Ping Playlists' "Buy All" button does not work

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I bought Alex Bain's excellent annual Christmas playlist through Ping on iTunes yesterday. I was excited that iTunes finally has a "buy all" button for shared playlists. I was less excited when I saw how it worked.

Ping allows you to download all items in a playlist, but it adds no data to them so when they arrive in your music folder they're completely out of order from the way the original playlist was organized. Much has been written about the failure of Ping and I feel bad about piling on, but this is a pretty basic problem: shared playlists are both a collection of songs and an *arrangement* of songs. To sell the group but not the arrangement is a massive fail & I think they would have been better off not offering the "Buy All" button. To re-create the list I took two screenshots of the ping page (I needed two since it scrolls after 15 songs) and displayed them as photos so I could alt-tab between the photo of the original list and my new playlist (staying in iTunes would have meant an awful lot of mouse back-and-forth between Ping and a buried playlist). It's the sort of ugly solution I don't expect from Apple.

All told, the purchase process took me about an hour last year, and about half an hour this year. It was totally worth it for me, but that's mainly because I think so highly of my friend's Christmas music curation skills. For other playlists shared this way, I think I'd pass, which is too bad for me and too bad for Apple.


Kenny Kellogg December 18, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

I had the same problem with alex's playlist. Totally bummed me out.

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