In the fall of 2007 I traveled to Muskogee, Oklahoma, to share one of ten seminars around our state about the E-Rate program for my employer at the time, AT&T. While staying at my hotel, I purchased and downloaded Juan Luis Guerra‘s album, “La Llave de me Corazon” directly to my iPhone over local wifi.
I remember this clearly because before I got home from my trip, something happened to my iPhone and I had to restore it to default settings with iTunes before syncing it to my home iTunes library. The result was I lost those songs, since they never synced to my library and the original versions I had downloaded from Apple were erased from my iPhone when I had to restore it.
A couple weeks ago when I watched the recorded video of Steve Jobs’ WWDC 2011 keynote announcing Apple’s new iCloud service, I immediately thought of this Juan Luis Guerra album. Perhaps I could get that music I purchased four years ago back after all! Sometime later I read that iTunes 10.3 supports downloads of previously purchased songs, like we’ve been able to do with apps. Tonight I got caught up on app updates and iOS device syncing in our house (a fairly time consuming process when you only do it once per month or so) and decided to see if I could recover the album.
To do this, in iTunes under the link for the Apple Store I clicked the “Purchased” playlist. In the lower right corner of the screen, I clicked “Download Previous Purchases.”
What a beautiful screen! I was able to browse to my purchased music, find Juan Luis Guerra, and re-download (4 years after the initial purchase) all the songs in “La Llave de me Corazon.” Woo hoo!
If you’re wondering why I have Justin Bieber songs in my library, remember I have two young daughters and we all share the same iTunes library in our family!
Many, many thanks to the iTunes programmers for developing this feature to recover past purchases not synced to a local iTunes library. This is a GREAT service.
The option to re-download purchased media as well as apps gets me thinking more about digital footprints, however. ALL of a user’s iTunes purchase history is not only archived by Apple, but also archived for anyone to see when an iTunes library is open. There does not appear to be a way to delete the record of a past purchase, like you can clear individual web history items in Google Chrome. These are the 82 apps someone in our family has previously purchased and tried (though many are free apps) which are not in our current iTunes library.
This is not a huge deal for us, but I’m wondering if Apple will add a “delete this app from my app history” button at some point? As it currently stands, any app you download and just try… even once… will remain a part of your iTunes app history forever. This is a new wrinkle for digital footprints.
As a related aside, I found the image above using the Flickr Creative Commons image search site Behold. It permits filtering by different words once you get results for an initial keyword search. Hat tip to Joe Dale for that share. I added it today, and some other image search sites, to the “images” page of Playing with Media. Joe also shared the sites Imagestamper and Xpert, which are interesting CC attribution tools. I added those on the “copyright” page of Playing with Media. I used Imagestamper to record the license terms of this photo this evening, and Xpert to create the attribution information you see below the image. I think Wylio is still an easier site to use for attribution-included blog post images, but these tools are interesting and I’m glad to give them a try.
As a final note, I highly recommend the music of Juan Luis Guerra. He is an incredible musician and artist from the Dominican Republic. In his musical career, he has kind of done a “reverse Amy Grant.” Where Amy started off as a Christian artist and then went mainstream/secular, Juan started mainstream/secular and more recently (as far as I know) has been recording Christian albums. It would be a dream to see him in concert some day. Even though my children don’t understand Spanish, they know and love many of his songs because I play them often in the car and at home. My current favorite songs by him are “La Hormiguita” (from “Ni Es Lo Mismo Ni Es Igual”) and “Los Dinteles” (from “Para Tí.) My favorite part of the latter song is when he sings “baile-luya” instead of “Aleluya.” As far as I can tell with my limited Spanish, he’s creating a portmanteau of “baile” (dance) and “Aleluya” (Alleluia.) The effect in this praise song is powerful.
Juan Luis Guerra is the most passionate musician I know and love. I am thrilled the iTunes album which was lost is found!
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