Friday, January 13, 2006


A slightly alarming new feature in the latest version of iTunes is causing worries amongst privacy campaigners, after bloggers discovered Apple is getting sent information about artists, titles and computer identification numbers when users play tracks. Even tracks that aren't sourced from iTunes. Unfortunately, they'd forgotten to mention this to iTunes users when they upgraded.

You can switch off the feature - called by the slightly benign sounding name MiniStore - but only by disabling access to the iTunes store as a whole; if you want to buy music but not have Cupertino scoffing that you play the Sideboard Song when you think nobody's looking, you're more or less buggered.


Codepope said...

Um... you've got that a bit wrong.

From your link.

"When the MiniStore is hidden, this data is not sent to the iTunes Music Store."

Digital detective work by bloggers has confirmed that no data is passed to Apple when MiniStore is turned off.

All you have to do it hide the Ministore; you don't have to disable access to iTunes Music Store. You can carry on using that as before.

Anonymous said...

This is certainly true, Codepope, but you're missing the point: this information shouldn't be passed without the express permission of the user. Or, you could vote with your wallet and avoid iTunes. Never trust a hippy!

wyneken said...

Codepope got the point, I think. He was just pointing out that you can easily disable this "feature" -- the toggle command is in the Edit menu.

I agree that Apple should have been more up-front about this. But as long as I can turn off all the umbilical connections to the music store, I don't really care. iTunes (the app) is still a cool thing, in my opinion -- and it's free, after all.

Codepope said...

"Anonymous", hiding the ministore is not the same as disabling it. Disabling implies you stop all the Music Store functionality. And it's not as if the Ministore is hidden away and working in the background; it's right there on the screen displaying its results.

And if you are so worried about the privacy of your music, I hope you type in all your CD track names when you are ripping them. Wouldn't want Gracenote to get notified every time you rip a CD now would we. :D

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