I don’t blame Apple for wanting customers who can impulse buy. But, at the same time, there are a lot of parents, consumers, and less well off people that don’t even want to have that option for the intended user. They want an iTunes Account that doesn’t have purchasing strings attached.
Now, there was a workaround. You could open a PayPal account and simply not fund it. Using that as a credit card nets you an iTunes Account without a credit card attached. But, that’s confusing… there are a lot of people out there that don’t understand what PayPal is. If you think I’m insane for making such an argument, you need to step out of your tech world.
So, Apple has been clear, they want you to have a credit card on your account… even if you just want free App Store apps. But, they have opened up a workaround… if you can say the secret word (or rather, go to the right page).
According to this quietly-posted guide from Apple, if you go to iTunes Store -> App Store, and download a free App Store app, you can then click the same Create iTunes Account button. Only, this time, the Credit Card registration field will list a “None” option. Now, if you go to the regular iTunes Store, and try to download a free song of the week, free sample TV show, or anything other than a free App Store app… you won’t have this option.
Apple, don’t be evil. People should always have the option to not provide a credit card (or, have to jump through monopoly-style hoops to start a blank PayPal account). But, I do want to thank Apple for showing me this lesson. It’s something I’ll be sure to not repeat down the road.
Thank you very much for posting this.
I’ve been using iTunes with gift cards and free podcasts for years and I suddenly have to give my credit card info or my PayPal account! No benefit to me and it adds (however small) a risk of someone running up my account, plus wasting my time making me sign up again for their service.
There are at least 2 of us left on the planet with sound reasoning, that agree that SSD drives can in fact be defraged if required. I recently experienced a slow down on my SSD drive and had to use defrag to bring it back to top speed.
I am a power PC user and use my computer 8-12 hours a day, almost every day, 365 days a year. As a consequence, my small Asus EEE PC 900 Netbook running Windows XP (NTFS format), 16Gb SSD drive, decided after 3 years of frequent use to display the following symptoms.
The Asus Netbook, comes with the worlds slowest Phison SSD drive and at best runs mid 30,s read and around 12mbs write speed tops. Anyhow, recently it displayed slow Windows loading, over 5 mins to load Browser (Comodo Dragon) and refused to play MP3 music files. I tried to run Atto Benchmark, but up popped a message saying “drive error”. So, I then run CrystalDiskMark, it worked and gave the following astonishing low test results.
Sequential read: 3.73mbs and sequential write: 7.61mbs
512k random read: 3.27mbs and 512k random write: 1.30mbs
4k random read: 0.032mbs and 4k random write: 0.007mbs
The above results are the lowest I have ever seen for a SSD drive and I considered tossing the drive to the scrap bin. I believe that the drive became extremely fragmented, with too much searching for data blocks and slowed my PC to a crawl. For all the skeptics out there, don’t be afraid to run defrag, as soon as you drive starts slowing. OK, most people will say defraging a SSD drive is a waste of time and it should not be done. On a once or twice basis, I cannot see, that running defrag will make the slightest difference to the performance. The Asus SSD has a Nand flash, with a 100 gbytes write and erase per day endurance and a MTBF of 1,000,000 hours.
I then opened my favorite defrag software VoptXP V7.22. Vopt gave a data transfer rate of 1.75mbs, about 20 times below the correct SSD drive speed. It recommended to achieve the best drive performance, that I run as batch defrag for the NTFS format. As it was 2am in morning and I was extremely tied, I failed to record the actual pecentage of defraged files and how long it took. By early morning, I tested the results with Atto Benchmark.
I have saved the Atto results on my PC with original and defraged SSD drive as proof and the difference is only down by a small margin. My Asus is now running fast again, boots up in approx. 40 seconds and loads browser in 5-10 seconds, with 2 tabs.
Comparison, new and defraged SSD test:
New SSD drive: Seq. read: 35.36mbs and seq. write: 11.46mbs
Defraged drive: Seq. read: 32.82mbs and seq. write: 7.32mbs
New SSD drive: 512k read: 37.54mbs and 512k write: 11.42mbs
Defraged drive: 512k read: 30.13mbs and 512k write: 7.08mbs
New SSD drive: 4k read: 6.78mbs and 4k write: 0.017mbs
Defraged drive: 4k read: 6.68mbs and 4k write: 0.017mbs
For those, that proclaim that Defragmentation cannot be performed on flash-based SSDs due to wear leveling and achieve nothing, I can now assure you that it is not true and in fact, I have revitalized my Netbook once again.