Has this happened to you before? You like an artist and buy a few tracks from their album on iTunes. Then you realize that you really like the artist and want to buy the rest of the album. But if you buy each remaining song on the album separately, it costs more than if you just buy the entire album all at once. And many times, several tracks on the disc as well as the PDF booklet are only available if you purchase the entire album at once (iTunes calls them Album Only offerings).

I’ve run into this dilemma a few times before. Sometimes I’ll want to buy the entire album but won’t just because I don’t want to waste the money.

Apparently I’m not alone when it comes to this problem. If recent reports are true, Apple is supposedly going to credit iTunes users who purchase individual tracks before buying the entire album. For example, let’s say you bought two tracks from the new live Foo Fighters album for $0.99 each and the album is priced at $9.99. If you decided to buy the album later, Apple would charge you something like $8.01 instead and credit you for the tracks you already own.

Why would Apple do this? Why not? Something as simple as this might be the deciding factor between you just buying 1 or 2 songs or the entire album on iTunes. And if you decide to buy the entire album, then everybody wins. You save some money and get the music you want. The record companies sell more albums (something they are struggling to do because everyone just buys singles now). And Apple makes a bigger commission.

It’s a great idea. I’m surprised Apple hasn’t done this in the iTunes Music Store since day one.