Monday, February 29, 2016

The iTunes Store’s Border Control

Jordan Merrick:

Once I left the UK and became a permanent resident of these United States, I needed to change my iTunes account’s country so I could begin making purchases on the US store. Apple’s support article on how to complete this process makes it appear pretty straightforward, yet there are some consequences which are only briefly mentioned[…] I’ve been purchasing music, videos and apps from the iTunes and App Stores since the iTunes Store first launched in the UK back in 2004, so these seem to be pretty major consequences.


Unfortunately, this creates a paradoxical situation if I want to purchase content in the future. I now live in the US, so my payment method and billing address would only work with the US store, yet I need to remain as a UK store customer because I cannot cancel iTunes Match, effectively meaning I’ll no longer be able to purchase any iTunes or App Store content until the end of the year since I no longer have a UK billing address and payment method.


One unavoidable step in the country change is that both iTunes Match and Apple Music subscriptions had to be cancelled. This means any matched or uploaded music, as well as any music I’d saved through Apple Music (such as playlists and albums) was lost.


Now that I my purchase history starts anew, all the movies and TV shows that I’d purchased can no longer be streamed or downloaded from any of my devices.

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Some of the reasons I stopped buying media from the iTunes Store a long time ago:

- Old albums/singles are cheaper everywhere else. I usually can get 2 albums in a supermarket for the price of 1 album on the iTunes Store. Sometimes it's 4 for the price of 1.
- Zones for movies can be worked around for DVDs or Blurays (either with a special code or by purchasing a device - DVD Readers are super cheap).
- You always have a physical backup.
- You're not annoyed by FairPlay because for instance you have outreached the number of authorized computer.
- You can lend a movie to a friend.

The only interest I see for the iTunes Store is when you want to get a new album release.

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