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itunes store dramas arrrrrrrgh

22799 Views 82 Replies Latest reply: Aug 25, 2008 7:47 PM by robmatz RSS
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hel0108 Calculating status...
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Aug 18, 2008 2:52 AM
Hi all,

I know there are other threads regarding this but I've tried everything from the other threads. At least, I've tried everything from the other threads that makes sense to someone not that computer literate.

To start with I should make clear that all of my credit cards etc are to an Australian account plus Australian postal address but I am living in China where there is not an iTunes store. I use the store in Australia.

I have an iMac and a MacBook both on the same network, linked to each other and all the other guff.

This started about a week ago when I tried to download a couple of games for my ipod. On my big iMac an error message instantly appeared saying that it couldn't download the games. I can't remember the exact message. I then tried to download them to my MacBook. No problem, they downloaded straight away. I updated my iPod's games on the MacBook even though the songs are linked to the iMac (does that make sense?)

After that I connected my iPod back into my iMac and it asked me if I wanted to transfer my purchases to this computer. I said yes but it wouldnt allow it.

How do I transfer the games? Literally over my network or with a flash disk or whatever? Where do I find them to transfer them?

Today I re set up my wireless network to include the Time Capsule thing. I don't use the Time Capsule as the primary wireless router as I already have the N series wireless box thingy. I'm using the Time Capsule simply for Time Machine.

Anyway after that I went into the iTunes store and on BOTH computers I got the message "Itunes could not connect to the iTunes store. An unknown error occurred.(-4) Make sure your network connection is active and try again." It won't load the store and I can't log in on my ID - it says "trying to access store" and then the same error message appears.

Now I know that lots of people have had this problem. I don't have parental controls on, I don't have any odd settings on my wireless thingy, my keychains are fine, I've been updated with itunes 7 since it came out as everything automatically downloads.

Does ANYONE have any idea what I can do in nice simple English? Please remember I've used phrases such as "wireless thingy" when pitching the simplicity of your replies

Also, as lots of people are having this problem has there been any reply from apple? Or is it still "all services are working just fine thanks folks!"

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

iMac7,1, Mac OS X (10.5.4), iMac, MacBook and various iPods
  • 33g 5h3n Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2008 6:38 AM (in response to hel0108)
    Hi I live in Shanghai. (American using my US credit card and mailing address). Yesterday my iTunes was working. I was able to download Podcasts and videos.

    Today, I'm getting the same error message as you: "iTunes could not connect to the iTunes store. An unknown error occurred.(-4)"

    It's been raining a lot and thought it might be a power surge problem or a problem with my wireless setup (Airport Express), but now since you're having the same problem, I think the server is down OR iTunes is being blocked in China for some reason.

    Anyone else in China having this problem? I have to download episodes 16-20 of Stephen King's "N". Help!
    Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Sinoman Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2008 6:49 AM (in response to 33g 5h3n)
    I live in Shenzhen and am getting the same error message. Never had an issue before, so dubious it's a "China" issue.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • cnnn Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2008 7:05 AM (in response to hel0108)
    I think you're right. I'm living in CHina. It's really a bad day
    I have even decided to eraes my system until see this.
    hope it'll be all right soon
    Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • gtrogue Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 20, 2008 5:54 AM (in response to hel0108)
    I'm also in Shanghai with the same problem. Access to the US iTunes store is blocked. Yesterday was fine, today I am blocked. Judging from the Aussies experience with access being blocked for a week it doesn't look hopeful that this will be fixed anytime soon.

    <Edited by Moderator>
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Iain Connell Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
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    Aug 18, 2008 12:10 PM (in response to hel0108)
    In simple English (or Mandarin): IT'S A BUG. It's in iTunes 7.6 onwards, afecting users of Mac OS X (Tiger and Leopard), Windoze (XP and Vista and probably earlier OSs).

    Whether or not to do with network/security/proxy servers/anything else, is up to Apple to sort in their next release (which judging by the volume of reported problems, will be anytime soon).

    Workaround for the moment: click on 'eye' button (bottom right toolbar in iTunes window), drill down to artist or whatever you're looking for using menu hierarchies.


    BTW the bug has decided to stay away today, for me (iBook G4 running Tiger 10.4.11, iTunes 7.7.1(11)). But experience suggests that it'll probably be back tomorrow.
    iBook G4, 1.25 Gb ram, Aiport Extreme, built-in ethernet, 133MHz, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Sinoman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2008 5:58 PM (in response to Iain Connell)
    This is the first time I've ever sent an email to iTunes about an issue. Following is their (absurd) response:

    I have verified that the iTunes Store is functioning and accepting connections, which indicates that the issue is related to your internet connection, local network, or your local computer itself. This article outlines some of the likely culprits:

    I hope this information has been helpful

    I sent him back a note and told him he was an idiot. That won't help either, but it made me feel better. I'm assuming now, as you've indicated, this is some sort of iTunes bug they will sort out sooner or later.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • gtrogue Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 18, 2008 8:16 PM (in response to hel0108)
    Once this problem is fixed your AppleTV will work fine.

    If this is a bug in iTunes, how does a bug like this get introduced? And why does it seem to only affect people in China? If it is an iTunes issue, why is the AppleTV also affected? As far as I know the AppleTV software hasn't been updated in a while and everything has been working fine until this week.

    Is Apple going to start blocking the various iTunes stores based on location? I assume, maybe wrongly, that Apple knows that people in this day and age travel frequently and won't always be accessing the iTunes store from there home location.

    Anybody out there in China with an older install of iTunes able to verify if they still have access to the store using the older version?
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Patrick Yu Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2008 8:33 PM (in response to hel0108)
    I have a similar situation, coming from the States but living in Beijing. I can't access the iTunes store, however my friend in NYC is telling me he thinks it's because everyone is on the server trying to download the new 2.0.1 version of iPhone...maybe give it a few is frustrating though.
  • gtrogue Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 18, 2008 8:41 PM (in response to Iain Connell)
    Iain Connell,
    I cannot see how this is bug in iTunes. I didn't have this problem until this week and I had been running iTunes 7.6 and later for quite some time, since 7.6 was released. Also, a bug in iTunes would not affect the AppleTV. My AppleTV has been running the latest version of its software for a while and I didn't have any trouble until this week. Now I cannot access the store or authorize rentals from my AppleTV.

    If this is truly a problem that Apple has created it seems to me that it is on their backend not on the client. And if it is Apple's problem it seems that they have specifically targeted China as I cannot find any reports of this issue occurring anywhere else. Additionally, working through a US proxy remedies the problem.

    So, the way it looks to me is that if the Great Firewall of China isn't blocking the connection, then Apple has specifically targeted people accessing the store from China and decided to block access. Seems strange that during a time when millions of foreigners are in the country visiting they decide to block access. Perhaps that is why they are doing it. Maybe they want to test out large scale location based blocking and the Olympics gave them the opportunity to do it. I cannot imagine that that is truly what they are doing though. They have to know that people travel and while they are traveling they want to have access to there TV Shows, music, and movies. I can't tell you how many times I have downloaded a new episode of a TV show or grabbed a movie before I catch a flight home from overseas.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • iamsheep Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2008 9:34 PM (in response to hel0108)
    I am in Beijing and I have run into the exact same problem
    15" Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4), iTunes 7.7.1
  • merrillks Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2008 10:29 PM (in response to hel0108)
    I live in Western China and use an american account and have the same problem. My guess is that China has blocked iTunes. How they do this I don't know, but it's the same way that they can block Youtube. My guess is that they probably blocked it due to the "Songs for Tibet" CD that came out on iTunes two days before the olympics. I think part of the money goes to Tibet and since they have very strong views on Tibet I'm sure that played a part in them shutting down iTunes. My guess is that it will be up in a few days, but who knows.
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • gtrogue Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 18, 2008 11:31 PM (in response to merrillks)
    You can run a traceroute to the iTunes store and see that the requests are not being blocked by the Chinese firewall. When you do a traceroute on a blocked site, say, you can clearly see the packets stop at the Chinese firewall.

    This is definitely an issue with Apple and not the Great Firewall. I'm hoping they just have some type of configuration problem and that this isn't going to be permanent.

    If anybody wants to try, the iTunes store addresses are:
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • steve_x Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2008 11:22 PM (in response to hel0108)
    same here, can't access iTunes shop anymore from Ningbo, China !

    No help from apple ?
    MacBook Pro 17'', Mac OS X (10.5.4)
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