One of my fears of buying an Apple came true yesterday. Apple crippled iTunes in a somewhat sneaky, under the radar kind of way. With the newest update, some of iTunes ’sharing’ capabilities were dismantled.
Let’s just say this isn’t something you see happening to the Linux kernel OK, but this is a proprietary application, as ‘freeware’ as it is.
I don’t think this would have happened in the pre Apple Music store era. Now it looks like the Music store, which iTunes is integral in, is a major revenue stream for Apple.
But, we have to buy this music through iTunes for Apple to make money. So as the ones with money we are the ones with the power in this relationship right? I’m not so sure. This has the creepy feeling about it that the RIAA has essentially managed your computer more than Apple has. I put on my tinfoil hat to write this, but how implausible is this scenario? The RIAA certainly doesn’t seem to have a care in the world about giving customers what they want, like fair use, so why should they care that Apple might want to?
My point here is that you, dear Apple owner, were not consulted. You don’t have the power in this relationship whatever the reason for iTunes to become more crippleware than it was a week ago.
I going to reserve total judgement on this, other than to say I’m feeling a little discouraged, to see how this plays out over the next week. It will be interesting to see how much your interests are discussed. Let’s all remember that people can continue to share their legally purchased music without iTunes at all.
Update and Response:
- “The sad fact is that a few idiots have ruined it for the rest of us.” This is a resounding sentiment isn’t it? Frankly I’m surprised at how many people, here and elsewhere, feel that when there are a few people abusing something that it should be taken away from everyone. What are you people thinking? Have a double latte & wake up.
- I’m not demonizing Apple as much as you’ve perceived. I still don’t believe that this “network access enhancement” would have taken place before the RIAA was in the picture with the Music store. What I am trying to emphasize is that the supplier, in this case the RIAA, has more power in this than the Apple customer. And that is not normal operating procedure folks.
- To clarify, I own an ibook.
- “Let’s just say this isn’t something you see happening to the Linux kernel OK, but this is a proprietary application, as ‘freeware’ as it is.” This does sound smarmy doesn’t it? My point here is that iTunes is proprietary so Apple can do whatever it wants to it even if the cost is zero. I was actually trying to give Apple leeway here.
- “People who purchase the music have no rights to decide what is fair use and adapt it as they see fit.” This same mentality almost cost you from having a VCR. Again, wake up.
- Added Thursday: One poster here has done some additional research into the question of whether this feature was actually a bug. He writes:
NOT TRUE: “Show Package Contents” of (the original) iTunes 4. Open the following file(s) in Safari:
There you will see a note from the original help file: “You can also share
your music with a computer that is not in the same subnet as you by setting up the other computer to look for shared music at your computer’s IP address.”
…and also: /Applications/iTunes.app/
…where you will see: “To see the shared music on a computer that is not in the same network subnet as your computer, choose Advanced > “Connect to Shared Music,” then enter the IP address for the computer.”
This doesn’t indicate that Apple was ‘pinched’ by the RIAA in this, but there were numerous comments here and via email that this type of sharing was an error/bug. This documentation would indicate otherwise for those interested.
I’ve also never been called a bum muncher before. That was pretty funny.