iTunes Store becomes gripe central for iPod discontents | iLounge News

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iTunes Store becomes gripe central for iPod discontents

Want to buy a video or game for your iPod from the iTunes Store? Apple’s the only distributor, but if you visit its popular online shop these days, one of the first things you’ll see is the equivalent of picket lines: numerous complaints from users regarding software compatibility and Store business practices, stacking up as negative ratings for various downloadable items. On other downloads, you’ll see ad hoc debate societies, with comments on the new iTunes offerings attracting more user attention than the downloads themselves.

imageAmongst the video gripes: numerous comments in the Store’s South Park Season 10 section angrily note that after paying in advance for the latest season of the popular Comedy Central cartoon, users then discovered that the Store had split the episodes into “Season 10A” and “Season 10B,” forcing subscribers to pay more to receive the second half of the season. “i am yet another person screwed out of the full season 10 that i bought months ago,” wrote one commenter to Season 10B, “now there are two season tens? i tunes conveniently left that out when they first offered the season pass. scammers.” Hundreds of users are registering opinions - “helpful” or “not helpful” - on the South Park comments, some disagreeing with characterizations of the season-splitting as “deceptive,” and others claiming that they have written to Apple to complain without receiving satisfactory responses. Additional details can be found by clicking on the link below.

Video quality also continues to be an issue for some users, despite recent Apple promises of near-DVD quality iTunes Store downloads. In the “most helpful” review for the Adam Sandler movie The Waterboy, a user named “Media_Frenzy” writes that the “movie quality is bad… Some scenes are extremely distorted from - I’m guessing - over compression. ... I borrowed the Waterboy DVD from a friend who bought it at Walmart for $9.99. It’s sharp and clean. This can AND will effect my decision to make any more movie purchases via iTunes.” Other users added similar complaints, noting that voice synchronization and picture quality were off in their downloads.

Similarly, users are actively complaining about pricing and performance of iPod Games, with the most common complaints focused on users’ inability to play the new games on iPod nanos, in iTunes, or on older iPods. “i disagree with itunes on making this only [for] the ipod video,” said “crazyrocker” about Pac-Man, suggesting that it should be on the iPod nano as well, and that if other users agreed, they should ” ‘click yes this was helpful’ so itunes can [see] how many of us disagree with this.” Of the 5958 users who clicked, 5225 found it helpful; other comments in the games section routinely complain about high game price and refund problems, amongst other issues.

Not all of the comments are negative. In addition to numerous posts praising the content of some of the games, TV shows, and movies, users in the Store’s Movies section are debating the merits of paid video downloads versus DVD ripping, and coming to different conclusions. In the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl reviews, a user named Pondo poses the question “Download or DVD?,” discussing the merits of full-featured DVD purchases versus simpler iTunes movie downloads, while another user, “Armageddon Man,” challenges the store to improve its offerings to compete with the movie’s Special Edition DVD, which costs only “a few bucks more.”

Have you had issues with game, TV show, or movie downloads from the iTunes Store? Or found them to be fantastic? Positive or negative, leave your comments in the section below - we’d like to hear your thoughts.

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Comments

1

I bought a season pass to Battlestar Galactica season 3 and episode one looked horrible. the subsequent episodes look great, but the first smelled of upconverting from lower res video. I sent a mail to Apple and they gave me a few free video credits but said nothing about ever fixing the quality of that episode. now, two weeks later, I’ve re-checked that episode and it looks great. So, good Apple for fixing the quality but you could have notified me.

Posted by Don Shank on October 29, 2006 at 11:07 PM (PDT)

2

i’m guessing if they had an import dvd feature the studios would go crazy with the instant pirating aspect.  oh well, i would *never* by a movie on itunes.  i might by a dvd and then d/l the movie for my ipod, but i doubt it.

Posted by Jeff on October 29, 2006 at 11:33 PM (PDT)

3

Let’s face it, you are paying for convenience. If you do not know how to rip a DVD then you can buy the download, which is still kind of priced high.

Posted by godzilla26 on October 29, 2006 at 11:42 PM (PDT)

4

Whoever is responsible for the South Park thing is definitely in the wrong. I don’t care how you spin it, if you get a season pass you should get a season. The mere fact that they labeled both parts as “10” shows that it’s really one season. I hope Apple gives free credits to all those people or something.

As far as negative comments, I’ve gone iTunes on occasion to download music only to discover that for some unexplained reason iTunes no longer had it available. I’ve usually been able to get it from some other online music store, like Connect, but it’s still a hassle. I’ve also seen albums have their “iTunes exclusive” content removed, which pretty much screws anyone that wanted it. Personally I don’t think iTunes should offer preorder exclusive tracks until the improve the preorder situation, I don’t have iTunes 7 yet, so I don’t know if it’s any different then mine, but on mine they only list like 5 preorders of the week on the side of the page. Took me quite a while to find it actually. I don’t know if there are only five preorders actually available, but after much looking that’s all I’ve been able to find.

Posted by rainking187 on October 29, 2006 at 11:52 PM (PDT)

5

Until we get lossless audio, I and many more I know will continue to boycott the store. If you pay the same (or more often that not - MORE) for an iTunes copy of an album, you do expect the music to be of the same quality as a CD. At least with film downloads, it’s often cheaper than the DVD, so users will expect a degraded quality - but music ???

Why do we always seem to have to tolerate a step backwards in quality to achieve convenience. Are we progressing or just getting less fussy and used to accepting second best ?

Posted by Julian Bashford on October 30, 2006 at 12:29 AM (PDT)

6

^^^ I second that! wink

Posted by Mainyehc in Lisbon, Portugal on October 30, 2006 at 2:57 AM (PDT)

7

While the South Park comments are correct, I find it ridiculous that people are complaining about the games not being nano-compatible. It clearly says so on the games’ pages; why not complain that they’re not compatible with 1G iPods as well?

Sure, they may want to play games on their nanos, and they may want to complain, but I find adding them to “reviews” is just clueless.

BTW, how could the games run on nanos? They require the iPod videos’ screen resolution…

Posted by Kirk McElhearn on October 30, 2006 at 2:59 AM (PDT)

8

Iv’e had so many problems with itunes recently. Itunes recent “1st birthday gift” promotion in the Australian itunes music store proved to me just how defective the itunes music store is. The promotion had six birthday gifts, five songs and a free audio book. i found that other users weren’t so impressed with the so called “free” audio book. out of 38 comments,27 users had a problem with downloading the audio book, or didn’t download it at all. Also I think that the prices of songs on the Australian itunes store are way too high. AU$1.69 for an individual song, i think is a rip off. Aswell the price of games for the ipod video is extremely high at AU$7.49 each, which put me off buying a game. I really think that itunes should listen to their customers, after all we are the ones that should be right.

Posted by _MAKKA_ on October 30, 2006 at 4:11 AM (PDT)

9

I tried buying a movie right when itunes 7 first came out…it would download about half way through and then freeze…so i would reboot and restart the download…it frooze again same spot!!!!!!! and again@@

Posted by Eric Lewis on October 30, 2006 at 5:09 AM (PDT)

10

I think this is what will be the iPod’s downfall, far more than the Zune will ever be.  Apple started with a great device that set the standard for the DAP market, and now it seems as if they’re just tacking on extra features at random. 

The thing is, the ipod isn’t really made for playing games or watching movies.  The screen is too small and the controls aren’t right.  These complaints have prettymuch cemented my decision to not buy a 5g iPod.

Posted by Chibithulhu on October 30, 2006 at 5:43 AM (PDT)

11

hmm my question right now is.. did the people that complained about the south park thing, did so in the right place instead of the customer reviews?

Posted by zerock on October 30, 2006 at 5:55 AM (PDT)

12

i bought the new k-os cd from the music store and it came with the first video single from the album. the video was horrible! the picture was all distorted and the only reason the album was 11.99 instead of 9.99 was because of that stupid video. i felt ripped off big time.

Posted by aaron on October 30, 2006 at 6:00 AM (PDT)

13

While I understand some of the frustration, real South Park fans should know that the recent seasons have been split into two parts and based on the price you were charged you should have known you weren’t getting both parts. And to be fair, I doubt this is an Apple issue. I’m sure they didn’t know about the split seasons and are just posting what they are given by Comedy Central.

Posted by J3 on October 30, 2006 at 6:22 AM (PDT)

14

All I have to say is Apollo DVD to iPod. I have all my movies in a near perfect 640x320. Just awaiting an iPod with a bigger screen, or some other PMP device.

Posted by Creibold on October 30, 2006 at 6:23 AM (PDT)

15

“And to be fair, I doubt this is an Apple issue. I’m sure they didn’t know about the split seasons and are just posting what they are given by Comedy Central.”

Even still, you don’t change the terms of the contract unless you genuinely *know* you’ll lose more money by honoring the original agreement than you’ll lose by pissing off your customers. I spent a number of years in retail and approved many a loss for the store in the short term that yielded us better customer relations in the long term.

By doing what Apple has done they’ve all but guaranteed that every single one of their current season pass buyers will never buy another pass again.

Apple should have honored all current season pass holders for the whole season and, if it was CC’s fault, asked them to pony up something voluntarily. But regardless of compensation, they should have just ate the “loss” instead of slapping the baby of show downloads.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 30, 2006 at 7:09 AM (PDT)

16

Yes, I had a problem. I bought a season pass to season two of Lost. The second to last episode just wouldn’t download. I was never able to get it to download. But there’s no easy way (that I could find) to contact Apple for some sort of compensation. This is poorly conceived and needs to be addressed, because surely (and looking at the comments above, obviously) I’m not the only customer who had problems.

Posted by urbanslaughter on October 30, 2006 at 7:49 AM (PDT)

17

As “urbanslaughter” has noted above, the reason people are using the rating system to vent is obvious.  Apple has not established any visible customer service location, so people are using one of the only means they know of to get Apple’s attention.

Now Apple may in fact have some type of customer service set up somewhere, but I have not seen it and obviously most other have not seen it or know about it.

People are trying to flag Apple’s attention. Lacking an appropriate means people will use whatever is available to them.  And I would further suggest that you are seeing more frustration than needs be simply because people feel like they have to resort to using the ratings system in any hopes of catching Apple’s attention.

The problem of available consumer feedback is solely Apple’s.

Posted by Obadiah on October 30, 2006 at 8:44 AM (PDT)

18

urbanslaughter —If you ever have a problem with an downloading an episode go to your purchase history and there is a button at the bottom that says report a problem.  Click that then click the episode you have a problem with and you should be set. They usually respond in 48 hours.

Posted by Ruben on October 30, 2006 at 8:51 AM (PDT)

19

Obadiah — I think you are correct, the problem is that there no way of asking apple a pre-sales question.  If you were in a store you could easily ask an employee a pre-sales question, but not iTunes you have to buy it first before you can complain about video quality etc.

Posted by Ruben on October 30, 2006 at 8:54 AM (PDT)

20

urbanslaughter - You can contact iTS customer service through iTunes help. There is a link you can click on to submit details of your problem.  Click on the iTunes service & support link or just use this link: http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/store/lostmusic/
I used it when I have a problem with a download freezing and CS corrected the problem and the show completed downloading.

My biggest complaint with iTunes is downloading.  It always freezes and I get constant error messages repeatedly.  I now have to babysit iTunes while it’s downloading.

Posted by honeybee1236 on October 30, 2006 at 8:55 AM (PDT)

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