Over There (in the UK)

May 27, 2003 at 10 PM

iTunes 4: Now With Less Love to Give

Hey Mac OS X users. Before you download the latest update to iTunes (4.01), which will appear in your Software Update panel, you might want to read the fine print:

iTunes 4.0.1 includes a number of performance and network access enhancements, and only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet). (emphasis added)

You might remember that one of the nifty features of iTunes 4, the original version, was that you could share music with your friends across the Internet. Read the update note carefully, and you’ll notice that Apple has removed this ability in the new version. Rumour has it that certain software which allowed people to copy songs (rather than just temporarily stream them) led Apple to take the rather unusual step of making their software less useful than before. We’re sure the major record companies lurking behind Apple’s new online music store had nothing to do with this. Nope. Of course not.


I wish I hadn’t jumped the gun on this one. I don’t really understand what the big deal is. It’s still pretty easy to share your Music folder over the internet. The record companies shouldn’t care because the music purchased on the iTunes Music Store must be “activated” on specific computers — three at the most. Did you already update? Really though, we’re all going to be forced to upgrade at one time or another. When Mac OS X 10.3 comes out this fall, there will definitely not be an option. Plus, 4.0 users can’t share with 4.0.1 and vice versa, so you’re pretty much damned if you do and damned if you don’t anyways. Sigh…

Patrick Gibson | May. 28, 2003 — 1 AM

I’m sure someone will write a little hack to make this possible again. Hey Patrick! You’re good at this sort of thing, aren’t you?

brett | May. 29, 2003 — 10 AM

In my mind there is no way that Apple wouldn’t have envisioned a scenario where users would immediately start using the sharing features of iTunes to distribute music to people across the net. More likely in my mind is that they let iTunes out the door expecting it to happen and were more curious about how long it would take to become pervasive and an “issue” in the media, or to it’s music company partners in the music store.

This easy sharing of content has for years now been a part of the digital hub strategy that Apple’s been moving forward with, and it’s not about to disapear anytime soon.

kerry | Jun. 1, 2003 — 4 PM

Brett’s a soothsayer. Oracle? No matter. There’s a link boingboing to a crack/patch that will re-enable sharing.

M-J | Jun. 5, 2003 — 7 AM

Previously: The Songs Have Changed

Subsequently: Moving Right Along

May 2003
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