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awardinary
post Jul 20 2020, 07:41 AM
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So this question stems from being a lifelong Apple user, someone who at one time purchased music legally on iTunes but later replaced purchases with streaming via Apple Music. The issue I have is not only about music purchases however, it can also be said for movies, tv shows, games and apps.

It seems that certain content that may at one time have been available for download in the UK has been removed from the iTunes Store and subsequently no longer able to play from my library of purchased music. The case in point (of which there are multiple) is of German producers Schiller whose albums Desire and Breathless (UK Translations) were once an available option to purchase on iTunes and have since been removed from the store. As someone who purchased these albums legally, I felt like I “owned” the music and could access in whenever I wanted from my music library. This is not the case anymore. The content has been removed from the UK store and now appears to only be available in other countries.

The same has happened for movies I have purchased on iTunes before, I felt I “owned” the movie after I paid for it, but now some have been taken away because they are no longer available for others to purchase.

Is that right? Has this happened on other platforms other than iTunes?

Should paying customers be penalised just because the platform that they once legally bought content from decides to no longer sell it?

I seldom download music anymore, but if I did I would feel hesitant in case some day the music I bought was taken away from me without my permission.

I would like to hear if others have had a similar experience in the past. mellow.gif
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Popchartfreak
post Jul 20 2020, 07:55 AM
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sounds dubious to me. You paid for it you own it forever. If it's on your hard-drive how can they delete it?

I can see how an Amazon-based system where you can ACCESS music you've bought can be removed, cos that's just a convenience-bonus (I can access music from cd's I've bought and essentially stream it, but that's not the same as taking away the cd's I bought).

As far as I'm aware every track I've ever downloaded is still there on my hard-drive cos I bought it and it exists on my laptop (and just for security I back up every purchase on CD to play in my car, so there's no way I will lose it even if my laptop and my ipod die - I can just load them up onto a new system via CD, which is why I will only buy PC's or laptops that have cd drives cos I just don't trust streaming sites and I don't trust any company to stay in business forever.

Never be afraid to complain to them! A good moan works wonders. I once downloaded the wrong track and moaned that it wasn't my fault, and they replaced it free of charge. Always complain! laugh.gif
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Brett-Butler
post Jul 20 2020, 08:08 AM
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When you download a song from iTunes, YOU DO NOT OWN THE DOWNLOAD. You are merely buying the license to listen to it. It's been known for many years that this is the case (here's an article dating from 2011 about this.!), but it isn't well known by the public in general, hence why they have the right to remove your download at a later date.

Say what you want about physical media, but 5 years down the line HMV doesn't come into your home and take your CDs once a licensing term is up.
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Robbie
post Jul 20 2020, 09:08 AM
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I'm assuming that awardinary no longer has the downloads on his computer but instead was streaming what had been bought? I'm assuming that if a track or album is removed from Apple Music then it's no longer going to be available to stream even if the track had been purchased.

Have you tried looking under Account -> Purchased just in case the tracks / albums are listed there?
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LJ JORD 7
post Jul 20 2020, 09:16 AM
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I thought I was going crazy before when I was looking for certain tracks I knew I’d bought on iTunes and I couldn’t find them then I tried buying them again and I wasn’t charged but found some of them as well under hidden purchases. You should own what you buy forever though!
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AcerBen
post Jul 20 2020, 10:09 AM
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Assuming the file was bought after they got rid of DRM and you kept it on your computer, it should work forever, like an MP3 would.

If they remove it from the Store, it will probably be removed from "My purchases" within the Store, but it shouldn't have been deleted from your library or your hard drive, so I don't know what's gone wrong in your case. Have you tried looking in your media folder on your Mac?

I've got a few songs that are no longer on iTunes Store which still work.
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AcerBen
post Jul 20 2020, 10:11 AM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Jul 20 2020, 09:08 AM) *
When you download a song from iTunes, YOU DO NOT OWN THE DOWNLOAD. You are merely buying the license to listen to it. It's been known for many years that this is the case (here's an article dating from 2011 about this.!), but it isn't well known by the public in general, hence why they have the right to remove your download at a later date.

Say what you want about physical media, but 5 years down the line HMV doesn't come into your home and take your CDs once a licensing term is up.



The article you linked to contradicts what you're saying:

(vi) iTunes Plus Products do not contain security technology that limits your usage of such Products, and Usage Rules (ii) – (v) do not apply to iTunes Plus Products. You may copy, store, and burn iTunes Plus Products as reasonably necessary for personal, noncommercial use.


This post has been edited by AcerBen: Jul 20 2020, 10:11 AM
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Iz~
post Jul 20 2020, 10:39 AM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Jul 20 2020, 08:08 AM) *
When you download a song from iTunes, YOU DO NOT OWN THE DOWNLOAD. You are merely buying the license to listen to it. It's been known for many years that this is the case (here's an article dating from 2011 about this.!), but it isn't well known by the public in general, hence why they have the right to remove your download at a later date.

Say what you want about physical media, but 5 years down the line HMV doesn't come into your home and take your CDs once a licensing term is up.


Correct, but this shouldn't be the case. It's more than a little exploitative to set up digital downloads as an alternative to physical media (a deal where the seller doesn't even lose any resources by making the sale) and then include in a bunch of terms and conditions that they can retract the customer's usage of the track they paid for.

Similar DRM issues (DRM itself is anti-consumer) going on in all forms of entertainment that have been digitised - I'd say most prominent in gaming as that one hasn't moved markets over to streaming like others have - but still, if you keep the file and don't delete it, it should be yours.
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Doctor Blind
post Jul 20 2020, 04:31 PM
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Theoretically yes, but life is not that straightforward - a digital download should in theory last forever because it cannot be worn out, lost or destroyed easily like physical media, however it is dependent on the hardware and software you are using to play it and something called backwards compatibility. Most music file types have been supported for decades now (remember WINAMP?) but it is perfectly possible that a much higher quality version and player will supersede it in the future and make your MP3 or AAC unplayable.

The same is true of physical media of course... I've got a cassette tape of Now That's What I Call Music! 20 that was bought for me at Christmas in 1991. I don't have any tape player to play it on now. Similarly the iMac I have no longer has a CD drive so my singles and albums collection cannot be played on this computer anymore. I think you have to accept that nothing lasts forever, not even cold November rain. tongue.gif
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AcerBen
post Jul 20 2020, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Jul 20 2020, 05:31 PM) *
Theoretically yes, but life is not that straightforward - a digital download should in theory last forever because it cannot be worn out, lost or destroyed easily like physical media, however it is dependent on the hardware and software you are using to play it and something called backwards compatibility. Most music file types have been supported for decades now (remember WINAMP?) but it is perfectly possible that a much higher quality version and player will supersede it in the future and make your MP3 or AAC unplayable.

The same is true of physical media of course... I've got a cassette tape of Now That's What I Call Music! 20 that was bought for me at Christmas in 1991. I don't have any tape player to play it on now. Similarly the iMac I have no longer has a CD drive so my singles and albums collection cannot be played on this computer anymore. I think you have to accept that nothing lasts forever, not even cold November rain. tongue.gif


If in decades to come M4A and MP3 are replaced with something else, I'd be surprised if it wasn't still possible to convert the files though.
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Juranamo
post Jul 20 2020, 06:14 PM
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I'd be surprised your download would just simply no longer be accessible (to you). Provided there isn't a DRM, you should be able to at least at the file to your own personal library - though I know iTunes were very slow in abandoning DRM. Of course, if you are unable to locate where you've stored the file, and instead relied on your iTunes library as a place of storage, then that is effectively losing the product you purchased.

If you lost a CD, and the CD was discontinued, you wouldn't be able to repurchase it. The same would go for redownloading a discontinued file... There's also the possibility the file may become corrupt etc. Maybe it's on your computer somewhere? Could be worth checking the filepath for any other files you have associated to your library (if you haven't already)!

Disclaimer: I could be talking complete rubbish here. 😂
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No Sleeep
post Jul 20 2020, 06:17 PM
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That happened with my Glitter download. Some of the songs just disappeared
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JosephStyles
post Jul 20 2020, 06:42 PM
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I've got many songs that I've downloaded that are no longer available, and they still work fine for me! I don't stream with Apple Music though, so perhaps that's why my library's untouched? thinking.gif
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Doctor Blind
post Jul 20 2020, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Jul 20 2020, 07:42 PM) *
I've got many songs that I've downloaded that are no longer available, and they still work fine for me! I don't stream with Apple Music though, so perhaps that's why my library's untouched? thinking.gif


Yeah, I think that's the reason I don't use Apple Music - I just don't trust them not to completely bollocks up my iTunes library. Proven by this very thread !
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awardinary
post Jul 20 2020, 08:30 PM
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Yeah I have seen the purchased items in my “purchase history” within iTunes, but the files are in the cloud somewhere and they can’t be downloaded. I believe that SOME of the music files I appear to have lost are indeed backed up to an external hard drive but I haven’t backed up to it in some years now, believing gullibly that I could always have access to my music on the go.

I mean, whilst I am using Apple Music right now, and have used Spotify before too, what happens when inevitably another streaming platform comes along to try and state a claim in the music industry and I have to then import all my music files or otherwise recreate all playlists from the ground up.

I’m not entirely happy with the experience, and I see that I may not be alone, but that others have not lost their downloaded content. I guess I can see what was said about licences which I never own even after purchasing a music file. So despite the parting of my own money, the ownership remains the provider of the content and if they lose the licence to keep such music in their servers then those who have paid for it previously stand to lose their content unless it is backed up to an external offline drive.

Thanks for all the replies.
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AcerBen
post Jul 20 2020, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE(awardinary @ Jul 20 2020, 09:30 PM) *
Yeah I have seen the purchased items in my “purchase history” within iTunes, but the files are in the cloud somewhere and they can’t be downloaded. I believe that SOME of the music files I appear to have lost are indeed backed up to an external hard drive but I haven’t backed up to it in some years now, believing gullibly that I could always have access to my music on the go.

I mean, whilst I am using Apple Music right now, and have used Spotify before too, what happens when inevitably another streaming platform comes along to try and state a claim in the music industry and I have to then import all my music files or otherwise recreate all playlists from the ground up.

I’m not entirely happy with the experience, and I see that I may not be alone, but that others have not lost their downloaded content. I guess I can see what was said about licences which I never own even after purchasing a music file. So despite the parting of my own money, the ownership remains the provider of the content and if they lose the licence to keep such music in their servers then those who have paid for it previously stand to lose their content unless it is backed up to an external offline drive.

Thanks for all the replies.


You say external offline drive.. what about your computer's main hard drive? Or do you keep nothing on there and just stream everything?
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awardinary
post Jul 20 2020, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE(AcerBen @ Jul 20 2020, 11:01 PM) *
You say external offline drive.. what about your computer's main hard drive? Or do you keep nothing on there and just stream everything?

I’ve changed laptops several times, and I don’t have a CD drive built into my existing one so I use a separate DVD drive to burn CD’s to my computer, but I know I backed up my iTunes library a long time ago, and it should have been after the time of most of my download purchases, so I should have an MP3/AAC file somewhere externally from my existing laptop. It just feels like something I bought had been taken away from me when I wanted easy access on the go to music I had purchased some time back and expected to find available now.
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AcerBen
post Jul 20 2020, 10:42 PM
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Oh right. Well seems like you get why it happened now.

Funnily enough then it's actually safer if the song in your library was never on iTunes in the first place. Because you upload the MP3 to your iCloud to store it. However if iCloud matches the song with something in your library, it just gives you the iTunes file. Which of course disappears from iCloud if it comes off iTunes.
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J00psyMethyd
post Jul 22 2020, 08:39 PM
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If I'm paying for it someone taking it off me is stealing in my view.

I would feel entitled to a refund.
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jargon
post Jul 25 2020, 09:29 AM
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Keep a backup of all your .M4A, .M4P, .M4V files rather than rely on the iTunes cloud.. I can still play the purchases from 'back in the day' that dropped off the iTunes catalogue. ("Everybody" by Brown Eyed Girls feat. Bog Tone being one of them!)

I have yet to upgrade my old Windows XP machine so that I can continue to play my OD2/Napster/Tesco legal purchases from 2003-2005.. even though I burnt most of them onto CD, I will hold onto those licenses as long as possible.
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