iTunes Wants Me to Buy My Music Again?

by Chris Adamson

iTunes 4.5 has some interesting new features, but one baffles me: all songs in my library and my iPod now have links to the corresponding song, album, and artist on the iTunes Music Store.

OK, obviously the first point is that the link actually performs a search at the store (since you wouldn't want to make every copy of iTunes responsible for keeping its own copy of the store's inventory, in order to show the links only when the song/album/artist is actually available a the store). So, when you click the link, it's possible you'll end up at a "no results found" page.

Knowing the futility of looking for things that aren't going to be in the store, when you have seriously oddball musical tastes like I do, the results can only be described as comical:


No need to click the link - I'm pretty sure the iTMS doesn't stock Ginga Tetsudo 999 ETERNAL EDITION, File No. 1. Or Files 2 through 12 for that matter.

But more importantly, if I already own a song in my Library or on my iPod, why would I need to go back to the music store? Am I going to buy it again?

Maybe the feature is aimed at those who've filled their iPods with pirated MP3's. As if to say, "y'know, when you feel like going legit and actually buying this song, here you go."

Also, the link would be a cool idea when playing your friends' shared playlists and iMixes, but shouldn't it be able to tell the difference between songs being shared to me and those on my own storage?

Not a flame, just seems curious.

Really, I must be missing something. Tell me why this is cool and I'm dumb.


2004-04-28 12:09:15
I think it's supposed to be helpful
I haven't played with this new feature much, but my understanding is that you can click on a particular song link and find more by the same artist (or on the same album) on ITMS, assuming they have it in their inventory.

Note, however, if you option-click the arrow, you'll search in your own library instead.

You can also turn this off in Preferences, if it bugs you.

2004-04-28 12:24:12
Finding other stuff
I downloaded 4.5 when I got into work this morning, and was pretty excited to check out the link to itms thingy. I often find myself checking out my music archive wondering what else is available from an artist, or what similar artists there are out there. I think it is a pretty useful feature actually.
I found it sort of amusing that it just activates a search in the ITMS, and drops you to the right place if it can find it. I was REALLY excited that my Dave Matthews Band songs (not an obscure artist by any stretch) had links next to it. Sadly, no dice. I think it is pretty nice that even music not purchased from ITMS have links, however -- helps me fill out my music in certain areas quickly. Which is, I'm sure, exactly the thought process on Apple's part :)
2004-04-28 13:49:56
Turn it off in your preferences
'nuff said!

To be fair, I had the same question - seemed weird. But as another poster points out, it could be handy if I wanted to check out other songs by the same artist - kinda brings things together in a circular fashion...

2004-04-28 14:37:43
Hi !

As other users pointed out, the goal of this feature is to allow you to find more songs or albums from an artist you love.

Note that :

  1. Option-clicking on an arrow allows you to perform a search in your library

  2. You can turn this feature off in the Preferences pane


2004-04-29 07:45:39
Confirm Your iMix
A handy use for this feature is to confirm that the tunes in your carefully crafted iMix are in the iTMS. Only those songs that are in the iTunes store will show in the published iMix; you can adjust your iMix after quickly checking for their inclusion.
2004-04-30 10:32:10
re: link to your own library
As the previous poster pointed out, you can hold down option to have the links show you related information in your own library. If you find this useful, there is a way to make this the default behavior instead. Unfortunately it requires a trip to the command line as there is currently no GUI way to swap the behaviors:

Open the terminal and type, "defaults write invertStoreLinks -bool YES" (without the quotes).

Then option clicking will take you to the store and regular clicking will show you info in your library.