Thursday, March 17, 2005

Apple reduces iTunes functionality

Apple used to brag that you could share the music you bought via iTunes with other computers on your local network, and the software was written so you could have up to five computers playing your music at any one time. Now, however, BoingBoing has posted that Apple appears to have changed the software so that iTunes only allows a total of five network users to play an individual song in a single day.

Thus, even if you bought your songs through iTunes before they made this change, expecting to be able to play your songs on an unlimited number of computers over a local net connection as long as no more than 5 computers were connecting at once, you're now prevented from doing so. This iTunes license change would be like a car manufacturer suddenly calling their customers and telling them that their cars will now only drive 100 miles a day, even though the customers bought their cars expecting to be able to drive them an unlimited number of miles in a day.

According to BoingBoing, this isn't the first time this has happened:
"Apple has done this downgrading several times before, taking away rights you paid for, like the right to burn a playlist 10 times (down to seven), the right to stream over the Internet (now just the right to stream over the LAN) -- and Apple's also used its ability to remotely disable features on your iPod and in iTunes to shut out competitors' products, like the Real music player and iPod Download, both of which offered legal functionality to Apple's customers."

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