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Apple negotiating for repeat downloads of iTunes music purchases

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Apple is in negotiations with the major record labels to allow repeat downloads for music purchased through the iTunes Music Store, according to a new report.

According to people familiar with the matter, Apple is in talks with music companies, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group, to change its download policy to provide greater flexibility to iTunes customers, Bloomberg said on Thursday.

An updated agreement, which sources said could come as early as the middle of this year, would allow users to re-download purchased music, even after losing the original copies. Currently, Apple's iTunes Music Store does not offer free re-downloads of previously purchased music.

The service would allow downloads to iPads, iPhones and iPods linked to the same iTunes account, the report claimed, adding that such a move would be "a step closer to universal access to content centrally stored on the Internet." Apple has also "weighed plans" to revamp its MobileMe online storage service later this year, said one source.

Rumors of a centralized streaming media service from Apple through iTunes and MobileMe have persisted for years, gaining strength on news that Apple planned to spend over $1 billion on a massive data center in North Carolina.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer revealed last month that the center will indeed be used for iTunes and MobileMe when it opens this spring. The server farm had originally been slated for completion by the end of 2010.

One recent report has suggested that Apple is planning a MobileMe digital online "locker" that would grant users access to their files, while a separate rumor claimed that iTunes media would be stored on a home computer and streamed over the Internet to connected devices.

Over the years, Apple has sought to leverage its continued success with the iTunes Music Store to negotiate more favorable contracts with the record companies. For example, Apple was successful in reaching a deal to remove DRM copy protections from iTunes music purchases in exchange for a variable pricing model.

More recently, Apple negotiated the extension of iTunes music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds.
post #2 of 33
That would be great actually. I hear a lot of complaints about that one. I nod understandingly, but of course what I am thinking is that they need to cotton on to the fact that digital files are valuable things these days and make backups.
post #3 of 33
Apple already does this they just don't advertise it. If you're hard drive dies and you contact support they will give you a special link which will redownload everything you have purchased from itunes store.

I've seen it done.
You Can Say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one

------- John Lennon
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You Can Say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one

------- John Lennon
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post #4 of 33
Actually, I don't think it's a "right" that the labels can negotiated away. There are copyright-related fee's mandated by law, that must be paid per song to the performer/s and/or the composer/song writer/s. They were mandated because the major labels were so blatantly raping both groups, that the federal government had to step in and force the labels pay SOMETHING to these groups.

Unfortunately, in this specific case [downloading 'new' copies from Apple would result in these fee's being required to be paid]. Now, if there were some roundabout way to transfer the song from 'Apple' to 'your locker', say part of your MobileMe account [with some kind of legal separation], then Apple would not need to negotiate anything with the labels, as it would be legally permitted under copyright law, AFTER the sale of the song to the individual.

Of course, the labels will continue to have their hand out, wanting you to pay extra for something you already have the right to do. And this extra payment will go straight to the 'profit' accounting column at the labels...
post #5 of 33
I've often wished I could have re-downloaded some iTunes purchases!
post #6 of 33
This would be great news if true.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by O and A View Post

Apple already does this they just don't advertise it. If you're hard drive dies and you contact support they will give you a special link which will redownload everything you have purchased from itunes store.

I've seen it done.

yes it can be done but as per my understanding it can be done only ONCE.

my way or the highway...

Macbook Pro i7 13" with intel SSD 320 series and 8GB RAM, iPhone 5, iPad 3 (Retina)

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my way or the highway...

Macbook Pro i7 13" with intel SSD 320 series and 8GB RAM, iPhone 5, iPad 3 (Retina)

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post #8 of 33
That something between iTunes and MobileMe is going deeper into the cloud is clear and a little bit useless to say again and again and again.

The news is interesting but I just would like to remember that Bloomberg are the same guys who claimed that the iPad 2 was delayed till june... I mean... who believe them anymore?
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by O and A View Post

Apple already does this they just don't advertise it. If you're hard drive dies and you contact support they will give you a special link which will redownload everything you have purchased from itunes store.

I've seen it done.

Yeah, the special link is called iTunes. It's not special. Duh... You simply ask them to do it and they will but only three times. After that you are on your on.
post #10 of 33
Zune already does this with music and films so I can't see there being that much of an issue.
post #11 of 33
Most CDs can be purchased for around the same price as the digital albums. You can easily (with iTunes even) rip a CD into higher quality MP3s than what you can even buy from Apple through iTunes. Unless you are just buying a song or two from an album, I've never understood the draw of buying music from Apple. Older existing formats offer so much more freedom and flexibility. Obviously, based on Apple's sales figures, someone is finding the ability to pay top dollar for a digital file that you have little control over useful. I just can't figure out why...
post #12 of 33
I have redownloaded before, you have to request it via a support call, and they re-apply it to your downloads list. Then if you click check for available downloads, your stuff starts to come down. I downloaded an album straight into my iPhone and ended up doing a restore before syncing purchases back to iTunes. It was a simple and quick process, I was warned that I can only do it one time per item. So if you have lost stuff, try to name it specifically and don't ask for a redownload of everything.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

Most CDs can be purchased for around the same price as the digital albums. You can easily (with iTunes even) rip a CD into higher quality MP3s than what you can even buy from Apple through iTunes. Unless you are just buying a song or two from an album, I've never understood the draw of buying music from Apple. Older existing formats offer so much more freedom and flexibility. Obviously, based on Apple's sales figures, someone is finding the ability to pay top dollar for a digital file that you have little control over useful. I just can't figure out why...

One word - Convenience. I would guess (this isn't even an estimate) that serious collectors/fans/etc still buy physical media, as the artworks is part of the package for them, but most downloads in iTunes are the sort of disposable pop pap that the purchaser is happy to forget about in 12 months and therefore not care about having it available in a myriad of formats and stored for all time on a physical disc.
post #14 of 33
Even though I like this and would be great if it happened, it just seems like Apple is the big kid on the play ground pushing the other kids around. "change your policies or ELSE"

On a side note, it was great seeing Steve again, did anyone else notice that he seem to lose even more weight?
post #15 of 33
Fact, is that in a very short time... I'd say 5 years or less, optical drives will be an external accessory only.

In about that same period of time, I'd take a bet that CD's and DVDs won't even be produced any more... possibly even BluRay will already be in the dust bin.

MBA's, iPhones, iPods, and iPads... any and all future tablets and media devices, don't & won't have o-drives.

Future iMacs & MBPs at only 7-9mm (1/3")... just wide enough for a TBolt connector won't have 'em.

So... where's your media? On personal Multi-Terabyte NAS servers, and the cloud.

I would guess that most people wouldn't even bother downloading all of their music, all of the time, if there was a way to have synced playlists (personal database structure) and pull what they need from the cloud or from their Internet connected devices at home.

Reality is that digital internet connected devices are going to be as common as free-air services like radio and TV is today, and just as important as electricity is to run the devices themselves.

Only thing holding this up at the moment is the providers. Similar to the electric co., there will be problems, but mark my words, it is and will be a public-regulated municipality in the future, because it will be far too important a service to be fractured and at the complete whim of private corporations.
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whozown View Post

Even though I like this and would be great if it happened, it just seems like Apple is the big kid on the play ground pushing the other kids around. "change your policies or ELSE"

Where is Apple making any threats??? They are simply entering into negotiations with another party. That is how things happen in business. Nobody is threatening anybody here.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

Most CDs can be purchased for around the same price as the digital albums. You can easily (with iTunes even) rip a CD into higher quality MP3s than what you can even buy from Apple through iTunes. Unless you are just buying a song or two from an album, I've never understood the draw of buying music from Apple. Older existing formats offer so much more freedom and flexibility. Obviously, based on Apple's sales figures, someone is finding the ability to pay top dollar for a digital file that you have little control over useful. I just can't figure out why...

To purchase songs on CD, I have to pay for songs I don't like to get to the couple or the one that I really want. While with digital music, I only have to buy the one. So it is indeed much cheaper to buy through iTune or it's equivalent.

As for quality, most people who buy digital music play them through iPod or another portable music player, and listen through a pair of buds. So what's the big deal?
post #18 of 33

What are these "restrictions on redownloading" you speak of?
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whozown View Post

Even though I like this and would be great if it happened, it just seems like Apple is the big kid on the play ground pushing the other kids around. "change your policies or ELSE"

When it comes to these guys Apple can kick a little dirt in their face after they knock them down.


I already purchase through iTunes and have had to call and get an albumn reset because something happened and it didn't come through. While this won't change much for me in the big picture it will make the entire process more convenient and definately a move that will keep me buying from the iTunes store.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by O and A View Post

Apple already does this they just don't advertise it. If you're hard drive dies and you contact support they will give you a special link which will redownload everything you have purchased from itunes store.

I've seen it done.

BUT, you have to petition Apple and they will not allow you to do this frequently. What is stated in this article is that users will have the freedom to redownload music when they want to.
post #21 of 33
A few years ago my hard drive blew up and I lost everything. I submitted my problem to Apple and they allowed me to redownload every song and video I lost. I don't know if it's the correct policy but it was a pretty big request. I had to redownload about 10GB of stuff.
post #22 of 33
it is a bit pathetic that the deals currently don't permit this - after all, the labels' motivation behind it is the idea that customers, on losing their tracks, will purchase new copies to replace the lost ones.

i doubt that many people would happily want to do this with 1s and 0s
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Currently, Apple's iTunes Music Store does not offer free re-downloads of previously purchased music.

Wow... I never realized that. (I've never lost a copy so never had to try.)
Even though I get that I'm just 'licensing' the music, I thought it was the music, not the physical bits that I was just licensing.
I feel sorry for Apple having to deal with RIAA. What bunch of d-bags.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redskins1989 View Post

A few years ago my hard drive blew up and I lost everything. I submitted my problem to Apple and they allowed me to redownload every song and video I lost. I don't know if it's the correct policy but it was a pretty big request. I had to redownload about 10GB of stuff.

I wish there was more clarity on that particular issue. Some say it's a one-time deal, others say they've done it a few times.

Maybe the deal in question will make this a thing of the past, but I doubt it will happen. Forcing people to re-purchase tracks probably makes a lot of money for the music industry. I could see it only if it came as part of an iTunes music subscription service.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

I wish there was more clarity on that particular issue. Some say it's a one-time deal, others say they've done it a few times.

Maybe the deal in question will make this a thing of the past, but I doubt it will happen. Forcing people to re-purchase tracks probably makes a lot of money for the music industry. I could see it only if it came as part of an iTunes music subscription service.

Wow, a bunch of these post have shocked me. I have an iMac, MBP and a home-built W7 machine, each of which has a full copy of my music library on it. In addition I have time-machine backups of the macs and a weekly backup of the Windows machine. Plus I have a iPod classic that has a full backup of my music. Yes it's a pain to keep all my iTunes libraries in sync, but I have no sympathy for people who lose an important digital file with the technology available today.

I don't see Apple's desire to change the policy as being driven by the fact that people have crappy data retention habits, but as a way to solve the issue of having to manually move files around between multiple devices. Think about this. If Apple were to get permission for you to download your purchases to any of your devices, which of these approaches would you choose: 1. Buy physical CD, rip to file, copy file to multiple computers, phones, iPods, etc. 2. Buy on iTunes and sync to all devices. I think that's an easy choice for most people.

The other issue is that this permission would set the stage for allowing Apple to host files and let people access them anytime that they want. For many years I have been saying that eventually no one will store any media content locally. It will all be on the cloud (I wasn't using the term cloud years ago, but the ideas was the same). Somewhere, there will be a server that tracks ever piece of media that you have the rights to. When I go to my friend's house and we want to watch a movie, I authorize his display device to play content that I have rights to. We're not there yet, but that's where we're heading once fast internet is ubiquitous and someone figures out how to consolidate our media rights.

So, Apple is on the right track for this, they just have to get the labels out of the previous century's mentality.
post #26 of 33
Before 0's and 1's made music easy to exactly duplicate; if you lost, destroyed, wore out or otherwise found your vinyl LP album, 45, cassette or 8-track unusable, your only option was to suck it up or go down to the local record store and BUY another copy of whatever was lost. If your record collection was stolen, you sucked that up too or called your insurance company and filed a claim. The fact that Apple (or any other digital reseller) has access to past purchases and MIGHT be willing to allow access to lost data should be seen as a gracious gift, not as some divine right. The music industry is NOT asking for (retaining?) something new here. Unless it was proven to be manufacturing defects, the music industry has NEVER replaced after sale lost or damaged music - EVER! Everyone who owns and runs a computer should be backing up their data, period! If you have thousands of dollars of music that you can't afford to lose, then YOU need to invest in a proper backup system and use it. It's not Apple's or the 'the music industry's' fault when you lose your data, it's YOUR fault for not having a backup.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarfungo View Post

*snip*

Your argument works in the case where the consumer is purchasing a physical copy of the media. The agreements right now are that the music is licensed which is an agreement that you have now purchased a license to this music (in your format of choice) - the loss of the digital 1s and 0s should not impact your license to listen/move that music around. The RIAA is trying to have their cake and eat it too.

And for as much as I'd love people to have triplicate backups (one live, one spare, one offsite) of everything, I'm a realist and know that won't happen. It's obtuse to blame the end-user in a situation that shouldn't have arisen.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urinal Mint View Post

Your argument works in the case where the consumer is purchasing a physical copy of the media. The agreements right now are that the music is licensed which is an agreement that you have now purchased a license to this music (in your format of choice) - the loss of the digital 1s and 0s should not impact your license to listen/move that music around. The RIAA is trying to have their cake and eat it too.

And for as much as I'd love people to have triplicate backups (one live, one spare, one offsite) of everything, I'm a realist and know that won't happen. It's obtuse to blame the end-user in a situation that shouldn't have arisen.

Actually, there is no difference in what you are purchasing. You never can buy music or movies, or software for that matter. You always are buying a license to use it. The fact that it came on a vinyl platter, or as 1s and 0s on a CD makes no difference. All you were paying for was the use of the material. If you copied your record on to a cassette and then sold it to a used record store (I guess I'm really dating my self) you were in violation of the agreement you entered into with the copyright holder. If your record got scratched and you had your friend make you a copy of his on a cassette, you are fine because you bought the right to listen to that piece of material.

So, to extend it to today, if you lost your iTunes purchase, they don't owe you anything, but you could get it from a torrent site and not be in any violation. The only difference between a CD and an iTunes download is that there is no incremental cost for allowing one more download as there would be for replacing a CD. But that fact doesn't mean that they owe you another physical copy (in this case 1s and 0s), you still own what they sold you which is the right to listen to it.
post #29 of 33
If you're not using Time Machine to backup to an external HDD you can always burn to disk.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1382

post #30 of 33
I've never understood this limitation. Music companies don't have any real loss from allowing this. Their business model is not seriously premised upon the same customer repurchasing the same item (re-releases and special editions being a different thing). It's stupid that Apple even has to ask.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarfungo View Post

Before 0's and 1's made music easy to exactly duplicate; if you lost, destroyed, wore out or otherwise found your vinyl LP album, 45, cassette or 8-track unusable, your only option was to suck it up or go down to the local record store and BUY another copy of whatever was lost. If your record collection was stolen, you sucked that up too or called your insurance company and filed a claim. The fact that Apple (or any other digital reseller) has access to past purchases and MIGHT be willing to allow access to lost data should be seen as a gracious gift, not as some divine right. The music industry is NOT asking for (retaining?) something new here. Unless it was proven to be manufacturing defects, the music industry has NEVER replaced after sale lost or damaged music - EVER! Everyone who owns and runs a computer should be backing up their data, period! If you have thousands of dollars of music that you can't afford to lose, then YOU need to invest in a proper backup system and use it. It's not Apple's or the 'the music industry's' fault when you lose your data, it's YOUR fault for not having a backup.

How dare you assume I take responsiblity for my own actions!
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

I've never understood this limitation. Music companies don't have any real loss from allowing this. Their business model is not seriously premised upon the same customer repurchasing the same item (re-releases and special editions being a different thing). It's stupid that Apple even has to ask.

Yes, it is stupid, but the entertainment industry has a horrible track record of being at all forward thinking. Again and again they are caught off guard by technology. Their business models are stuck in the last century and they will likely deal with any and all changes kicking and screaming, rather than being proactive.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by O and A View Post

Apple already does this they just don't advertise it. If you're hard drive dies and you contact support they will give you a special link which will redownload everything you have purchased from itunes store.

I've seen it done.

Good to know. However under the new system if you don't sync one of your songs to your iPhone you could go to the iTunes store to download it if you want to
listen to it. This would be really great for movies because video takes up so much space that I just don't put any video on my phone. However if I could download a movie I owned whenever I wanted to watch it, that would be great.
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