I spotted something odd today, in the iTunes Store. I purchased the new Bob Dylan album, Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10, and, while listening to it, went to the iTunes Store to look at something. I noticed that the page for the album showed Play buttons next to each track, and the currently playing track showed a wheel icon:
I assumed that this was because iTunes knew I had purchased the album. (This is on a Mac that does not use iTunes Match.) Yet I was not logged into my iTunes Store account; you can see this by the price that displays below the album.
I checked my iTunes purchases, and found that this goes back to a certain period, but no further. When I got to purchases in 2008, I found another Bob Dylan album, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell-Tale Signs, where only some of the tracks show the Play button. (See the screen shot to the left.)
None of the songs in the Complete U2 collection, purchased in May, 2009, show these buttons, and most of my Bob Dylan collection, purchased in April, 2009, don’t show these buttons either. I’ve bought most of Brad Mehldau’s albums from the iTunes Store, and only some of them show Play buttons, and some show them, as in the example to the left, only for certain tracks. So there’s no consistency moving back into the past. Some music I purchased many years ago shows Play buttons; other music doesn’t.
Curiously, on my Mac running iTunes Match, I see something different in the iTunes Store:
There is no Play button; only a dimmed button showing Purchased.
My guess is that I just never noticed this feature, since I don’t often go to the iTunes Store to look at the pages of previously purchased albums. I’m curious to find out if anyone knows when this was added t the iTunes Store. I doubt I’ll use this feature to play music that’s in my iTunes Library, and it seems odd that such a feature would be available on a computer not using iTunes Match.