Apple iTunes: $canReg = ($haveCreditCard) ? "Welcome to iTunes!" : "Go away!";

closeThis post was published 12 years 7 months 4 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

I’m not done complaining about Apple yet. I just downloaded iTunes so I could play my music files and have them show up in Google Talk without updating Windows Media Player to version 11. So I have to convert them to MP3, big deal. They’re three times the size, but I can just back up the original WMAs and re-convert them if I lose the MP3s.

Anyway, that’s not really what I’m complaining about; it’s a minor annoyance that iTunes can read WMA files but won’t play them or add them to your library without converting them to AAC or MP3. What makes me mad is the fact that, in order to get album art for your forcibly-converted audio files, you have to create an iTunes Store account. To create an account, you must (not “are requested to,” and it’s not “a suggestion;” it’s a requirement) give them your credit card information. Never mind the fact that you can cheat on the name and address info; providing your card means you have to give them correct other information, or the card won’t validate.

Since all I want to do is get album art, why do I have to give them a card number? Why do I even have to create an account? I don’t have an iPod or an iPhone, don’t intend to get one, and simply want to see album covers when I play my newly-converted music in Apple’s surprisingly beautiful player. I suppose I could go buy a small gift card (costs money) or ask my mom to enter her card info (since I don’t even have one), but both are inconveniences. You can remove the number post-registration, according to various forums around the Internet, but it’s putting it in up front that bugs me. Why not let users register without info and then prompt them for a card if and when they decide to buy something? That would certainly make more sense to me…

Apologies for the bad programming reference in the title. I know it’s not valid PHP, but I thought I’d make a point.

Update (2008-05-13): I don’t know why I said the title contains invalid PHP. Everything after the first colon (that is, from $canReg onward) would be a valid line of script. I must not have been thinking straight last fall…


I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting)

Comments are subject to moderation, and are licensed for display in perpetuity once posted. Learn more.