iTunes Reportedly Overwhelmed On Christmas Day
Thousands of online shoppers armed with new iPods and iTunes gift cards reportedly overwhelmed Apple’s iTunes music store on Christmas day, prompting error messages and slowdowns of 20 minutes or more for downloads of a single song.
Disenchanted users began posting “unhappy” messages Monday and Tuesday on Apple’s technical forum for iTunes, complaining they were either not allowed into the store or were told the system couldn’t process their request to download songs and videos.
It was not immediately clear how many people were affected by the slowdowns, and Apple Computer Inc. would not immediately comment Wednesday on what caused the slowdown and whether it had been fixed.
Analysts said the problems likely were the result of too many people with holiday iPods and iTunes gift cards trying to access the site at once. Traffic indeed was heavy over the holiday, with more than four times as many people visiting the iTunes Web site on Christmas than at the same time last year.
Some industry watchers said the interruption could be viewed as a sign that sales dramatically exceeded the Cupertino-based company’s own forecasts. However, the problem likely was not as widespread as the frustrated discussion group sniveling might indicate.