So shortly after a wave of protest, mostly by angry webloggers, Apple has seen fit to change the way the new iTunes MiniStore works.
On being activated today, the MiniStore presented all users with a simple explanation of what it is and what it does, and a promise that “Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music Library.”
Which is a nice thing for Apple to tell us, indeed a wise thing for them to do considering the vehemence of the protests.
But what I find most interesting about it is the fact that Apple responded at all. After all, Apple does not usually care to comment on anything, even sensible articles in reputable newspapers; not unless it has initiated the article first. As far as rants and rumors on random weblogs, Apple does not normally indicate that it has even noticed them.
What does this demonstrate? The unequalled connections and impressive audience reach of boingboing? Or is Apple deliberately being more responsive, more open? Perhaps a little bit of both.
Personally, I don’t find the MiniStore terribly intrusive nor compelling. If I want to buy music, I’d much rather have the (in my opinion) more useful UI of the full-blown iTMS. The MiniStore looks to me like yet another bit of cross-selling by Apple, something that was very noticeable during the Macworld presentation last week. Increasingly, Apple wants to maximize the income it can get from every Mac owner, by offering little extras and add-ons. The MiniStore is another one of these.
I’m just pleased that you can switch it off and forget about it. That’s what I’ve done.