New iPod owners, gift cards overwhelm iTunes Store | iLounge News


New iPod owners, gift cards overwhelm iTunes Store

A huge increase in new iPod owners and iTunes gift card holders overwhelmed Apple’s iTunes Store over the holiday, prompting error messages and slowdowns. The AP reports: “Frazzled users began posting urgent help messages Monday and Tuesday on Apple’s technical forum for iTunes, complaining they were either not allowed into the store or were told the system couldn’t process their request to download songs and videos. It was not immediately clear how many people were affected by the slowdowns, and Apple would not immediately comment Wednesday on what caused the slowdown and whether it had been fixed.” Analysts said the problems were likely due to the large amount of consumers receiving new iPods and iTunes gift cards as Christmas gifts.

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Count me as one who didn’t get to purchase as much as I wanted. I should have learned, this happens every Christmas.

Posted by Sharon on December 28, 2006 at 11:26 AM (CST)


I gave a shuffle to my wife and one to my daughter for Christmas.  I also had difficultly accessing iTunes.  By the end of the day on Christmas I was able to set up my daughter’s iTunes account, redeem a gift card and download 4 songs.  I didn’t get my wife set up until the following day. This was very frustrating for me and disapointing for my family.  I’m a PC guy thinking of moving to Apple but I could just imagine that the reason iTunes was have a problem was because they are running Apple in their data center.  I think I will stick with PC!

Posted by tim on December 28, 2006 at 1:05 PM (CST)


Dear Tim,
the reason that apple was so slow was becuase there were about 300,000 people trying to do the same thing at the same time. If you did that on any server system, it would slow it down. On most servers, having 300,000 visits would crash them.

Posted by anti-luddite on December 28, 2006 at 1:16 PM (CST)


Ever try to buy tickets on ticketmaster for a really popular band?? same thing happens. and I’m sure they don’t run on apple servers.

Posted by EM on December 28, 2006 at 1:25 PM (CST)


Fresh convert to mac no going back to pc.

Posted by steven on December 28, 2006 at 4:06 PM (CST)


Folks: it does not strike me as rocket science to have your server tell users when it is too busy to handle their request. Apple did not do this, which leads to the inference that insufficient server space/bandwidth not the issue; if it were, wouldn’t they have said so? Doesn’t ticketmaster?

Apple remained silent through yesterday. I’m still not aware of any official statement. In my book, there is virtually no excuse for the events of 12/25/06. If they can’t handle the traffic, they shouldn’t do the business. It’s either poor planning (we couldn’t have anticipated this) or arrogance (we anticipated it but didn’t do anything to fix it).

If it wasn’t a traffic problem, what was it? And yes, I do have a right to know, they took my money (or the money of those who gave me Apple (tm) gifts) and locked me into using their proprietary system, then their proprietary system turned out to be CRAP.

Maybe MSFT has secretly taken over at AAPL?

Posted by Name withheld for fear of reprisals or spam on December 28, 2006 at 4:21 PM (CST)


Oh my goodness guys, it slowed down and most likely because of increased traffic post-Christmas.  Official statement or not, it’s a pretty logical assumption and far from the end of the world.  I had to set up iTunes accounts for both my sister and my nephew and therefore experienced similar slowdowns with accounts and card redemptions but at the end of the day, all was done and working.  I’m a new Mac switcher myself.  As if I’d run back to PC because of this?  No system is perfect, period.  Sheeshh.

Posted by canadan on December 28, 2006 at 5:24 PM (CST)


Gosh,  ever tried to call after a disaster happen? a flood, a hurricane and everyone is calling or is trying to call you.  They are going to get “all circuits busy”

Posted by gbendana on December 28, 2006 at 6:12 PM (CST)


I’m sure Microsoft would absolutely love to have this exact same problem at, but they can keep dreaming I guess…

Posted by lancetx on December 28, 2006 at 7:01 PM (CST)


Its SUPER obvious that any of you bitching about this have no understanding how servers or networks really work under real-world conditions/issues!  Also you might want to give a little credit for likely the dozens or hundreds of Apple data center/iTunes staff members who were likely actually monitoring, troubleshooting and working on any bottlenecks as quickly as they could while the rest of you were home with your families!  You are the same people who bitch when power goes out in the middle of a hurricane or ice storm, not thinking about the people who are actually out there, away from their families and in these cases risking their lives.

It would not have mattered if Apple sent you a message that said “Sorry, the servers are under heavy load at the moment, please try back again later” as you would still be bitching that they “sent you away” when you were trying it save lives by installing music on your iPod.  I *HOPE* the spirit of Xmas and family events were really more important than gathering around disappointed that you could not download music/movies from iTunes, grab a CD or two and rip them into iTunes and load them up for the day so you could play with your new music player!  Damn… great to see where the holiday spirit has gone… bitching on message forums because Apple killed your Xmas fun… <ha>

Posted by Netgeek on January 1, 2007 at 12:39 PM (CST)


Here’s the bottom line.  Consumers who purchase iPods shouldn’t have to know how networks and servers operate.  They spent their money (read – hundreds of dollars) on a product and have every reasonable expectation that it should work all the time, not part of the time (i.e., on non-holidays).  Apple has a lot of very smart, very well paid people who should have easily been able to figure this out and anticipate the elevated volume of traffic – that’s what their paid to do.  I’ll bet you there have all ready been meetings about the lost revenue from folks who couldn’t purchase songs and we’re turned off by the whole experience, and subsequently went to return their “defective” iPods.  You won’t hear reports about that though.

Posted by cchoj on January 1, 2007 at 1:25 PM (CST)


Yes, and every day people pay $50-$100+/month for cable tv, sat tv, DSL and cable modems and how many of you get personalized messages (or any messages) when these services frequently don’t work or are not working at ideal levels?  Shouldn’t they just work? All the time, I mean you pay for it, and they should be able to 100% predict demand, issues, weather, outages of any type, I mean they must have smart people working for them, and you should not need to understand how cable/sat tv, DSL or cable modems work right?  As cars should just “work” without understanding how they work…  It was a part of a single day, it was not days or weeks of issues, it was hours, on a holiday, does no one thing that maybe visitors/traffic were way beyond what were projected/expected? 

Of course I still love that this was in fact a religious holiday, but I guess that gets lost in the teaching of tolerance and forgiveness in peoples lives today…

Posted by Netgeek on January 1, 2007 at 1:52 PM (CST)


Wow.  You are Corporate America’s perfect customer.  You buy the products and don’t expect much from them.  For the record, my Satellite service works very well, and when it doesn’t, I call and tell someone about it.  That’s how the process works.  You pay for a service, and someone delivers it, and it has nothing to do with “Christmas Spirit”.  Companies like Apple want this kind of feedback so they can improve their service.  You have every right to sit back with your broken products and services and not say anything about it.  By the same token, others have the right to tell someone about it, and why - because they paid for it.

Posted by cchoj on January 1, 2007 at 4:22 PM (CST)


Ummm yeah, but you are not giving Apple feedback, you are bitching about it on a 3rd party news story that will be buried in a few days.  Call Apple, by all means, did not say otherwise, but to basically bitch about it here seems to be doing little besides venting anger and no one has stated they actually called or wrote Apple in these comments, just that they “suffered”...

Posted by Netgeek on January 3, 2007 at 12:31 PM (CST)


netgeek, flame all you want but people come here to debate, discuss, and comment on the use and culture of the iPod and iTunes. Geeking out about the servers and pretending people don’t a reason to be p.o.‘ed misses the point.  iPod+iTunes is a product, even a toy if you will.  Christmas day Apple wasn’t prepared to have those toys work. It’s not something you sue over but it’s something that will make the Joe Schmo consumers gunshy about Apple products.

Posted by superape on January 3, 2007 at 8:16 PM (CST)


How do you get stated using your ipod gift cadr??????

Posted by Jeanne Carlton on December 15, 2007 at 10:35 PM (CST)

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