Apple backpedals on iTunes MiniStore | iLounge News

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Apple backpedals on iTunes MiniStore

The recently released iTunes 6.0.2 update brought a new feature called the iTunes MiniStore, which analyzes the the music in your library and suggests similar offerings for purchase. Following complaints from users and tech writers who said the default feature was akin to spyware, Apple has quickly responded to easily explain the feature to iTunes users and make it more optional.

While the MiniStore was always able to be turned off by selecting Edit > Hide MiniStore, Apple now explains that iTunes users can use a button at the bottom of the iTunes window to quickly turn the feature on or off. Apple has also updated the MiniStore so that iTunes users are now met with the following message explaining the feature:

“The iTunes MiniStore allows you to discover new music and videos right from your iTunes Library. As you select items in your Library, information about that item is sent to Apple and the MiniStore will show you related songs or videos. Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music Library. Would you like to turn on the MiniStore now?”

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Comments

1

Excellent!  Glad they decided to do this.  I was delaying downloading the new version until this was fixed!

Posted by dantan98 on January 18, 2006 at 11:00 AM (CST)

2

People freaking out about this was just stupid. 60 minutes tells everyone that their information is being stolen and now everyone freaks out at the smallest things.

You know if you go outside others can see what your doing. OMG! What if you went into Wal-Mart and someone saw you, now they know you shop at Wal-Mart. Ahhh your personal information. They may see you buy a CD, oh no!

Get over it people. There’s a huge difference between a company knowing you enjoy Guns n Roses and a company stealing your credit card number and going on a shopping spree.

Posted by nosedive51 on January 18, 2006 at 11:15 AM (CST)

3

“Get over it people. There’s a huge difference between a company knowing you enjoy Guns n Roses and a company stealing your credit card number and going on a shopping spree.”

In one sense, you are right, where you are completely wrong is this: whether there are different levels of consequences is immaterial, the bottom line is that there is no justification for any company to collect such information without my consent in the first place.

Privacy is an all or nothing subject, there is no such thing a different levels of expectations of privacy no matter what the courts gutting the Constitution or corporations trying to figure out how to better sell me another product I don’t need want me to belive.

Apple doesn’t need to know what I’m listening to without asking first (and now they do).

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 18, 2006 at 11:28 AM (CST)

4

The button has been there since the update…Apple is just pointing it out.

And I agree that people flipping out about this were just ignorant.  What do you think Amazon.com does when it displays your recently searched items and recommends items based on your purchases? 

I fail to see the harm in this, as long as Apple provides a way to turn it off (which they did, from the beginning, even if it wasn’t properly publicized) and they don’t actually keep any of the information they collected (which they don’t).

Posted by Cameron T. on January 18, 2006 at 11:30 AM (CST)

5

Apple doesn’t need to know what I’m listening to without asking first (and now they do).

I agree with the first part of the sentence, but not the second part.  As has been said, Apple is NOT storing this information in anyway.  Everything is automated.  When you click on the song, it sends that song to Apple’s servers, which then replies with similar music.  I doubt the information is physically on the servers for less than 10 seconds.  There’s no way Apple could support the storage necessary to collect such data, anyway.

Posted by Cameron T. on January 18, 2006 at 11:38 AM (CST)

6

When I grew up there was a record store a town over that I went to very often. After some time they new me and my taste in music and would often mention new bands to me while I was hanging out. Did they have my permission? No. Did I mind, no. What’s the difference now?

There are people that will not order something online for fear of getting their credit card number and info stolen yet these same people will go to Applebees and give a stranger their card who then disappears for five to ten minutes. Wheres the sense in that?

Companies have always watched us and tried to sell us things based on what they believed our tastes are, just because its now done with an internet connection doesn’t change the fact or suddenly now make it any worse then it was. In the early 1900’s people bought items through mail order. Do you not think that Sears had a list of items that each customer ordered and tried to sell to them based on that.

Posted by nosedive51 on January 18, 2006 at 11:39 AM (CST)

7

Any of you have cookies turned on?

Posted by bluezurich on January 18, 2006 at 12:53 PM (CST)

8

Come stop fraking out would trust APPLE OR MICROSOFT? And who care if you buy 2-live crew or mozart music? We live in world hi Tech stuff. If you are that scared live in the wood and give me your ipod. ok

Posted by bond2kill on January 18, 2006 at 12:55 PM (CST)

9

“Privacy is an all or nothing subject” by Code Monkey

I think this is the crux of the disagreement. There are no absolutes with anything. Just like anything, if you use a software package (in this case one you get for free), or drive a car, or do just about anything anywhere, then you will likely need to share information about yourself. Get over it and enjoy the one of the damn best pieces of software around.

Posted by GoSeahwaks on January 18, 2006 at 1:01 PM (CST)

10

Wow…please read your posts before you post them. Mainly for your own sake.

Posted by HoanCai on January 18, 2006 at 1:02 PM (CST)

11

Their watching u. Or u can turn it off

Posted by bond2kill on January 18, 2006 at 1:19 PM (CST)

12

I understand that this thread is more about Apple implementing this part of the software without publicizing the fact that you could turn it off if you wanted to.

That being said…I have to say that I don’t really mind Apple looking at my music collection to help me make some informed decisions about buying new music. 

However, I find that Apple’s suggestions for me based on my collection are kind of crappy. Just because I have one Guns & Roses song* on my iPod does not mean I want buying suggestions about other awful hair bands from the 90’s.

I don’t really have a Guns & Roses song on my iPod, nor am I making a statement about Guns & Roses listeners in general…I was merely making a point.

Posted by asicola on January 18, 2006 at 1:34 PM (CST)

13

I love the Mini Store, even though I don’t buy music from iTunes. It means you can see a Discography of the Band easly.

My one complaint is that you cant copy the album art to your songs to veiw on iPods :(

Posted by Peachey on January 18, 2006 at 1:54 PM (CST)

14

Come on guys, don’t let Apple off so easy.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on January 18, 2006 at 2:04 PM (CST)

15

However, I find that Apple’s suggestions for me based on my collection are kind of crappy. Just because I have one Guns & Roses song on my iPod does not mean I want buying suggestions about other awful hair bands from the 90’s.


Dude, the only true hair bands formed in the 80’s (Stryper Rulez!)


Seriously, though, they do need a better way of finding “related” songs….

Posted by Jon Bon Jovi (not really) on January 18, 2006 at 2:16 PM (CST)

16

Amazon creates a page just for me based on what I’ve purchased. Staples tracks my office supplies and offers quick ordering. Audible recommends audiobooks. BMD offers CDs. NetFlix knows what DVDs I watch. eBay knows what I’m looking for and what I buy. PayPal knows what organizations I donate to monthly.

Credit card companies want to hear my voice when I make a decent sized purchase 500 miles away from home and didn’t use that card to buy gas to get there. TransAmerica knows more about how I pay my bills than Quicken on my desktop. The toll road administration knows which toll booth I passed last Tuesday at 7:14am and used my electronic iPass. The premium credit cards offer me a year end summary of where I spent my money. My name shows up in “Amazon Pay” donation boxes on non-Amazon sites asking for money.

I don’t particularly remember giving explicit permission for all this data collection.

You want to get upset? Send me your cellphone number, then for $85 I can go online and in four hours, get a list of the calls you made last month.

Use Skype to call your significant other vacationing in France and tell them about your co-worker who “went nuclear” when they changed his lunch hour and when the NSA knocked on your door.

Go after those who use or sell your info for nefarious purposes. Demand Congressional oversight of wiretaps and laws protecting your information from being used against you, and penalties for those fools who loaded your credit card numbers on the laptop they left at the airport.

Posted by fracas_futile on January 18, 2006 at 2:33 PM (CST)

17

My problem is with Apple sending info to a 3rd party (Omniture) for some unexplained reason.

Posted by Shane Hendricks on January 18, 2006 at 3:11 PM (CST)

18

If listen to Alternative Rock,Broadway,Vocalists,Children’s Music,Gospel,Classic,Rock,Classical,Country,Dance,DJ,Folk,Hard,Rock,Metal,Imports,Indie Music,Jazz,Latin,New Age,Opera,Vocal,Pop,R&B,Rap,Hip-Hop,movie Soundtracks and X-mas music. Should i be scared?

Posted by bond2kill on January 18, 2006 at 3:21 PM (CST)

19

Second, this information is being processed by another company, Omniture, which is a marketing company, and no one knows what they do with it. - from an article called ‘The iTunes MiniStore Debacle: What Apple Did Wrong’ by Kirk McElhearn

(http://www.mcelhearn.com/article.php?story=20060112110630773) link courtesy of BJ Nemeth (thanks for the illuminating story)

I’m with Shane Hendricks and McElhearn on this one; why should a third-party company have access to ANY of this information? 

Apple may not keep this data, but who says they need to if Omniture does it for them?  I’m not saying that Omniture does keep that data, but they ARE a marketing company, so who outside of Apple and Omniture really knows? None of this was ever spelled out in the 6.0.2 EULA. And certainly no one agreed to any sort of EULA with Omniture, as far as I can see.

So as I said in the last go-around, you can have no problem with this. Or you can claim spyware/adware.  Your choice, based upon how blindly you’re willing to let things go.

BTW, what does ‘Hide MiniStore’ really mean?  A curious choice of wording if it’s supposed to mean ‘disable’ MiniStore.

Posted by flatline response on January 18, 2006 at 3:49 PM (CST)

20

Oh my God, they know what music I listen to! It’s the end of the world as we know it!

Seriously people, get over it. So what if they find out you have a guilty pleasure for Hilary Duff, it’s not like they’re going to tell everyone you know or broadcast it on TV.

Posted by Rene on January 18, 2006 at 4:11 PM (CST)

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