iTunes downloads and a wiped hard drive

So I need to wipe my hard drive and reinstall, and I was wondering what happens with songs downloaded from the iTunes store. Does it work like consoles where it remembers what you bought and can redownload?

Apple generally won’t let you redownload unless you whine at them for a while, and then they’ll only let you do it as a one-time favour. You’re best off just making sure you back up the “iTunes Music” folder, and make sure you deauthorize the computer within iTunes before wiping it.

Good to know, thanks. Why do you need to deauthorize though?

Well, you don’t have to. I forgot that they added the “Deauthorize All” feature and you could just use that if you wind up hitting the authorization limit. It probably just irks the programmer in me as a “handle leak”…

Thanks for the info, I’m sure you saved me a ton of frustration.

Or you can use DoubleTwist to break the DRM. :-)

Or you can find the form on their site and request a reset of your downloads. This generally takes less than 24 hours, and you’ll be able to download them all again. No, you don’t have to whine. It’s no hassle at all.

Oh it looks like it isn’t a form anymore. Just email them: http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/store/lostmusic/

They say they’ll only do it once but I’ve redownloaded all my stuff at least three times.

Thanks Joe, given the nature of the problems I’m having with windows that would be the simplest option.