Physical Media Vs. Digital Media: iCloud is Not a Backup Solution?

A. Ricardo Marques writes:

Hi, Chris!

You mentioned that you would rather own your TV shows and movies in a digital format vs. physical. Like you, I thought — and in some ways still think — it’s better… until I noticed that 11 movies were missing from the purchased field on my Apple TV (iTunes Canada).

Physical Media Vs. Digital Media: iCloud is Not a Backup Solution?I contacted Apple support and we had a back and forth for a few days via email. I finally forwarded the email to Tim Cook and an Apple employee contacted me from Cupertino. We talked on the phone for a couple of days while she tried to figure things out and finally told me that the 11 movies that I was missing had the license altered by the content owners and had the content removed for the iTunes Store. I asked her if Apple would be able to refund at least $20 to repurchase a few of these movies that were on the iTunes Store, albeit with updated licensing, and she said that, unfortunately, Apple could not do it; Apple was not at fault; it was a content owner issue and it’s Apple’s customers’ responsibility to back up purchases.

So I asked her what iCloud was for and how someone is supposed to back up their purchases if they own an Apple TV (second generation) and a 16 GB iPad in a post-PC era? Her answer was that iCloud is not a backup solution and apologized for my inconvenience.

My point here: when you buy digitally, you a buy a license. At any point in time, whether you like it or not, the content that you think you own can magically be gone one day. I wasn’t too upset as most of those movies were purchased on sale for $5 or were Blu-ray digital copies redeemed on iTunes, but now I will never go completely digital. The movies I love will be bought on Blu-ray, but I still have to buy TV season passes on iTunes because I’m a cord-cutter and TV is more convenient without having to swap discs.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my experience with you. Love the vlogs!

Image: Skip Containing Discarded VHS Tapes by Rob Pearce (via Flickr)