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Apple removing content amid iTunes Plus transition?

updated 06:40 pm EDT, Mon April 6, 2009

Apple removes iTunes songs

Apple has reportedly removed content from the iTunes store amid the transition to the DRM-free iTunes Plus format. A tipster observed that certain previously-available items, such as Neil Young's The Bridge School Collection and the English folk compilation Scarborough Fair: The Best Of English Folk, are now missing from the store.

Apple in January announced plans to move away from DRM protections and eventually offer every track as the iTunes Plus format. Initially, 8 million songs were available DRM-free, while the remaining 2 million were claimed to be added by the end of March.

The company has not announced if the missing content was temporarily removed for the switch, or if the change will be permanent. The move to iTunes Plus required re-negotiation of contracts with many of the music labels. Although Apple successfully agreed on terms with each of the major players, there is a possibility that a few of the smaller labels were unwilling to accept the new policies.

Apple ran into problems late in January as customers attempted to upgrade prior purchases to the Plus format. Instead of receiving the typical discounted price of each track, the billing system charged for the whole album.

The true reason for the removed content remains unknown. Aside from contract issues regarding DRM, record labels can pull content for a variety of other reasons.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. bmn

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    um

    Things come and go from the store all the time for various reasons. Randomly connecting this to ITunes Plus is rather ignorant.

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    I noticed this also

    I was planning on purchasing some songs from the rock group Default for some time now since the announcement of iTunes Plus. Once March 31 had passed, I was starting to wonder what Apple meant by "all songs in iTunes Plus format by the end of March", and this afternoon I found no trace of their albums online, just some music videos in iTunes Plus format. So call me ignorant, but I wonder if they removed it so they can claim all songs are in the new format. Hopefully, they'll re-add the albums.

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    nevermind

    After posting my comment, my fiance let me know the albums were back in the store in the iTunes Plus format.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +1

    Agreed

    Though at least you acknowledged this could be temporary (it most likely is).

    But it's true that artists/labels/whoever change their mind about being on iTunes all the time. Van Morrison's rather extensive back catalog was on iTunes once -- for about a week -- and then pulled.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    As

    "Van Morrison's rather extensive back catalog was on iTunes once -- for about a week -- and then pulled."

    As a service to humanity.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    re: bmn

    Hey Mr. um, they WERE removed because of iTunes Plus.

    Everything in the store is now iTunes Plus. Songs that were not available as iTunes Plus as of yesterday are all gone today, all in one fell swoop.

    I know this because I have a number of songs sitting in my shopping cart waiting for iTunes Plus versions, and ALL of them are grayed out today, and listed as being "unavailable." They were all available yesterday.

    This is more than 50 songs, on 13 different albums. Not random at all.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    re: bmn 2

    Whether this is temporary or not is another question. It's possible Apple set a deadline of today, and a lot of music missed the deadline.

    I don't know if it's Apple or the record companies that are responsible for converting to iTunes Plus - hopefully they are still in the process of converting, and the deleted albums will show up again. But we don't know - they could be permanently deleted.

    Apple's not talking, of course.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    re: nevermind

    That's good that your albums have been converted.

    For me, two or three albums I was waiting for were converted in the last week or so, but the other 13 have not been, and disappeared today.

  1. gor3don

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    kicking myself

    I'm kicking myself I didn't get Scarborough Fair: The Best Of English Folk when I had the chance.

  1. gor3don

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    kicking myself

    I'm kicking myself I didn't get Scarborough Fair: The Best Of English Folk when I had the chance.

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