iTunes Plus and Complete My Album Woes

My wife is away for the weekend, and so my plan for my quiet, solo Saturday was to clean up from the day’s chaos while listening to some new music. Using an iTunes gift card, I’d planned to buy The Weepies’ album “Say I Am You“. I have some deep and abiding musical loves, and I also have musical crushes. One of 2007’s crushes is Sarah Harmer, and a newer one, I think, is The Weepies. I forget how I found out about them, but their song “World Spins Madly On” is terrific, hence my plan.

This was a great idea until I sat down in front of iTunes to put it into action. The iTunes Store “Complete My Album” link showed the jacket for Say I Am You, but when I clicked the link, they said I needed to upgrade to iTunes Plus. Hmm. I thought I’d already done that. Okay, I click the link, and iTunes offers to sell me six tracks upgraded from their old protected format to the new Plus format. Okay, I do that, and the six download. The last time I did this, iTunes very cleverly swapped the new files into the place of the old files, so my playlists, play counts, comments, etc. were all undisturbed. This time, no luck. I try various manual swaps, but iTunes is too smart for me, and resolutely looks for the original file and ignores the new one. I try Doug Adams’s “Legitimize Song” script, but that doesn’t work because (I think) this is an AAC-to-AAC swap, and it’s geared for MP3-to-AAC.

Tossing my hands up on that issue, I think “I’ve wasted too much time on this” so I head back to buy the album and be done with iTunes for the moment. The Weepies still say I need to upgrade to Plus to complete that album, but the iTunes Plus page offers no suggestion of how to upgrade at all, and since I’ve bought iTunes Plus tracks repeatedly, surely I have already upgraded, right? As a last resort, since my iTunes is a couple versions old, I upgrade to the new 7.5, but still no dice. Ugh.

If I were paying with cash, this would be where I say ‘hell with it’ and head over to the Amazon MP3 store. Alas, my iTunes card compels me to try this again at some point soon, but not after wasting nearly an hour fighting with iTunes so I could give it my business.

I love my iPod. I love my Mac. I love Apple, and iTunes has always worked great for me, but this is mighty annoying. If there is time tomorrow, I’ll see if a fresh approach makes any more progress.

Followup: For no apparent reason, the next time I went in to iTunes, the Weepies Complete-My-Album feature worked fine. I am still pondering how to swap the new Plus AAC files for their DRM predecessors.

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