The Red Hot Chili Peppers and MP3 grumblers Metallica are among a group of bands that are reportedly refusing to allow individual sales of their album tracks on Apple’s iTunes online store. The issue is said to be a creative rather than a financial issue. The bands are upset that the distribution of their music lets people cherry-pick good tracks and leave the B-side quality ones behind.

Mark Reiter of Q Prime Management said, "Our artists would rather not contribute to the demise of the Album format". His artists include Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Green Day, and Linkin Park.

Apple had no immediate comment on the issue. But this isn’t the first time the delivery system of music has affected the content. Before CDs were introduced albums were typically less than 45 minutes long; now albums tend to fill all available space on a CD, albeit with remixes and bonus tracks.