Apple Deleted Non-iTunes Music From Users' iPods Without Telling Them


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Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs peers at an iPod

Apple used to delete music from people's iPods without telling them, if that music was downloaded from services other than iTunes, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The news is based on testimony from a class-action lawsuit against Apple going on this week.

Consumers and businesses are suing the company for $350 million, claiming it essentially conducted a price-fixing operation within iTunes.


Between 2007 and 2009, if a user had music from a rival service - like Real Networks - on their iPod then tried to sync their iPod to their iTunes library, Apple displayed an error message telling the user to restore the factory settings.

Once the user restored their settings, any music from rival services would disappear. Apple wouldn't tell users the problem, or that some of their music was gone.

"You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up" a user's music library, attorney Patrick Coughlin said, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Apple says not allowing non-iTunes music onto iPods was a security measure. Apple security director Augustin Farrugia testified that Apple didn't give users a more detailed explanation about what was happening with the factory reset because it didn't want to confuse them.