Apple patents iTunes ‘credit’ system for offline purchases

A patent published today shows how iTunes users may soon be able to make music purchases whilst offline.

Published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent is named “On-device offline purchases”, and it does pretty much what it says on the tin. The system would allow iTunes users to buy credits from iTunes, and store those credits for a later date. Those credits can be spent on media in the iTunes store, even if the user isn’t connected to the internet.

Naturally, the idea sounds a little preposterous, if not the internet, where else might users download songs from? However, the system works around storing iTunes media on a device, such as the iPhone or the iPod, that isn’t already a part of the user’s iTunes library. That way, you can still “download” the track having purchased it with your credits, because it will already be stored on your device. The purchase information and credit reduction will be made once the device is again connected to a data network.


To play a song, the device would need a copy of the media, and authorization. Obviously, the glaring question here is how will your device know what songs you’re going to be buying from iTunes before you buy them, it can’t store every song on the planet on your phone. It seems as though the device will select media for download mainly based on recommendations. Essentially, iTunes media will already be downloaded to your device, you’ll simply be paying to unlock it for use.


It makes sense to imagine that the technology might, for example, store upcoming episodes of a television series you might have bought, or the remaining songs from an incomplete album you’re trying out.

If this ever materializes, if could prove to be a really useful addition to iTunes, particularly for users who travel frequently, or have limited internet access.


Via: Apple Insider


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