Thursday, July 24, 2008

Apple's messed up Apple ID system: what are they smoking?!

What are they smoking out in Cupertino?

The latest muck-up has to do with the old Apple ID.

For years, even after I gave up on .Mac, my Apple ID was That's what my iTunes account and all my iTunes purchases are tied to.

Now, however, iTunes won't let me buy anything because my "email is invalid".

Turns out, somewhere in the bowels of Apple's increasingly messed up corporation, there's a requirement that the AppleID, to which all my transactions are bound, needs to be also my valid email address.

So, should I change it? I have a bad feeling about what would happen then. Apple is not a healthy company. The world might explode!


Update: I found a link to Apple's Profile service, where you can change the email associated with your Apple ID.

You can't do this from the iTunes store itself -- even though iTunes kept sending me back to the account view.

After I updated the email stored in the profile service, I returned to the Apple store, and AGAIN I got the notice about a bad email address. This time, however, the account link showed a page with a NEW field in addition to my non-editable account -- one holding my updated email address. I clicked done and this time I got a notice that my Apple account had been created! Despite that ominous language my purchase history was intact, the account was not created, it was updated.

After all of that I was able to buy "Voice Record" for my iPhone.

Update 7/25/08: Thinking about this a bit more, I wonder if this is another casualty of Apple's screwed up .Mac (dotMac) to .Me (MobileMe) transition. I discontinued my .Mac service years ago, but I was still getting emailed receipts for Mac account purchases with my old .Mac userid. So Apple was storing a forwarding address that was valid, probably in the profile. I suspect during the .Mac transition Apple removed the old .Mac forwarding, probably to free up more usernames for reuse with .Me. This ran into preexisting frailties with their Apple ID system, with the usual consequences.

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