Some UK music lovers ‘frustrated’ with online music

“UK music lovers are getting frustrated with restrictions placed on digital music tracks once they buy them from online stores, says PC Pro magazine. The magazine reported that people are also being turned off net music stores because of pricing and disappointing sound quality compared to CDs,” BBC News reports. “The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said legal music downloads rose by 900% in 2004.”

“Last week, the UK’s official singles chart included sales of legal tracks. Yet legal downloads are still fledglings in the music industry, accounting for two percent of the market, according to PC Pro’s Nick Ross. ‘What people don’t understand is that when they buy an iPod or other digital music player, they’re being tied into a system,’ said Mr Ross, deputy labs editor at PC Pro. ‘Many of our readers have already been caught out, buying tracks but being unable to play them on their player,'” BBC News reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Read the readers’ responses to the BBC article and you’ll see that the ones who are most frustrated seem to be those customers not using Apple’s iTunes Music Store (iTMS). iTMS users don’t see at all frustrated to us, except for the one who writes, “I had been using iTunes music store since it opened in the UK and bought plenty of music on there. However, recently one of my hard disks failed and I lost all my music. No matter, I thought, I will re-rip the CDs I have and re-download the music I bought on iTunes, after all, they have a record of every track I have paid for. Alas, the music I paid for has gone forever. I find it staggering that such an obvious benefit of online music distribution has been overlooked.”

Back up? Of course, everyone should back up their music (and other files) for safety. Your hard drive WILL fail at some time. Now, should Apple figure out a way to let you re-download your lost songs? If it’s technically possible, perhaps Apple should – even if for a fee. Keep in mind that if you go buy a CD at a music shop today and you lose it, the music shop isn’t going to replace that CD for you. This is another advantage of digital online music downloads that Apple should exploit, so that iTMS customers can never “lose” their music in the future.

Back to the subject at hand. If you want to avoid frustration, just go get an iPod and use iTunes and the iTunes Music Store. It’s simply the best, most-seamless solution available.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Study shows Apple iTunes Music Store pay-per-download model preferred over subscription service – April 11, 2005
Apple’s iPod and iTunes show big leads in teen marketshare – April 06, 2005
Mossberg: Apple’s iTunes Music Store vs. Napster To Go – March 18, 2005
Analyst: Apple’s Steve Jobs winning ‘game of chess’ against Microsoft, other iPod+iTunes competitors – February 24, 2005
Piper Jaffray: Apple iTunes downloads could reach one billion in calendar 2006 – February 22, 2005


  1. I use iTMS and I am frustrated by the restrictions – sometimes I will DL a track on p2p instead of iTMS because I know I can play it aywhere whithout having to waste a CD burning and re-ripping it.

  2. There is a way for Apple to keep track of what the customer purchases and makes it available for them to re-download if their hard drive crashes. Just go to and experience how they sell audio books for your iPod. Once you purchase a book, it is placed in a library that is all yours. If you ever trash your audio book on your hard drive, simply log onto Audible’s site, go to your library, and re-download it. This ain’t rocket science folks.

  3. I totally agree with the guy. Apple should offer (for a fee, if necessary) some kind of “music security” policy, where it allows you to re-download lost tracks. I myself have managed to delete a couple of albums I’d downloaded from iTMS. These things, despite our best efforts, will happen, and Apple has a real opportunity to improve their offering in this space even more.

  4. once you have purchased a tune from the itunes music store, burn it to a CD-RW and then re-import it, by doing this you strip out the restrictions and can have it in any format you like without a noticable loss in sound quality. Would be nice if Apple up their bit rate to 192kbps but you can’t have your cake and smoke it

  5. iTunes has a folder listing all of my downloaded tracks, so there is a record that is kept.

    Do wish that iTMS would allow downloads at higher bit rates.

    Henry, there is such a thing as a CD-RW.

  6. All of the songs I have downloaded through the iTunes Music Store are burned to a CD for the purposes of Backup. I won’t lose any of my music because I have done this from the very beginning. I’ve spent a lot of money on sugar water to get those free tracks, dagnabbit! I want to be able to prove that I ricked rotting my teeth for a good cause.

  7. A friend of mine talked Apple into letting him download the 1400 songs he lost when his Dell crahsed. He simply told them, now that I just got a Mac, I’d like to see if I can get my music back. Apple actually let him re-download 1400 songs.

  8. When you purchase songs from iTMS they even remind you to do backups. Loosing your songs (all of them) is a sign of stupidity.
    If iTMS started to record your purchases for times indefinite, then the data security people would cry foul because what you purchase should not be recorded. It’s a catch 22. But I’d rather have one or two stupid people on my back than a bunch of EU regulators.

  9. I’ve purchased over 400 songs from iTMS and I love the convenience that it offers, but the record companies should really lower the amount they’re asking so that songs and albums can be purchased at a lower price (a price that better reflects what you’re actually getting). The last few months I have increasing passed on iTMS downloads in favor of buying the physical CD. Having a physical CD right from the beginning, lyrics, sound quality, and lack of restrictions is enough for me to spend an extra few bucks at the CD store instead of using iTMS. Not to mention, when I buy a physical CD, I own it enought to sell it if I ever want to, something I can’t really do with a downloaded song. Until iTMS can offer lower prices or features comparable to a CD, CDs are still better.

  10. hagar57,
    iTMS already does record your purchases. And I wouldn’t exactly call people stupid if they don’t backup everything. iTunes should really include a feature that will make backing up songs a simple feature. Most people that purchase songs from iTMS do so for the convenience. Having to buy and burn songs to CDs all the time is not exactly convenient. Yes, people should be backing up everything, but stupidity isn’t the reason why they don’t.

  11. I use iTunes and like it.

    BUT any album i’ve put to an audio CD seems to (on reload) be bereft (missing) all the track info. so on my latest reload of tiger, all my purchased music has TRACK 01, TRACK 02. SUCKS!

  12. if Apple would let me DL at a decent bitrate/quality + linernotes I would start to buy some tracks. I can’t believe some people claim there’s no recognizable difference between their iTMS tracks and a CD. Are you deaf???
    I have about 4500 CDs and would love to DL some single tracks instead of ripping my CDs. Takes too long. But I want my linernotes and the original year of recording. iTMS mainly take their album data from “best of” CDs – which sucks amazingly when you want to know what year G.Mulligan did that recording – and NOT when it got recompiled.

  13. Blind support of Apple is distubing. “…perhaps Apple should” allow re-downloads? “Perhaps”? Sheesh, this “apple can do no wrong” attitude is nausiating. OF COURSE they should allow re-downloads. Its NOT a CD, you have restrictions on iTunes which you do not have with a CD. Apple should make it less likely for you to lose your investment. It good business to treat your customers fairly. It builds loyalty vs resentment.

  14. The problem with backup up to CD-R or DVD-R is that it’s a fairly unstable media. Those backups of valuable data need to be stored carefully (dark, dry, cool) and copied annually to guarantee data integrity.

    CD-R is not a long-term backup solution.

    Real CDs have a better lifespan if treated well.

    I would advise people only to use iTMS, or any other download service for music you don’t mind losing at some point, as it will probably come to that someday.

    I’ll be sticking to CDs for a while longer.

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