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Why Apple should fix the way iTunes Store purchases work

Jonathan Seff | April 1, 2013
Buying from the iTunes Store is certainly convenient. With a few clicks, I can purchase an album, TV show, or movie that gets billed to my iTunes account and that I know will work perfectly on my various pieces of Apple hardware (Macs, Apple TV, iOS devices). What's not so convenient is the way iTunes insists on downloading my purchases as soon as I buy them, even when I don't want it to. This is especially frustrating with large video files.

Sure, I could see a situation in which I fail to download something now and then it becomes no longer available on the iTunes Store at a later date. Then I'd be screwed. But that's a fringe event and not an insurmountable problem. Apple could send me email reminders 15 or 30 days after a purchase prodding me to download and back up locally lest tragedy strikes. Or Apple could add a checkbox to iTunes's preferences that says Never automatically download new purchases. (We'd probably have to agree to a disclaimer before turning that option on.)

This isn't the only iTunes-related problem that I think Apple needs to address. (Don't get me started on iTunes Match's track limit and all-or-nothing approach.) But it's a major headache for me--and judging by the replies and retweets I saw on Twitter, for others as well.

 

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