Name that tune

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I’ve never put much stock in instant gratification—perhaps because I’m so unaccustomed to it.

So I was unprepared for the genuine rush I felt when, after idly typing the only phrase I could remember of a song I’d heard on the radio as a child—“It Never Rains in Southern California”—several versions of that song appeared in the iTunes Music Store window—including the one by Albert Hammond that I remembered. I used my new gift card to snap that thing up, and listened to it over and over again.

I’ve been ripping CDs into iTunes for several years, but the Music Store was, until recently, unexplored territory. This got me started. I spent the better part of that late night summoning up phrases from other songs I used to like—songs whose names and artists are now totally obscure—the b-sides of old singles, one-hit wonders, even some crazy stuff my husband’s parents had stashed in the garage. You name it—I searched for, and mostly found, and downloaded it. (My initial luck in recalling a chorus that was the actual song name was rare in subsequent searches, so I sometimes had to use Google to find either the song’s name or the recording artist before searching in the Music Store.)

Then one song stopped me cold—“Walk Away Renee,” a popular tune by an obscure group called The Left Banke It was not there. I was aghast.

This wasn’t such an obscure song, either. I had recently heard the original version in the supermarket on one of the oldies stations, and it had been a very popular Top 40 hit.

What can you do if the iTunes Music Store does not have the selection you’re looking for? The iTunes Help says the following: “Click the Requests & Feedback button on the home page of the iTunes Music Store to request a song or album that you can't find. Then visit the iTunes Music Store at a later date to see if the song or album is available.”

The Music Store home page is well organized and easy to use, but I found no such button. There is a Request Music link, however, which I discovered using iTunes’ Help pull-down menu. (Or you can get to it via the Apple Web site by clicking the iPod and iTunes Tab and the Music Requests link at the bottom left-hand side of the page.) On that page, I typed in the name of the song and the artist, and sent the information off to the Music Store to wait for iTunes to fulfill my request.

That was two weeks ago and I’m still waiting. But I don’t mind. Think how excited I’ll be when (or if) they ever make this song available. Instant gratification—it’s so overrated.

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