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Chapter 4. The iTunes Music Store > Troubleshooting The Store

Troubleshooting The Store

The Store is a nicely conceived enterprise and works remarkably well, but like all things made by the human hand, it has its little quirks. Here are some minor difficulties you might run into.

“I can't purchase music from The Store with my old copy of iTunes!”

That's correct, you can't. When Apple brought iTunes 4.7 online, it drew a line in the sand so you could purchase music only with versions of iTunes later than iTunes 4.5. If you have a version of iTunes previous to iTunes 4.5, you must upgrade in order to purchase music from The Store.

“How do I get rid of The Store?”

Being the kind of person who balances his checkbook once every decade whether it needs it or not, I'm the last person to pass judgment on those who have difficulties managing their personal finances. If you're spending more money in The Store than has proved to be wise, you can remove a measure of temptation by following these steps:

Choose Preferences from the iTunes menu on your Mac or from the Edit menu on your Windows PC.

Click the Store button.

Uncheck the Show iTunes Music Store check box.

Click OK.

This method won't disable your ability to use The Store; it simply removes the Music Store item from the Source list. If you want to bar your access to The Store permanently, you might try defaulting on your credit-card payments for a couple of years.

“How do I keep others from using The Store?”

If you're tasked with keeping the company computers in line and find that employees are spending far too much time listening to 30-second previews of Massive Attack's latest electronic musings, configure the company firewall to block the phobos.apple.com Internet host.

“I purchased a song, but it didn't download! Do I have to buy the song again?”

No. If access to downloading has been blocked (either by a firewall or proxy that needs to be fixed or by a glitch on Apple's end), you should be able to download your purchased music after the trouble has cleared up. To do so, choose Check for Purchased Music from iTunes' Advanced menu. If there are songs that you've purchased but not downloaded, they should download when you invoke this command.

“My hard drive crashed and took all my purchased music with it! How do I replace it?”

If the purchased music resides only on your computer's hard drive, you buy it again. Regrettably, although Apple keeps track of the music you've purchased (as indicated by the fact that you can view your purchase history), the company has made no provisions for allowing you to download music again.

For this reason, I recommend that you back up your purchased music (to an audio or data CD, for example). Fortunately, because you're likely to be an iPod owner, you have a backup of your songs on your iPod. Just use the techniques I outline in Chapter 6 to recover purchased music from your iPod.

“I have a bone to pick with Apple over a purchase I made.”

For such bone-picking, you'll need to contact Music Store Customer Service. You can do this easily from within iTunes by choosing Music Store Customer Service from iTunes' Help menu. This command opens your default Web browser and takes you to the Music Store Customer Service page, where you can learn about different avenues for dealing with problems related to The Store.

Alternatively, you can visit www.apple.com/support/itunes/musicstore.html.

“When I try to play purchased music on my Mac, I get some weird error message!”

This can happen on a Mac when your computer's clock is set incorrectly. Usually, you'll see an alert that indicates a -9800, -9815, or -9814 error. To correct the problem, go into the Date & Time system preference, and set your Mac to the correct date and time.

“How can I politely suggest to Apple that The Store would benefit from offering the complete works of Frank Zappa?”

My ardent hope is that Mr. Zappa's oeuvre will be in The Store by the time you read this book, but if it isn't, launch iTunes, and select the Provide iTunes Feedback command located in the iTunes menu on a Mac and the Help menu on a Windows PC. Your browser will open and take you to the iTunes & Music Store Feedback page. On this page, choose Music Requests from the Feedback Type pop-up menu, and make your musical wishes known in the Comment field.

This page is useful for offering other kinds of feedback to Apple—sending a correction, making a suggestion, or submitting a bug report, for example.

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