Is this a good strategy for winning a free iPod during Apple's iTunes Music Store promo?
July 5, 2004 9:32 PM   Subscribe

Is anyone else trying to win a free iPod during Apple's iTunes Music Store promo? My strategy is to wait until the counter get close to a 100,000 mark and start buying like mad. Do you think it even matters?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
This is just a guess based on refreshing the relevant page a few times, but I don't think the counter is updated in real time. Who's to say how long ago that number was accurate -- 10 minutes, an hour, four hours? I don't think it'll work. Unless, of course, I'm completely wrong.</hattori>
posted by mcwetboy at 9:39 PM on July 5, 2004

Seems to be updating every couple of minutes or so, so I'm mostly wrong.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:46 PM on July 5, 2004

I still think you're right. The frequency of updates has little to do with the time lag.
posted by smackfu at 9:57 PM on July 5, 2004

I think that's just what they want you to do, strangeleftydoublethink.
posted by carter at 10:03 PM on July 5, 2004

It updates every five minutes on the dot, synchronised to apple's time servers. I've been subtracting the latest entry from the previous one, then working out roughly when the count will tick round. And each time it works out to be when I'm pretty much guaranteed to be asleep.

posted by bonaldi at 10:19 PM on July 5, 2004

Why Buy, when you can send an email.
# How To Enter. You will automatically be entered into the Promotion by: 1) downloading a song from iTunes (any Free Download Single of the Week will be deemed an ineligible entry); or 2) a free alternative means of sending an email to Apple at via the iTunes “Tell a Friend” feature (a song download or Tell a Friend email will be deemed an “Entry(ies)”. The “Tell a Friend” feature can be easily accessed at iTunes by selecting a song, and clicking the “Tell a Friend” link that is displayed for that song.
posted by seanyboy at 12:16 AM on July 6, 2004

yeah, i agree. just send a mail via "tell a friend" and you're good to go
posted by bob sarabia at 12:31 AM on July 6, 2004

the counter does seem to be in (near) real time, and there definitely are people (myself included) watching it. During the day, the counter usually advances by about 2,000 songs every five minutes; when it approaches a 100,000 mark it's more like 4-5,000 in five minutes. This spike could only be caused by people who waited for it to get to ~97,000,000 (according to the counter) and then ordered like crazy. As for sending an email instead, that's all well and good if all you want is the free ipod, but I need new music anyways, so why not buy it when I have the best chance of winning something?
posted by rorycberger at 3:22 AM on July 6, 2004

One potential method, which I'm planning on using - go into iTunes preferences, and change your store behavior from one-click to shopping cart. Add however many songs you've been planning on buying to your cart.

When the magical hour approaches, hit Buy Cart and cross your fingers. I can't think of another way to get multiple entries consistently timed.

(While there's no mention about what happens if you purchase multiple tracks at once in the rules, since Apple is looking to count this as the number of tracks sold, I can't imagine why it wouldn't count.)
posted by Remy at 4:27 AM on July 6, 2004

Yeah, I've been using a similar strategy with the "buy album" buttons. Since it downloads each song separately, and it is a song based countdown, I figure it counts them all separately.
posted by rorycberger at 8:16 AM on July 6, 2004

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