iTunes Was Making My Music Disappear Long Before Apple Music, So I Switched to Amazon

Last week, blogger James Pinkstone wrote a post claiming that Apple Music was deleting his MP3 files. But I haven’t bought music from iTunes for quite some time because it was making my music disappear long before the age of Apple Music.

Apple has ridiculous authorization rules that lock you out of your own music if you get a new Apple ID, and prompts you to reauthorize all the time even if you haven’t changed Apple IDs. As I changed email addresses for various reasons, I had to change Apple IDs and Apple was totally unequipped to handle that. Because of this, random sections of my music would frequently become inaccessible to me, requiring me to enter the password for an Apple ID that I didn’t use anymore.

The last straw was when I had to call Apple customer service during one finals week in college to try to get authorization to play a ton of old music back that I bought with an Apple ID I didn’t use anymore that was associated with an email I could no longer access. I had to prove to Apple that this was my old Apple ID, even though I couldn’t log in. I remember saying on the phone, “I promise I’m me, I just want to get my music back,” and feeling like I sounded like an insane person. I eventually got everything back after they figured out that I had to sign in with my new Apple ID even though it was requesting the old one. I’m still occasionally prompted to authorize the MP3s from this same old ID. The madness never ends.

I decided enough was enough and switched to Amazon Digital Music, which doesn’t demand the same ludicrous authorization. Although Amazon Digital Music isn’t perfect, it’s a great alternative to iTunes. A report last week predicted that iTunes will soon stop selling music downloads in favor of streaming. Although Apple denied the rumors, the company will likely kill music downloads someday. As long as Amazon is still selling music downloads, I’ll be using it. I prefer to download music and will keep doing so until it becomes impossible. I need to own my music, be able to play it without wifi or data, and be able to put it on my iPod classic (which I still use regularly).

Amazon Digital Music has all the same music as iTunes, and can sometimes be cheaper than iTunes for albums and individual songs. I still use iTunes to view and organize my music, and still put the music on my iPhone and iPod, but I buy it through Amazon. My family has Amazon Prime, and one benefit to using Amazon Digital Music as a Prime member is that you can rack up promotional credits that can be put toward MP3 downloads. You get these by selecting No-Rush Shipping when purchasing from Amazon. These $1 credits can be used for eligible Amazon Music downloads, in addition to Kindle Books, Amazon Appstore apps, digital video game or software downloads, or the rental or purchase of eligible movies or TV shows from Amazon Video.

It’s always a pain to download music once you buy it, and Amazon has its flaws too. It has changed the download process a few times without making the process any less confusing. You’re required to download the Amazon Music app on your computer. Amazon Prime members can stream certain albums without buying them through Prime Music, but I ignore it, just like I ignore Apple Music.

Madeline Raynor is a New York City-based writer. She writes for Slate, and has written for New York Magazine, BUST Magazine, Splitsider, Death and Taxes, Mashable, Indiewire, and Time Out New York. She loves all things Tina Fey. Word to the wise: her first name is pronounced with a long “i,” like the red-haired girl from France. Follow her on Twitter @madelineraynor_.

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