Apple now offering individual song upgrades on iTunes Store

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple on Thursday began offering iTunes shoppers the ability to upgrade their songs to higher-quality DRM-free tracks on an individual basis, doing away with an earlier mandate that required customers to upgrade their entire libraries all at once.



If signed into your iTunes Store account, a look at the home page of the Store will find an "Upgrade to iTunes Plus" link in the right-hand sidebar. Â*Clicking the link will bring up a page where there was previously only one large "BUY ALL" button.



Today, the button is still there, but you also have the additional option of upgrading individual tracks and albums.



According to the iTunes Plus frequently asked questions, upgrading will replace the protected 128 kbps file with the highest-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding Apple offers. Â*Upgraded music videos also have improved audio, while the video quality remains unchanged.



Apple began altering its iTunes Terms of Service on Wednesday to reflect the change, but AppleInsider was unable to successfully access the new capability at that time.



When the upgrade option was first announced earlier this month, any early positive reaction was quickly dashed once users discovered they could only upgrade on an all-or-nothing basis. Many people elected not to upgrade because they didn't want to pay again for music they no longer listen to or regret purchasing.



Apple began altering its iTunes TOS for UK users on Wednesday, ahead of the official changes.



Now that Apple has delivered more customer-friendly choices, the process isn't without certain details some may not be happy with. If you purchased a given album from the iTunes Store, it's not possible to upgrade a single track or two off of it without upgrading the entire album. The system treats each purchased album as one singular item.







Finally, the special link in the right-hand sidebar is the only place where you can upgrade. If you navigate to an album you've already bought, the full price is displayed for it and for each individual song. These normal pages within the store are not aware of your purchasing history and thus do not mention any information about upgrading as a result.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    Yeah!
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple on Thursday began offering iTunes shoppers the ability to upgrade their songs to higher-quality DRM-free tracks on an individual basis, doing away with an earlier mandate that required customers to upgrade their entire libraries all at once. ...



    This is obviously a better situation than we had previous, but still a bit awkward IMO.



    It would be nice to just right click on an album in iTunes and have "upgrade this album" be an option if iTunes knows (and it does know) what my purchase list is. Probably the list is actually stored on the server and has to be downloaded each time from iTunes?



    I guess everyone realises at this point that iTunes needs a very major makeover anyway. Here's hoping that it's soon.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Now upgrading is a little more manageable, not that I personally have a huge backlog of them, I didn't want to pay to upgrade certain tracks that my sister bought.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    I really thought they meant it when they said they weren't going to do this.



    I paid probably $20 for crap I didn't want to upgrade when I spent the $50 for the original upgrade.



    Glad they fixed it, but I have to learn not to pull the trigger so fast with Apple - they will always take the suckers like me first...
  • Reply 5 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wolfneuralnet View Post


    I really thought they meant it when they said they weren't going to do this.



    When did they say that?
  • Reply 6 of 29
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wolfneuralnet View Post


    Glad they fixed it, but I have to learn not to pull the trigger so fast with Apple - they will always take the suckers like me first...



    Impatience is your worst enemy when dealing with just-released technology or services. Better to wait for the x.1 release or for others to discover the bugs. But in that regard I sincerely thank people like you for blazing the trail and reporting back the results.



    I'm going to wait another week and read what happens before upgrading individual tracks myself. I'll pay for the stuff I want, and either delete the rest or run them through Requiem to cleanse the DRM from my music library. I'm glad that era is over.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    Good. I'll finally use this feature.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,728member
    Hurrah! And indeed, woot!
  • Reply 9 of 29
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 444member
    Awesome. Thank you Apple! Thank you also [gasp!] labels?



    Jimzip
  • Reply 10 of 29
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post


    Thank you also [gasp!] labels?



    For what? Imposing their DRM demands on us in the first place?



    The great thing about hitting yourself on the head with a hammer is it feels so good when you stop.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    HUGE plus. Haven't done so yet, but will be upgrading tonight



    ps. Do the + versions actually replace the existing file on your drive, or do they simply download to your iTunes folder and its up to you to delete the DRM file?
  • Reply 12 of 29
    I like the fact that the tracks are displayed the way other lists are on iTS, i.e., where you can sort them by track name, artist, album, etc.



    I wish Complete My Album was that easy to navigate!
  • Reply 13 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I guess everyone realises at this point that iTunes needs a very major makeover anyway. Here's hoping that it's soon.



    Excellent point. It is becoming clunky, and the interface is increasingly messy and cluttered. Hope it gets updated soon.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post


    ps. Do the + versions actually replace the existing file on your drive, or do they simply download to your iTunes folder and its up to you to delete the DRM file?



    No, the old DRMed copy is not replaced. The file stays on your HDD and remains in your iTunes library.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    ic1maleic1male Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post


    ps. Do the + versions actually replace the existing file on your drive, or do they simply download to your iTunes folder and its up to you to delete the DRM file?



    I got asked - did I want to delete the old 128kbps files or move them to a new folder on my desktop. I chose to move. iTunes then downloaded the new 256kbps files and updated my library to reflect these new songs, deleting the old ones from the list.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    For what? Imposing their DRM demands on us in the first place?



    The great thing about hitting yourself on the head with a hammer is it feels so good when you stop.



    So I should stop now?
  • Reply 17 of 29
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    When did they say that?



    my question exactly. it is very possible that this was in the plans all along. who knows. it would have been nice for them to have done it right away but perhaps they were a little occupied with getting all the new files uploaded.



    but I don't recall them ever saying they would never never ever offer a la carte upgrades.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 444member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    For what? Imposing their DRM demands on us in the first place?



    The great thing about hitting yourself on the head with a hammer is it feels so good when you stop.



    No no.

    A 'thank you' for admitting they were wrong. Sometimes it's what's not said that counts.



    Jimzip
  • Reply 19 of 29
    Any idea why I would have to pay 30 cents more for a track that someone can buy for 99 cents now unprotected now???
  • Reply 20 of 29
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfs9900 View Post


    Any idea why I would have to pay 30 cents more for a track that someone can buy for 99 cents now unprotected now???



    So you don't have to pay 99 cents to upgrade? Not offering a discounted upgrade is the status quo for most media upgrades, the fact that they offer such a discount is extremely rare in the media world. I don't remember anyone at all that offered a free upgrade.



    You got what you paid for, and I don't think anyone promised you a free upgrade later.
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