iTunes Affiliate

by brian d foy

Related link:

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).

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents America (The Audiobook): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

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."


2004-09-25 16:05:13
Not that I don't agree...
...with most of your comments. But you do have the ability to replace the random garbage username they assign you with one of your own choosing. That's about the only thing I don't hate about the third party link system Apple's using.
2004-09-25 16:11:18
Not that I don't agree...
Ah, indeed I do! I had looked for that before and didn't find it. I looked a little harder and there it is.

That seems like an odd feature, though.