it’s due to not having digital rights to publish certain songs. I’d agree with this except that’s not the case with my incident.
I bought Pete Rock’s Soul Survivor II a few years ago. It was a full album that I purchased off of iTunes. All 15 tracks were there for my enjoyment. Recently I purchased an external drive and backed up all of my iTunes music, just like Apple says to do. I was working on some music of my own and wanted to sample something from the Warzone track off of Soul Survivor II. I navigated to the folder and couldn’t find the song. I was flabbergasted. Tracks 12 and 15 were missing. I knew they were there before and too make sure I wasn’t crazy, I logged into the iTunes store and guess what I saw? The completed album had been changed to a partial album. I checked to see what tracks were missing and low and behold, tracks 12 and 15 were gone. It seems that when Apple changed the album to partial, they had to delete those same tracks off of my computer. Lucky for me, I had a backup. I checked it for consistency and tracks 12 and 15 were still there.
The deletion of music that I paid for was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. There were other issues though. For instance, iTunes now offers DRM free music…at a cost. If you want your tracks upgraded to DRM free with a higher bit rate, you have to pay an additional .30 cents per track. That means .99 cent tracks are now $1.29. I have 28 albums which I’ve purchased off of iTunes. It would cost me $104.40 to upgrade all the tracks.
I had noticed that Amazon.com started selling high bit rate mp3 versions of their albums, DRM free! Not only that, but they also offered .10 cent discounts on tracks if you bought the whole album. So now you were only paying .89 cents per track. I installed the Amazon downloader software and purchased a few albums. I’m absolutely in LOVE with Amazon’s music service and I will never turn back.
I still like the iTunes software for managing my music and syncing my iPhone. That’s pretty much all it’s good for. If you haven’t looked into Amazon.com’s music service, check it out. While it’s not yet as big as the iTunes store, it’s still has higher quality, DRM free music for less than what you would pay on iTunes. It’s really shitty that Apple is ninja deleting music that you OWN off of your own computer. If you use the iTunes store, make sure you backup all your music after you purchase it or they might steal it back from you!