Apple patents offline iTunes purchases

By , Apr 9, 2013

iTunes 11 (three up, MacBook, iPhone, iPad)

Could Apple be preparing a prepaid version of iTunes of sorts, one that could allow users to purchase music and other digital media from the Apple cloud without an Internet connection? Tuesday, the iPhone maker was granted a patent for a system permitting iTunes purchases using offline credits, according to the 2010 filing. At the heart of the system is the ability to buy credits while online. The credits would also get stored locally on your device, not just in your online iTunes account.

Those ‘offline’ credits can then purchase and enable various media that would first have to be cached automatically on your device, based on top sellers, recommendations, past purchases and other criteria.

In turn, people could make iTunes transactions whenever they happen to be, even when being online is impractical. Reportedly, the proposed technology could also increase iTunes sales by offering restricted usage of the material…

Potentially, the practice could open up Apple providing recommended items.

Those recommendations could play back a limited number of times or at a lower quality until the user purchases a fully authorized version, according to Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,417,575 for “On-device offline purchases using credits.”

Apple patent (offline iTunes purchases 001)

The last major change to iTunes came when Apple unveiled iTunes Match, an iCloud service allowing consumers to access digital music purchased online or imported from CDs.

Apple patent (offline iTunes purchases 004)

In one of the patent drawings, depicted below, Apple illustrates adding credits to a user’s device accounts. It appears to suggest that this could be accomplished through the device itself, but also via desktop iTunes with corresponding patent features not present in the current incarnation of the software.

Apple patent (offline iTunes purchases 003)

According to the filing, the system would accept several forms of payment, including credit cards, like today, but also bank accounts as well.

In March, another patent surfaced suggesting Apple was exploring ways iTunes users could sell “used” digital media. Spanning several patents, that invention would transfer the right to open or view the music track, video or e-book from the currently-registered owner to someone else.

Unfortunately, a U.S. court recently ruled consumers can’t sell their iTunes songs.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    lol try all you want…..

  • http://twitter.com/frebib Joe Groocock

    This seems kind of pointless to me because firstly, most people are nearly always connected, even if only over cellular. Secondly, they will still need to download the song from the internet anyway???

  • http://twitter.com/samerised Sam L.

    Apply jailbreak. Get unlimited credit. WIN

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000603361739 Osama Muhammed

      i dont think they’re that stupid to let such thing happen

      • http://twitter.com/samerised Sam L.

        Technically it should be possible because according to the article you do the full purchase offline so I think there should be a way to circumvent it. Just a thought.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000603361739 Osama Muhammed

        true but im sure its the first thing they will focus on to never let it happen

  • http://www.facebook.com/raaed.rizza.7 Raaed Rizza

    Hackers would love this

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1496513068 Zach Krase

    how could you download something from nothing?

  • http://twitter.com/jaymaster103 Tim

    “Those ‘offline’ credits can then purchase and enable various media that
    would first have to be cached automatically on your device” then you wonder where half of your bandwidth went.

  • http://www.facebook.com/esa.hergatama Esa Bontevaga

    they have 3G signal but do an offline shoping…

  • Eldaria

    This seems completely pointless, except for buying various smurf berries and other virtual currencies. For Apps and music, you would still need to download the purchase.