Why Has Apple Crippled the iTunes Store Menu for non-Apple Music Users?

Apple recently released iTunes 12.3.3, which contains a number of small tweaks and changes. But there’s one thing I didn’t spot, and that a correspondent pointed out to me yesterday. The iTunes Store quick-access menu – the one you display by clicking your user name in the app’s toolbar – is crippled if you don’t use Apple Music.

I have two Macs, and I use Apple Music on my MacBook, but not on my iMac. I still don’t want my main music library corrupted by iCloud Music Library, and if I want to stream music, it’s easier to just use the laptop.

Here’s what the store menu looks like on the MacBook, with Apple Music.

Itunes store menu with

As you can see, there are shortcuts to your Wish List and your Purchased List.

On the iMac, however, without Apple Music, here’s what I see:

Itunes store menu without

No Wish List, no Purchased list. You can still access these lists, in different ways. Click iTunes Store in the navigation tab bar, and, in the sidebar at the right, you’ll find those links, among others.

Itunes store links

It seems a bit odd that Apple would cripple this menu. The Wish List and Purchased list have nothing to do with Apple Music; they are for items that you want to buy in the iTunes Store, or for quick access to your iTunes Store purchases. My correspondent told me he had contacted Apple support, and they told him this was the expected behavior. But it makes no sense. (I’ve filed a bug report with Apple, in case it is just an unintended glitch.)

26 thoughts on “Why Has Apple Crippled the iTunes Store Menu for non-Apple Music Users?

  1. “My correspondent told me he had contacted Apple support, and they told him this was the expected behavior. But it makes no sense.”

    Your lack of cynicism in interpreting repeated moves like this that seek to benefit Cupertino’s bottom line at the expense of UX in one way or another is, um, refreshing.

  2. “My correspondent told me he had contacted Apple support, and they told him this was the expected behavior. But it makes no sense.”

    Your lack of cynicism in interpreting repeated moves like this that seek to benefit Cupertino’s bottom line at the expense of UX in one way or another is, um, refreshing.

  3. Odd: for me there’s no change. On iTunes 12.3.3, on my iMac, I still see the same thing as before on the quick access menu: Following, Wish List, Purchased, and so on. (I don’t see “Choose Artists for You” at all.) I’ve updated the OS X as well, if that makes a difference.

    I was once subscribed to Apple Music – just the free month – so I guess that could be a factor.

    But thanks for the tip about the bar at the side of the iTunes Store. I’d never noticed that before.

    • My account is subscribed to Apple Music, but it’s not on; go to the General preferences and see if it’s checked there for you.

      • Ah. That’s it. In the Preferences / General pane, “Show Apple Music” is checked. If I uncheck it, then yes, the quick access menu displays the much more limited selection (which would be very annoying, since I check the wish list once a week for price changes).

        Now I’m wondering what “Show Apple Music” even means for someone who isn’t a subscriber. For now I guess I’ll leave it on – the only other differences I can immediately see is that the “For You” and “New” tabs disappear, but since the only tabs I ever go to are “Playlists” and “iTunes Store”, it’s not a big deal one way or the other.

        I suppose the real difference in the box being checked is for people who are subscribers that use Apple Music on other computers, like you do?

  4. Odd: for me there’s no change. On iTunes 12.3.3, on my iMac, I still see the same thing as before on the quick access menu: Following, Wish List, Purchased, and so on. (I don’t see “Choose Artists for You” at all.) I’ve updated the OS X as well, if that makes a difference.

    I was once subscribed to Apple Music – just the free month – so I guess that could be a factor.

    But thanks for the tip about the bar at the side of the iTunes Store. I’d never noticed that before.

    • My account is subscribed to Apple Music, but it’s not on; go to the General preferences and see if it’s checked there for you.

      • Ah. That’s it. In the Preferences / General pane, “Show Apple Music” is checked. If I uncheck it, then yes, the quick access menu displays the much more limited selection (which would be very annoying, since I check the wish list once a week for price changes).

        Now I’m wondering what “Show Apple Music” even means for someone who isn’t a subscriber. For now I guess I’ll leave it on – the only other differences I can immediately see is that the “For You” and “New” tabs disappear, but since the only tabs I ever go to are “Playlists” and “iTunes Store”, it’s not a big deal one way or the other.

        I suppose the real difference in the box being checked is for people who are subscribers that use Apple Music on other computers, like you do?

  5. Apple Music is the obnoxious used car salesman pushing the car with the highest commission, even though you can’t stand it. Now Apple Music has its goons with baseball bats to encourage you to make the “right” decision.

    They’ve also changed the iOS Music app behavior. You used to get to rating option by selecting song title. Now you have to tap the album art. Tapping song title takes you somewhere with a list of songs, haven’t tried enough to figure where.

    • My first reaction was that this was clearly a bug–after all, the people who do not use Apple Music are precisely the ones who 1) would be most likely to be interested in using the iTunes store to purchase, rather than rent, music; and 2) Apple would want to direct to the iTunes store, since they’re not receiving $10/month rent from them.

      But I think Wbadger has got it right; and that is another bad decision by Apple to undermine the user experience in order to wring out a few extra bucks. That’s disappointing.

      • “I wasn’t interested in paying $10/month for Apple Music, but having access to Purchased and Wish List in my account menu was the offer I couldn’t refuse.”

        This is a totally believable position.

  6. Apple Music is the obnoxious used car salesman pushing the car with the highest commission, even though you can’t stand it. Now Apple Music has its goons with baseball bats to encourage you to make the “right” decision.

    They’ve also changed the iOS Music app behavior. You used to get to rating option by selecting song title. Now you have to tap the album art. Tapping song title takes you somewhere with a list of songs, haven’t tried enough to figure where.

    • My first reaction was that this was clearly a bug–after all, the people who do not use Apple Music are precisely the ones who 1) would be most likely to be interested in using the iTunes store to purchase, rather than rent, music; and 2) Apple would want to direct to the iTunes store, since they’re not receiving $10/month rent from them.

      But I think Wbadger has got it right; and that is another bad decision by Apple to undermine the user experience in order to wring out a few extra bucks. That’s disappointing.

      • “I wasn’t interested in paying $10/month for Apple Music, but having access to Purchased and Wish List in my account menu was the offer I couldn’t refuse.”

        This is a totally believable position.

  7. I do wish that Apple would revamp their “wish list” functionality. It’s hard to see it on iOS and via the web. I’d love to get an alert when certain things I’ve wished for are now available to purchase, or when I watch a trailer to get a notice when movie is ready to rent.

    • I’ve always wondered why they don’t send you something when you’ve added a movie or album that hasn’t yet been released, and it then becomes averrable. It seems like the simplest thing to tod.

      • I respectfully suggest auto-correct isn’t very good…
        Apple auto-correct seems to operate on the assumption you made a speak-o, not a typ-o.

        “and it then becomes averrable. It seems like the simplest thing to tod….”

        or were you just rushing…!

        PS – comment 1 says it all

  8. I do wish that Apple would revamp their “wish list” functionality. It’s hard to see it on iOS and via the web. I’d love to get an alert when certain things I’ve wished for are now available to purchase, or when I watch a trailer to get a notice when movie is ready to rent.

    • I’ve always wondered why they don’t send you something when you’ve added a movie or album that hasn’t yet been released, and it then becomes averrable. It seems like the simplest thing to tod.

      • I respectfully suggest auto-correct isn’t very good…
        Apple auto-correct seems to operate on the assumption you made a speak-o, not a typ-o.

        “and it then becomes averrable. It seems like the simplest thing to tod….”

        or were you just rushing…!

        PS – comment 1 says it all

  9. I have never subscribed to Apple Music, but I do have iTunes Match right now. I see the Wish List, Purchased, etc. Definitely an odd glitch if you’re not seeing those things.

  10. I have never subscribed to Apple Music, but I do have iTunes Match right now. I see the Wish List, Purchased, etc. Definitely an odd glitch if you’re not seeing those things.

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