Users angry over data in iTunes Plus tracks | iLounge News

Users angry over data in iTunes Plus tracks

Personal data hidden inside DRM-free, iTunes Plus tracks being offered on the iTunes Store is causing anger amongst some users. Some customers are worried that the data could be used to identify them should the track turn up on file-sharing services, while other users are simply concerned about their online privacy. As mentioned in an earlier iLounge report, all tracks purchased from the iTunes Store, both Fairplay and iTunes Plus versions, are tagged with both the name and email address of the purchaser. Apple has yet to officially comment on the matter.

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The moral of this story: Don’t allow your music to be stolen online.


Posted by Gordy. on June 1, 2007 at 3:37 PM (CDT)


Exactly.  There is no legal behavior which would raise security issues with this policy and I think this is a brilliant way to protect files WITHOUT resorting to DRM.

It’s also a great way to encourage local file sharing—e.g. sharing between friends and family—while discouraging anonymous file sharing.

Posted by dasmb on June 1, 2007 at 3:40 PM (CDT)


I’m surprised people are getting their hackles in a ruff over this. There’s only been 2 changes in iTunes songs:
1) DRM has been removed from EMI tracks
2) DRM-free tracks are encoded at twice the encoding rate.

The customer’s email has always been in there.

The only reason I can see people getting in a fit is if they are tempted to upload their purchased songs to p2p networks.

Well, the obvious response to that is: don’t. It’s simply wrong.

Posted by Ted Wood on June 1, 2007 at 3:44 PM (CDT)


Oh No!

People will think twice before uploading their music to p2p networks since they are no longer anonymous.. that’s awful!

I can’t be any more sarcastic. What’s wrong with that apple is doing? You don’t have copy protection on your music use it however you want, except share it on p2p networks

What’s the lesson here?

Posted by Garry_s on June 1, 2007 at 4:09 PM (CDT)


I can easily live with this if it means no DRM and if anybody feels their privacy rights are being violated then don’t use the internet.

Posted by Steven Bates on June 1, 2007 at 4:13 PM (CDT)


Useless measure…if someone wants to share it, they’ll just strip the tags anyway. Or change them.

Anyway, I only download my music in 320kbit mp3 or a lossless format…what would I do with 256Kbit music anyway?

Posted by Tom on June 1, 2007 at 4:51 PM (CDT)


If people are really concerned, they can choose to use a pseudonym when creating an itunes account. Problem solved.

Posted by consumer_q on June 1, 2007 at 5:37 PM (CDT)


The only way the data “could be used to identify them should the track turn up on file-sharing services” is if you put it there…

Posted by Eric on June 1, 2007 at 6:02 PM (CDT)


Still would have been nice for them to tell us about it before some tech sleuth website discovered it. Lets just say, if this was microsoft…

Posted by Seth on June 1, 2007 at 6:46 PM (CDT)


To be fair, considering that this is a transition from the “old way” of doing things, where the tracks had DRM and had your personal information embedded, I’m not entirely sure why anybody was expecting the results to be any different.

Just because Apple removed the DRM doesn’t mean they have any obligation to remove the purchasing account’s identifying information, and I suspect if you read the fine print in the license agreement that you agree to when you sign up for iTunes Plus, it probably *is* buried in there somewhere.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on June 1, 2007 at 7:24 PM (CDT)


“Anyway, I only download my music in 320kbit mp3 or a lossless format…what would I do with 256Kbit music anyway?”

You DO know that 256kb AAC files are equivalent to 320kb mp3 files, right?


Posted by ahMEmon on June 2, 2007 at 12:08 PM (CDT)


“I suspect if you read the fine print in the license agreement that you agree to when you sign up for iTunes Plus, it probably *is* buried in there somewhere.”

Gotta love the mile long EULA. That thing is longer than “War and Peace”.

Posted by Seth on June 2, 2007 at 1:14 PM (CDT)


I support what Apple is doing here.  I don’t want DRM because of the restrictions.  I don’t plan to put it up online anywhere, and this gives me what I want, and still gives the artists at least some protection (with the traceability).

Posted by Bill on June 2, 2007 at 5:16 PM (CDT)


I really don’t think this is going to help people track down music pirates.  Think of it this way: The original purchaser puts the iTunes Plus song on a p2p network, 10 people download it, and then those 10 people also go and reshare it.  It still has the name of the original distributer on it even if it was distributed on the p2p network by someone else.  So therefore, the government really can’t rely on the tag, because chances are its not the real distributer’s name.  It would be the original distributer’s name, and of course what if the original distributer lied about their name when they purchased it?  There also are many people with the same name as you; google yourself.  I found over 10 pages of articles about people that were not me!  Even when I included my middle name!  The bottom line: the government can’t do much with the name of the person unless they have the unique mac address of the computer sharing the files which they could use to look up the computer owner with complete details.  There are 7 billion people in the world (and the projection is 9 billion in a few years).  What’s the chance that they’re going to find the Paris Hilton that pirates music vs the one with her license suspended?  Catch my drift?

Posted by Patrick on June 2, 2007 at 6:31 PM (CDT)


Patrick, what you’re forgetting is the fact that, even if you use a fake name, your account is still linked to the credit card, debit cart, etc. that you use to purchase the tracks.  You can be tracked down.

Posted by MellowTone41 on June 2, 2007 at 9:45 PM (CDT)


1. Your data is in the file you got off the iTunes store.
2. You leave “someone” on your computer who uploads your files to a p2p network “with out you knowing”
3. Still your problem, don’t let “someone” who you know will do this near your computer.

Posted by Jesse on June 2, 2007 at 10:48 PM (CDT)


What these “angry” people don’t seem to realise is that “DRM-Free” doesn’t mean “licence to pirate”.  DRM was put in songs to prevent piracy but unfortunately it also restricted what genuinly honest things that could be done with the music.

What they have done now is simply a new way to deter the pirates while still grant freedom to do what legal things people want to do with teh music tehy paid for.

Posted by Alex Campbell on June 3, 2007 at 1:00 AM (CDT)


who are these angry iTunes users?  everyone seems to not mind the songs having their name tagged.

Posted by jared on June 4, 2007 at 12:53 AM (CDT)


I’m mos def hacked off.  I paid to “upgrade”  7 songs and then found out my name and email address were stuck in the metadata.  I hope that the holier-than-thou Macheads get a computer or iPod stolen real soon and find out how much fun that’ll make things.  Since the DRM songs were almost impossible to play by anyone they were worthless whether they were swiped, left on a work computer, or were put on CD-R you gave somebody.  Now we’ve been given a responsibility to keep track of these things?  Thanks for reminding why CDs are still the way to go, Mr. Jobs.

Posted by roastfish on June 4, 2007 at 1:14 AM (CDT)


This is dumb. I do not know if the e-mail was always there, but who cares? right only those p2p people.

It’s like when you buy a house, you want a house with protecting where no one can enter your yard but you. So you buy a house with a fence. DRM helps to protect your belonging the same way.

Then you complain that it looks ugly and it’s hard for you to get around it so you want it remove.

Now that it is remove, anyone can walk on your yard and peak at your house. You no longer have that layer of protecting so you most you the guarding yourself.

Yet you complain again that you have to do the work of keeping track of things.

You said it, it’s call responsibility, and for you NON-Macheads, looks like you don’t want any or worst, you do not have any resposibility.

No wonder the world is not going foward at the pace it could have. People like you still think of stone age CD.

Everything is about Trial and Error, Product Innovation, Improvement, walking forward connecting the points by looking back, not staying staying confortable, but “Hungry and Follish” taking chances.

We would have never walk the moon with you think the earth is just fine, less responsibility.

Wait and See what the rest of the DRM track providers do to go DRM-free and then judge

Posted by Area 51 on June 4, 2007 at 10:31 AM (CDT)

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