by Carlo Longino

iPod's Present Popularity Brings Down iTunes Music Store

from the i'm-giving-her-all-she's-got-got-captain dept

Several well-known retailers' web sites went down during the Thanksgiving weekend when they couldn't keep up with the traffic their promotions were generating. Now, it appears that the iTunes Music Store couldn't keep pace with the post-holiday rush as people tried to buy stuff for the iPods they received as holiday gifts, and redeem gift cards. There's been a lot of talk lately about the popularity of the iTunes store -- in particular, how little music iPod owners actually buy from it -- but apparently it's popular enough right after Christmas to overwhelm Apple's servers. While the revenue generated by sales from the store aren't as important to the company as the songs' function as a mechanism to lock users in to the iPod, having new iPod owners greeted by a floundering iTunes Music Store doesn't really live up to Apple's vaunted reputation for such a good user experience. The lasting effect of these problems are likely to be minimal; they just highlight how the logistical challenge isn't just getting hot new products in users' hands, but keeping up with them online, too.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Adam Lea, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:18am

    Worked Great All Day For Us...

    My daughter kept getting iTunes cards throughout the day as gifts and kept on using them problem free. I suppose that's another frustration of technical problems - the sometimes elusive nature of tracking them down and/or replicating them...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:30am

    funny, I've never had a problem with limewire going down.

    solution: don't use iTunes

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    COD, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:34am

    I was unable to use a gift card @ Itunes Christmas night. I as able to browse and listen to song samples without a problem, but the finance servers were apparently overwhelmed as trying to actually buy something did not work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Ben, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:38am

    similar snag

    I could surf the Store fine and enter gift cards, but it threw a fit when I tried to download iPod Software to reformat an iPod.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Codababy, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:55am

    Tempermental iTunes store

    I had problems buying/downloading music, registering my iPod, creating an iTunes Store account, and downloading new software for my iPod throughout the evening of the 25th.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    TriZz, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:57am

    I guess...

    So, does this mean that iTunes sales are still "plummeting"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Jon Mickle, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:08am

    Hey it happens...

    I had no problem at all during the hollidays and i purchased alot of songs. But hey you know what it happens. Sometimes the load you recieve on your network is just much higher then you anticipate. And god forbid we all know how equipment NEVER likes to work right during the hollidays. Oh well looks like apple will be expanding their infrastructure then right?! That could mean possibly more jobs for people!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    simon, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:20am

    as long as...

    as long as all think music bought on iTunes store can't be converted to mp3 and played on any other mp3 player

    or until they realise any music file can be played on a iPod if needed, well , as long as bad publicity is keeping those ppl locked to stupidity , i let 'em belive that they realy need an iPod :))

    2c from me , rest u can figure out , maybe ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    VintageCoronado, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:24am

    hahahaha this is too funny!!

    i can picture the metrosexual network techs with their square glasses, latte mocha grande frappuchinos, and VW keys in their pockets at Apple.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    the english teacher, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:26am

    Re: as long as...

    you sir, are a moron... learn to write in complete and logical sentances or ask your mommy for help.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: as long as...

    You should probably ask your mommy for help on spelling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:36am

    i would think that the ITMS and apple's itunes website are on different servers. i would say that they are hosted differently. but then again, i wonder.

    now, when was ITMS back "on site"? i'm sure apple didn't let it waste away, i'm sure some techies were going out of their minds, but i doubt it was as crazy or whatever.

    and i know plenty of apple "non metrosexuals" who don't have square rimmed glasses and drink mocha frappuchinos and have VWs. im most certin most apple users AREN'T in that catetory. but hey, if we are gonna stereotype, everyone who uses MS products are the idiots of america, drones to the corporate life and fat slobs. or they can be the 12 y.o. "gamer" who thinks n00bz is funny. if you use *nux you are 20/30something who lives at home, in the basement never showers, and has never been laid....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    VintageCoronado, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:40am

    dear english teacher

    ur a muppet....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:45am


    That Zen V Plus is looking better and better everyday...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Brad, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:49am

    English Teacher?

    English "Teacher": Hey Pot, have you met my friend Simon Kettle? He posted a bit above you.

    If you're going to chastise someone for bad grammar, please make sure the one line post is relatively free of grammatical errors. Otherwise you just look like an idiot. "...complete and logical sentances(sic)..."

    Wow. Just - wow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Moises, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 10:06am


    You should understand the differences between network comparison between Limewire p2p and Apple's central database for hosting music and video before giving a solution to a problem that both approach differently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Todd, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    In English Teacher's defense, it was kinda hard to understand what simon was talking about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    a, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 10:13am

    Apple has bigger things to worry about

    The SEC looking into Jobs stock options will affect Apple a hell of a lot more than their site going down.

    I wonder how his black turtleneck will go over in prison?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 10:45am


    It only really happened during the afternoon of the 26th. I couldn't get on the ITMS at all during that time.

    It's been fine ever since.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    simon, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 10:54am

    as if i care

    look, i spent 2 minutes less on grammar check, but the ideea was, stop acting as morrons, just try to get some tech help, iPod and iTunes keep singing this nice tune , we go "only" together , reality beeing, you just got "tunned" :)

    and going to me mommie for a spell checker, try figure out this, when someone speaks more then 5 languages, he might get some writing errors on a 3 lines post :))

    nevermind, u can stay english teacher, mine was a morron too :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    kenbo (profile), Dec 28th, 2006 @ 11:12am

    Re: as long as...

    Geeze! Just burn an audio cd through Itunes then rip it back as mp3's. Then load it onto any player you want. Why be so mysterious about it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Ju1c3, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 11:24am

    zen v

    the creative products are cheeper, but at what cost. i bought my girlfriend a zen v and the thing keeps locking up. then you have to reset it. its difficult to use a product that doesnt work. so i say get that ipod or another mp3 player, and forget the creative zen.... they are junk. dont believe me then go to their web site and look in their mp3 player forums and you will see all the problems i am talkin about.

    p.s... i dont own an ipod (still have a cheep ilio 256mb) so i am not advocating that mp3 player only, just warning you off the creative.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    sam johns, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 11:25am

    bad apple

    my son and daughter both recieved nanos for xmas. i tunes store accepted our money for membership, then would not recognize the paaswords they assigned. steve pay attention to the suckers that are sending you money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Cdsboy, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: as long as...

    The problem with doing that is you don't get any of the tracks. Theres a group of people who found a way to grab the unlocked tracks out your computers memory when they are played. This results in DRM-free m4a tracks on you computer complete with the beautiful track info ready for you converting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    huh??, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 11:55am

    re: bad apple

    Membership??? iTunes Membership??? whoaaa you got it all wrong!!!

    Passwords??? Click on forgot password, if you are not able to remember usernames and passwords that you just entered, you have a different set of issues.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Paul, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 12:09pm

    First impressions.

    First impressions can be everything.
    If I got an ipod and an itunes gift card, went to itunes to get some music and it didn't work for whatever reason then I might not be willing to give it a second try and just go get my music somewhere else.

    Since these people were getting ipods as gifts and then going to use the service immediately it is very likely that this was there first experience with itunes and possibly their last.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    frankthetank, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 12:44pm

    i beg to differ.

    you got an ipod and itunes card for christmas. you plugged it all up and went online..and BAM backlog. it "doesn't work" ohnoz...wht r u gnna DO??? you opened your ipod, you scratched off your music card...you have no receipt. can you turn it in? with hassle. so you figure, before i turn it in, i may give it a second shot...BOOM it's all nice and smooth now. are you gonna keep it? probably. are you gonna neveer buy from ITMS? maybe but since you are apple branded..you gotsta stick with it.

    i mean come on. if you go to mcondalds at lunctime and it takes 20 minutes to get food, are you gonna visit that mcdonalds again? yeah. walmart on black friday...lines out the wazzzoo... gonna stop shopping? probably not. wait 4 hours to get into the irish pub on st. patty's day...you never gonna go again? i think not.

    but then again, i'm using rational judgement, and figuring on "slow" days any spike in traffic is gonna bog down performance. apple never claimed to be 100% reliable (at least not to me) so...it's ok if they go down. it happens. i don't think people will become overly frustrated because in the end, they will use the ipod products, and then come to love or hate them. if they find out that any other time itms is doing great...apple has a new customer. if the user doens't use itms, do it's possible they aren't apple fanboys.

    either way...i don't think 1 day of hassle is gonna affect anything. as i said, other places have sporadic problems, yet we still frequent those places.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    John, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: as long as...

    Cdsboy. If you rip to CD then import the CD before you do too much more then all of the tags will stay with the music. I create playlists called CD1, CD2, etc. Everytime I buy music I also put the song into one of those playlists. Once the playlist has enough songs to fill a CD, I burn then rip it. Viola. DRM free MP3 with Tags. As a bonus, you can go up to the menu and print a rather attractive CD cover for that disc and store that for other uses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 2:22pm

    I don't see what the big deal is with an iPod, since I would never buy iTunes (or any other DRM music), especially not for a $1 a track.

    I got me a nice little 30g Phillips (which hold around 3,000-5,000 songs depending on MP3 quality) for around what I see an 4 gig Nano advertised for.

    I burned my substantial CD collection to high quality MP3s (typically 192-256, piss on the usual 128 you find online).

    I buy online off of eMusic. At 25-30 cents a song and $3-4 an album for decent quality 192VBR MP3s it's a pterry decent deal, with *no* DRM and no hassles (not to mention a much larger selection of well know bands than most people think).

    For newer (or older) stuff not handled under eMusic, there are several rather large used book/music stores in the area with most of what I want for about $5-8 (I usually get around 20 CDs a pop for around $115-125 when I go).

    So why would I spend money on an iPod when I can a device with close to 8 times the capacity for the same price, when the only "advantage" is that it allows me DRM cripplewared music (which I would have to spend time "uncrippling" - not to mention the slight quality loss for format conversions) when I can get the same music for 1/3 the price without DRM or hassle online, or for about the same price and have the actual physical media (and the ability to burn much higher quality Mp3)?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    DigitalBomb, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:14pm

    The biggest problem I've had to deal with is the hundreds of pissed-off customers coming into Geek Squad and wanting to know why an iTunes disc didn't come with their iPod and why the downloaded file won't work. I've burned over 50 iTunes CD's for customers just myself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    MS User, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 12:32pm


    Ok, I have something to say, because Ipod has been very popular in the past 5 years. If Apple users did not already know, MP3 players have been out for a LONG time. Not until Ipod came out did it become popular. Why you ask? Because Apple made it look pretty, attractive. That's it! Still does the same exact thing as a MP3 player people! It's pretty, "hip". So...in comes Zune. No, MS cannot compete with the ipod, like Apple cannot compete with the Xbox, two different worlds. Gaming-->Microsoft Ipod-->Apple. When the Ipod dies, so will Apple sorry to say. That's all they have running for them. Microsoft will always thrive, Apple will have art and ipod to save them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    DigitalBomb, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Crapple

    Microsoft sucks at gaming. Apple sucks with music devices.

    Don't get me wrong, Apple would suck at gaming and Microsoft also sucks at making a decent music device. Then again, both companies pretty much suck at everything. Thus is the way of big business.

    Yes, we all know MP3 players were around before the iPod. What Apple did was different (though not ingenious): they added an interface to a hard drive.

    That's what an iPod is. A hard drive with an interface. The iPod sucks because it uses vibration, hence being a hard drive, to store its media. If you ever drop one you're screwed. Other MP3 players use flash memory so you can drop them as much as you want and the data stays safely tucked away in the electromagnetic force.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Ryan, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 5:59pm

    Apple's rotten at the core.

    If you got a mac, you're no genius. You obviously don't opt for the more flexible, customizable operating system and infrastructure that Windows offers. Apple is great for horses, but not for serious crackers. You must be a liberal. And, sir, hold your tongue -- for as long as it takes to mispronounce "Apple" as "Ass hole". I'm guessing you also fantasize inside your mislead plumbous head that Intels are the best processors a PC comes with and that Dell's commercials actually mean someting to a computer geek who's studied his history in computing. The first AppleOS was written by a middle-aged guy who was in an electronics club. If you n00bz isn't funny, then you should be supporting PC, because corporate standard prohibits the use of "n00bz" in the work-place, but Mac computers are meerly all-show no-go toys. I see no Halo around your Mac's head, so join the intelligent life that waits for the day Mac has something useful to say -- something other than "you got paint; I got a pissy commercial!" People have found that BigMacs are bad for you, so they have had to cut back to stay healthy. In the same way, a big Mac corporation will only fatten your head with lies and rumors, and, eventually, enough people will realize the seditious monopolistic aims of AppleC.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    andy king, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    iTunes Popularity to Surpass RealPlayer in 2007

    iTunes is certainly popular, I'd say 2/3 of the people in my college home town have those telltake white wires coming out of their hats. Here is some data from Nielsen//NetRatings on the growth in iTunes player usage in the past year.

    iTunes Popularity to Surpass RealPlayer in 2007

    Unique iTunes users will exceed RealPlayer users by the first half of 2007, according to projections by Website Optimization, LLC. European broadband penetration growth is slowing as the US approaches 80% penetration among active Internet users.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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