Apple recently introduced content Mastered for iTunes (MFiT) on the iTunes Music Store, but they certainly aren’t going out of their way to make it easy for consumers to identify which albums are part of the program and which aren’t.
Originally they added an MFiT section where they advised users to “keep checking back as [they] add more music that is mastered specifically for iTunes”. Unfortunately, they haven’t been doing a great job of keeping it updated. It doesn’t appear to have changed since it was first unveiled, otherwise it would have included this week’s release of Keane’s new album, Strangeland and last week’s Norah Jones new album, Little Broken Hearts.
Trying to figure out which albums are mastered for iTunes is tricky business since they don’t appear to have any consistent location/way of telling users that the album they’re looking at is mastered for iTunes. Sometimes it’s in the album’s iTunes Notes section:
Other times it’s advertised solely in a banner on the store’s Music homepage:
That banner is ambiguous, though. Is just the new album mastered for iTunes? Or were those $6.99 catalogue albums ALSO recently mastered for iTunes? (In this case, the copyright information for their previous albums appears to match the years of release, so I must assume they have not been remastered.)
Even more frustrating is when they add an album that has no description, nor MFiT icon. When you get to an album like this, your only way of deducing that it was recently remastered is by looking at the year listed in the copyright information. (Because we all know how much everyone checks that out.)
When Apple first released iTunes LPs they went out of their way to make sure consumers knew they were looking at an iTunes LP—it was indicated with the telltale badge/icon in the top-right corner of an album’s page:
Why is it that they aren’t adopting a similar approach for MFiT? If album pages are the responsibility of labels/artists, I’m sure Apple imposes rules/guidelines as to what information is required on said pages. Why isn’t this a requirement for all MFiT content?