Tuesday, October 11, 2011

iCloud: Just remember that small print

I admit I'm a fan of the BBC TV series Top Gear, and I've bought several episodes through iTunes. The only downside - particularly if you buy the HD versions - is that they can quickly start filling up your Mac's hard drive!

So I'm quite excited by one of the new capabilities of iTunes 10.5 and iCloud:
When you buy a song, TV show, app, or book from the App Store or the iTunes Store, iCloud stores it in your purchase history. So you can download what you want, from any of your devices, to whichever devices you choose.[1]
That's great, and will save me having to worry about archiving and backing up those files....except, notice that little [1]. The small print reads in part:
...Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store...
That's really important, because what that means is that if the licensing deal between the BBC and Apple were to end, then the episodes will disappear, and you won't be able to download the files from Apple again.

Being able to download the files at a future date is a great convenience, but it's not something you can count on: you'll still need to save (and backup) the files on your local computer.

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