Air guitar a bit tricky with iTunes

Here’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d hear myself say…”there’s nothing worse than playing an air guitar when someone turns off the power”.

And yet, it happened, in a manner of speaking. As many Apple aficionados surfing the community forums will know, Apple is presently having a weird little problem with iTunes, the Apple music shop and player. The problem is that some (only some) songs purchased and downloaded from the iTunes store will cut off before the end of the song – hence my air guitar moment. I should also ‘fess up and say that there was not only air guitar but also some rather loud singing as well, which came to an abrupt halt as my computer lurched to the next song in the playlist without getting to the end of the current one.


This isn’t going to be a whine about Apple – I’ve been a fan and consumer for many, many years – all the way back to the dark ages of the good old SE/30 model. (Dark Ages because it didn’t have a colour screen). I was the envy of certain pals who happened to be in the fledgling IT world when I bought it – it had 8 megs of RAM!! This could be extended to 128, which I did…heady times. It was a good friend, and when it finally got upgraded my brother kept it as a retro planter box. (No, he didn’t grow apples in it).

I upgraded the SE to the round, colourful, sexy Bondi Blue iMac (with colour screen, this time). Too gorgeous for worlds, and again, it was so iconic I couldn’t bear to part with it when its time came, so I carefully pulled it apart, removed the inner bits and put the shell back together again, turning it into a lamp/lighting installation. It was also incredibly heavy with all its bits intact, to the point where I could barely lift it, so it is much lighter now as a lamp, and there are less hernias resulting.

I won’t take you through my whole Apple upgrade journey, but having to deal with this aberrant iTunes issue, has made me think about my Apple relationship. It is the only product loyalty relationship I have, apart from the ongoing pleasure I enjoy with my brilliant Nikon cameras – the 35 year old F2 SLR I bought last year, and the 1 year old DSLR. I’m sure I have product loyalty in other areas, such as toothpaste or toilet paper, however although essential, these items don’t inspire any passion (unless I’ve run out of one or both of them, then a certain amount of shouting might be heard).

So although I am ticked off about some songs coming up short, I will give Apple a bit of time to sort it out, as they generally do come up with a fix. I’ve also been in touch with their Service support centre, who have emailed iTunes directly for me, so I will report on the progress.

The other reason I’m not as bothered as I could be is because I’ve been a Clever Trousers and figured out my own work-around, which I’ll share with those who happen to be in the same situation….copy your music purchases from your older computer, which plays all the songs all the way through with an older version of iTunes. Take the problem songs off your new computer’s new iTunes, and copy them back on from the old one – plays right through.

What’s that? You haven’t got two computers and two versions of iTunes? Damn…you’ll be wanting Apple to sort it out quick-smart then.


as mentioned, the Apple Service Centre got in touch with iTunes support for me, and I got a very long and helpful email from iTunes support. They restored all my purchases to my purchase history in the iTunes store (don’t get me started on why it is country-specific; some of us do travel, Apple).

Anyway, I was able to re-download all the purchases that were still available (some are no longer available, I’m guessing that’s a licensing thing) and voila – they all had their ends on.

Unusually for Apple, the long email also included an acknowledgement that they were aware of the issue and trying to fix it. (It’s unusual, because they don’t often admit to having any problems). I thanked them for their help, and suggested that they might like to give those affected by the short song issue a redemption code for a few free downloads, as a gesture of goodwill, once they have it sorted. If you get free downloads from them in the future, remember…you heard it here first 🙂


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