Thursday, November 09, 2006

No, I have not dropped off the face of the planet. Nor have I sunk into a postelection depression. But I have been mired in an iTunes dilemma: A few months ago, I finally left America Online. But while I had an AOL account, I purchased 77 songs from the iTunes store. Now that I no longer have this account, those 77 songs have been "deauthorized." They cannot be played on my computer or on my iPod. If I click on the track, a message tells me as much and says I need to enter the password for my AOL account. Which I no longer have. So I enter the old password and, big surprise, it is treated as invalid. Please don't tell me I have to repurchase those songs? (Okay, so maybe I won't get Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay" this time around.)

Just consider the above a public service in the event you are about to switch accounts. And if anyone knows a way out of this mess, let me know.

15 comments:

Jerry Brito said...

From http://www.apple.com/uk/support/itunes/musicstore/email/

My AOL account has expired. How to I update my account information in iTunes?
To convert your AOL iTunes account to regular iTunes account, attempt to log in to the iTunes Store three times with your AOL screen name and password. After the third attempt, you'll be prompted to convert your account.

Victorino Matus said...

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for your comment. I've already converted over to an Apple account using this process and still I can't access these 77 songs. But thanks for trying.

el blogero said...

Jusr reactivate your old AOL screename as a free AOL account.

Victorino Matus said...

El Blogero,

Mucho problemo! I am still "activated" in the sense that I can still use AOL's "AIM" email service for free using my old screen name and password. (And here I will give props to Apple as well. Their support guys are quick to respond to my situation even though they say to expect a response between 24-48 hours. But even they haven't figured this one out yet.) This may be an AOL problem. If so, there might be no solution.

Anonymous said...

Ditch purchasing music electronically. It's horseshit. Not only do you run into problems like this--which is a racket in that you did buy the stuff, so there's no reason it should disappear from your custody. But there's the greater problem of it's a crappy medium. Not only is the fidelity shit if you're a discerning listener, but you lose too much artistic aesthetic this way. The artists put out records for a reason: To be listened to. A thoughtful record's like a book. I trust you're not buying K-Fed music. In that case, sure, go for the hits. Ah, fuckit, you're listening to crap like Coldplay anyway.

Get a record player. Failing that, try buying the actual CD from the band, so they can get more of your money, so you can listen to it without it vanishing, so you can have the effect of openning a new record, etc., and then you can load it on your iPod.

Also, you lose 99% cred for using AOL at this point. They're shit sucks. Duh.

Victorino Matus said...

I've always hated the "synching" aspect, which leads to songs being erased on the iPod if it is no longer available on the computer (or for some reason "deauthorized"), and how the iPod is beholden to that computer. Just ruthless.

Now to address your other points: Since I wasn't personally paying for AOL, I kept it. Just a matter of convenience I guess. And now a pain. Also, the vast majority of my music online comes from CDs I own.

And finally, I only have FOUR Coldplay songs!

Jerry Brito said...

Victorino, I would call Apple customer service and see what they say. You can't be the first person this has happened to. I would really appreciate it if you would post here how you finally resolve this. This is very interesting to me from a DRM perspective. Cheers, JB

Chris said...

Ouch! James Hetfield--I mean Anonymous, has some real issues!

Anonymous said...

Jeebus, Vic, you're a writer fercrissakes. Tell'em if they don't get this fixed asaFp, it's going to be your next "Casual" and they ain't gonna look too good.

What's the point of having this power if you're not going to use it?

Anonymous said...

Beware the Casual. FX

arrScott said...

There's no need to get caught up in the "blame game" looking backward. Americans expect their leaders to look ahead and find solutions to tomorrow's challenges. There will be time to assign blame for past mistakes, but now is the time to look forward.

The forward-looking solution is to always make backups of your online-purchased music. You can use a product like Audio Hijack Pro to do this on your computer, or you could just make audio CDs of your music for reimporting (as non-rights controlled mp3s!) if your files ever go poof.

Victorino Matus said...

In case anyone is still checking this post for updates, Apple's advice to me was to log in as if I were still with AOL and after three times (as Jerry Brito first noted) I will be prompted to set up a new account. This happened. And what I did was input my current Apple ID, password, and credit card number. As expected, iTunes then tells me I cannot use this as it is being used already. BY ME! So do I have to now create a second account? Stay tuned.

Victorino Matus said...

Funny, I think the folks at Apple read part of the message and, assuming they are inundated, simply copy and paste instructions without realizing what they are saying. As in, Dear vmatus, you entered the wrong Apple ID when you entered "vmatus" for your account. Unfortunately "vmatus" is already being used by someone.

Um, yeah, that would be me.

Victorino Matus said...

Okay, so maybe everyone has moved on (except you, Jerry!). I seriously cannot believe this thing has been resolved, but it has. The last resort, as it turns out, is for Apple to reset and reauthorize your account for you. All I did was give them permission and confirm my billing address and they took care of the rest. They gave me a new username and password, which I can change, as well. And it couldn't have come sooner. I've been dying to listen to Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay"!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this--the same thing just happened to me (today), and this has given me hope. It must be because of iTunes 7. Question--did they let you keep your apple ID, or did they basically just have you create a new account entirely (and merged your AOL and Apple ID purchased songs into that)? Thanks again!