Apple negotiating with music labels to let users download again without paying again

Apple negotiating with music labels to let users download again without paying again

Apple is reportedly in negotiations with major record labels to allow users to download music they've already purchased without having to pay again. This would be similar to how the App Store lets you re-download purchased apps as often as you like without additional charges -- as long as your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad is logged into the same iTunes account. Right now if you download the same song more than once you're charged again each and every time. Allowing unlimited downloads would also act as a backup of your entire catalogue of purchased music in case the original files are lost or damaged.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is in talks with record companies to give iTunes customers easier access to music they’ve purchased across multiple devices [...] The arrangement would give users more flexibility in how they access purchased music. A deal would provide iTunes customers with a permanent backup of music purchases

If all goes well during these negotiations the service should be going online sometime this summer, and sounds like some good use of that massive data center Apple has been working on.

Is this the type of iTunes cloud service we've all been waiting for or do you think Apple could be doing more? What about streaming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Apple negotiating with music labels to let users download again without paying again


Finally! I don't mind paying for my music, but if I lose data I don't want to have to repay to get all my music again. There should have been a cloud service for this a long time ago. But better late than never.

I'm not sure how to read this. Either it's an attempt to continue on with the current model and close one of the few remaining gaps or it's a signal that iTunes is ready to go to the cloud. If it's the former, that's not good given the the early adopters in the install base are looking for the latter to happen. If it's the latter then there is joy to be had by all early adopters. When's that iOS5 announcement?

Sounds about right to me. ITunes in the cloud will be more like a backup service, so you can download (not stream) your music to any device anywhere. With the exception of Apple TV, they want all your streaming to be local, from device to device, on wifi. With more and more people sucking the bandwidth out of 3G, and the carriers going to tiered plans and data caps, streaming will have to wait.

If this really happens then it would be really cool. Also if it does happen will u be able to get the ones you purchased long ago or will only work when u purchase ur next song?

I'd like to know the same thing. A few years ago I accidentally replaced a folder with one that contained about five or six fewer songs... so I lost them. I was so disappointed that I was required to buy them again, that I refused.

Sounds good aslong as this also applies to Apple's existing huge userbase and not new customers/recent purchases.

I'm not sure I get this.. I have redownloaded seeral songs that I've already purchases... I'm sure of it.

I just did the same thing last week. I bought a ccr album, jailbroke, system restore and redownloaded the same album for free.

This just makes sense. I already have to re-buy music I own on tapes or vinyl because the media has changed.

Well, technically, Apple could have allowed re-downloads, but they would have had to pay the music companies again each time, so they chose not to. It would have been no more ridiculous than the 30% subscription fee Apple is squeezing out of publications and retailers who do not use Apple infrastructure past the initial app download.

I'm confused here. I have several time re-downloaded music that I had purchased before without ever being charged twice. There was been times that I know I had purchased a song via iTunes but it wasn't on my iPhone so I just re-downloaded it for free. Now I haven't done this is over a year so maybe the policy changed but unless that happened, I don't know what they are talking about.

thank god i hate paying for songs twice after i already bought em once apple's starting to give the users what THEY want smart move smart move

@j746, check again your credit card bills. You must have paid for every re- download. It's not possible to redownload for free.

No, I can vouch for what he is saying. I have redownloaded full albums before without being charged twice.

I'm waiting for Apple to reveal themselves as a full on ISP. Meaning, I no longer sign up with Brighthouse for my home Internet connection, but go with Apple. At the incredible rate they are piling new billions on top of the billions and billions already in their coffers, with ever expanding profits from dominating mobile computing, they might actually be able to build their own nationwide network (based of course on some revolutionary new highly efficient technology) in the not-to-distant future.

At fiskydivee: what r u smoking?
Download music illegally ppl. That will make the change a lot faster.

This would be GREAT if it happens. I have been very scared about buying a new MBP and transferring my entire library of 12,000+ songs to the new laptop and if I lose purchased files would have to pay for albums all over again. Let's just hope that Apple and the music labels agree for our pocketbooks sake! :p

Who really buys songs from itunes? I hate the fact that they don't offer CD quality songs and you are stuck only with lossy mp3 files. Actually even Amazon and all other services are the same. If i'm paying for something, i want the best quality available. So for now, i'm still buying the CDs.