iTunes credits singles toward albums

A new feature in iTunes will stop the madness of having to pay twice for the same song when you purchase an album containing tracks you already own.

Apple said it will now credit customers the difference when purchasing a complete album if they already bought tracks from that album on . Rumors of an were reported in November 2006. Apple announced the new feature, called "Complete My Album," on Thursday.

Customers are credited 99 cents for each track from the total purchase price of the album. The catch is that they must buy an entire album within 180 days from when they purchased an individual track in order for it to apply as credit.

For songs bought in 2007, the 180 days starts ticking from the date of purchase. For any songs purchased prior to December 29, 2006 (going as far back as the opening of the iTunes store), you have until June 26 to complete a qualifying album.

One interesting side note--if the Complete My Album price would be less than $1, Apple doesn't offer that option. So if you've bought 11 of those 12 songs that as an album would cost only $9.99, you're out of luck.

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