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iTunes users experience downloading issues

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2007
News Categories: iTunes

Many iTunes users are reporting a growing problem involving purchases from the iTunes Store. According to messages from iLounge readers and user reports on Apple’s support website, customers are purchasing, and paying for, songs that refuse to download. When users try to select “Check for Purchases”, they receive an error message stating “Unable to check for purchases. iTunes Store unavailable. Please try again later.” At least three separate threads on Apple’s Discussion Boards document the issues. The problem appears to be widespread, with similar issues being reported by users of the iTunes Store in Canada, the UK, Germany, Austria, and Finland, as well as the US. Apple has yet to make any official statement regarding the issue. [Thanks, Rafael]

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Comments

1

I reported this problem late Monday to Apple.  I have a season pass to Robot Chicken… oh hells yes ... but Monday the Shoe episode failed to download correctly.  I threw some emails back and forth with Apple over the past few days, but I think they forgot to regression test 7.4

Posted by Korexz on September 12, 2007 at 1:40 PM (PDT)

2

At least now I know it’s not me that’s defective.

They need to hurry this up, though,
if it’s really this big of a problem.

I payed for three songs I have yet to see. :(

Posted by jeremyjk1221 on September 12, 2007 at 2:05 PM (PDT)

3

Never had any trouble, downloaded thousands of songs..PC and a Mac.

Could be a connection issue too.

Posted by hpg on September 12, 2007 at 2:17 PM (PDT)

4

Trust me it is not a connection issue.  I could access the iTS just fine.  I am not a #####.  Downloading my new episodes of RC… nope…

Apple tried to tell me I was on an old version of iTunes… but I was on 7.4.1.  I sent them a screen shot of iTS in the background, the about window with the version in the foreground, and the error message… Once they saw all of that they stopped just throwing generic response email messages over the wall to me wink

They better hurry up… I need my stop motion animation fix.

Posted by Korexz on September 12, 2007 at 2:35 PM (PDT)

5

The exact same thing happened a couple years ago after an update. Their response was that virus software was affecting it. After 5-6 days the problem was magically cured, without any actual admission of fault.

Posted by Rockindog on September 12, 2007 at 3:44 PM (PDT)

6

I downloaded the free song of the week and they accidentally charged me for it.  When I sent them a message, they apologized and gave me three free song credits.  They’re not evil overlords, just overwhelmed by the hundreds of millions of people using iTS at the same time.

Posted by Jared on September 12, 2007 at 4:35 PM (PDT)

7

Haha! I thought it was just me! I purchased a couple of videos from the Australian iTunes Store 2 days ago, and yes, ‘check for purchases’ does nothing at all! It’s not a connection issue as I’ve downloaded an album between then and now. But the iTunes Tech Squad is on the case, it seems.

Posted by Jesse on September 12, 2007 at 4:48 PM (PDT)

8

What’s really unacceptable is that there has been no acknowledgment from Apple that there’s a problem.  I just keep getting boiler-plate responses from iTunes support.  The last one addressed me by the name of the previous apple representative that contacted me.  I don’t think they’re even reading complaints at this point.

Posted by Peter on September 12, 2007 at 4:57 PM (PDT)

9

I’ve never experienced any problems downloading, but I suppose I’ve been fortunate. However, my son downloaded a corrupt movie last year and Apple promptly issued him credit to download it again…

Posted by Rod Baldwin on September 12, 2007 at 5:20 PM (PDT)

10

I purchased 40 songs Tuesday morning, 9/11/2007, and have yet to download them.

Posted by Richard on September 12, 2007 at 5:25 PM (PDT)

11

I’m having the same problem and it has only occurred since I installed the newest iTunes software download the other day.  I agree it is extremely irritating that it is clearly something Apple bunged up but they would rather act like we’re a bunch of bozos and suddenly don’t know how to operate our computers.  Give me a break - their arrogance is going over the top.

Posted by Kevin Brink on September 12, 2007 at 6:24 PM (PDT)

12

Count me in—same problem, same (lack of) help from Apple’s online support.

(At least I know it isn’t just me!)

I LOVE Apple, but how tough would it be to simply acknowledge the problem and tell us that a fix is on the way…

Posted by Bruce Barber on September 12, 2007 at 6:39 PM (PDT)

13

I purchased an album that included a Digital Booklet. The album plays, thankfully (and that is the most important part) but the booklet pdf file is corrupted. I’ve been volleying emails with Apple for four days now (because I am curious what the booklet is like) and I got the generic “download the latest version of iTunes” response every time. I’ve had 7.4.1 since it was released, and I finally replied yet again and told Apple flat out for the third time that the problem is not iTunes, it’s the file.

I just received an email from them saying they do not answer questions in this form about the store, and if I require further assistance, to call them.

Posted by MacGeek Pro on September 12, 2007 at 7:01 PM (PDT)

14

This is not a connectivity issue or anything to do with the client software. What happens is that during the purchasing process something gets screwed up and the shopping cart goes empty much faster than normal. Instead of downloading, an error message saying that iTunes is unavailable pops up and despite it’s suggestion to try again later, nothing works. Worse, subsequent purchases and downloads almost always work just fine but iTunes won’t let you re-buy something you haven’t downloaded so you’re SOL when it comes to that shopping cart. Apple support sends you the usual boilerplate (as in my case) or tells you they’re aware of the problem (as others have stated) but the only people that have solved the problem were the ones successful in getting Apple support technicians to cancel/refund their original order. Almost always, the next order goes through just fine.

Why Apple won’t just do this wholesale for those of us that have been caught up in this mess, I have no idea but I will say that unless Apple offers some exceptional compensation to those affected, there will be some serious fallout to Apple from this incident.

Posted by Andy Zmolek on September 12, 2007 at 7:53 PM (PDT)

15

I just downloaded a song from my shopping cart with no problem.  I’m running the latest iTunes software on a G4 Powerbook running 10.4.10

Posted by teacher24_70 on September 12, 2007 at 8:16 PM (PDT)

16

I’m having this problem. Charged but no download. I’m gald i’m not the only person with this problem.

Posted by James on September 13, 2007 at 3:19 AM (PDT)

17

I’ve had this error since I bought a ringtone on launch morning a few days ago (successfully), and then purchased a regular track right afterward (unsuccessfully).

The latest from Apple this morning in their second eMail to me:

Apple is currently working toward a resolution for the issue you have reported. You will receive an email after the matter has been investigated and further information is available.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on September 13, 2007 at 5:47 AM (PDT)

18

I knew bad karma would result from Apple’s decision not to support Windows 2000.

Posted by nonstopdigital on September 13, 2007 at 6:22 AM (PDT)

19

Another disgruntled customer…  two days without music or the money I paid for it.  Next time I think I’ll just buy the CD

Posted by nicebiscuit on September 13, 2007 at 11:30 AM (PDT)

20

Success!

See my post here on what I did to fix this - basically you need to have apple process a re-fund and re-order—everything will work fine if you re-order one-album-at-a-time (and probably works fine on multiple albums but I didn’t try that)

http://discussions.apple.com/messageview.jspa?messageID=5339179

Posted by Andy Zmolek on September 13, 2007 at 12:09 PM (PDT)

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