Related link: http://www.apple.com/itunes/affiliates/
A couple weeks ago as I was buying some music through the iTunes Music Store, I noticed an ad for the iTunes Affiliate program. I’m not a big fan of these sorts of things because I see them more as get-rich-quick schemes. I wanted to try it out anyway. It just happened that at that moment I wanted to send a link to a audio book to a friend, so why not have a link I could put on a web page?
I signed up. The first link was through an Apple site, then, I had to go to a third party site run under the name LinkSynergy. I didn’t so much as sign-up as agree to the terms. They chose the username and password for me: both ugly looking randon strings that I have no hope of memorizing. Even if I can change the password, I still have a meaningless username. Fortunately, my browser remembers all that.
Apple told me that they would take up to three days to approve my membership. In the meantime, I could sign up for any other program LinkSynergy offered. So much for the initial excitement of something new. Smells like bait-and-switch to me. I figured the approval email would show up in an hour or so. That three day number must be a higher limit.
Two weeks later, after I had forgotten all about iTunes Affiliates, I get an email from Apple which says that my account has been approved. I wasn’t so excited about it anymore, so I waited another week to even try it again.
Well, it works, I guess. Since the actual program is not run by Apple, it’s very un-Apple like: ugly and kludgey and painful to look at. Everything takes a heck of a lot of clicking.
There are some cool things though. I can get RSS feeds of various iTunes lists (Caution: I created these with the affiliates thing, so I get some benefit if you buy something, maybe, and the links will try to launch iTunes): New releases, Featured songs, Top 10 Albums, Top 10 Songs, Top 10 Just Added. Now I don’t have to check iTunes Music Store: I just see new things in NetNewsWire like all my other news.
So, here’s the link I originally wanted to send to my friends (and this is the HTML that the program gives me. Isn’t it ugly? It doesn’t even show what the title is (America: Democracy Inaction from The Daily Show).
As they say in the book (paraphrasing): “In the past, history has been written by the winners. Here’s a history book written by a bunch of losers.”