Many thanks to those who provided their feedback about our little biscuity and apple-flavoured friend.
The method I am currently using to feel that I have shown due diligence to my all-important privacy, without having to do a double sign-in for iTunes, is long-winded. I will continue to nag Apple on the Developer's Bug Report pages but perhaps those who agree with my findings can do the same at the normal feedback links here:
For anyone that can stay awake long enough to get to the end, this is how I currently clear Safari in a way that retains my iTunes login:
This is for Mac users only I'm afraid.
Reset Safari with 'Remove all website data' UNCHECKED
(Safari will reset, and then it will open your usual Homepage afresh).
Go to Safari, Preferences, Privacy, Details
(this is the list of all the nasties (and goodies) that your surfing has Dyson-ed up on its travels).
Select all of the items
(I click on the first item on the list and then use SHIFT+ALT+DOWN ARROW, but you may have your own method).
(I use CMD+LEFT CLICK)
Now select 'Remove' (NOT 'Remove All' of course)
(Wait a few seconds to allow the deletion to completely finish. I find that 'apple.com' will disappear after a moment and when it reappears it should be OK to select 'Done' to close the window. If you've closed it too quickly you might see the odd item creep back in; no biggy, just do it again).
Close Preferences and close Safari.
Do keep in mind that your usual Homepage will have immediately thrown its own cookies straight back into Safari; it's nigh on impossible to have a completely empty cookie cache.
I often then run Michaël Fortin's excellent Black Hole (available for free at Irradiated.net or Mac App Store) which allows you to target anything that Safari's reset doesn't clear, and much more besides.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation whatsoever to Black Hole or its developer, and other equally splendid privacy applications are no doubt widely available!
Clearly this is all ridiculous.
I've already mentioned one seemingly simple solution in my previous post, which is to have the specific 'iTunes/apple.com' cookie stored elsewhere (perhaps within the iTunes preference folder, or am I just being incredibly stupid and/or naive!?).
A second solution would be for Apple to finally give Safari users an infinitely more useful privacy menu/checklist that allows us to decide which cookies should persist and which should be flushed when "Remove all website data' is used.
Gnail mentioned Piriform's excellent CCleaner (available for free at piriform.com or Mac App Store) which handles this very issue and has also recently become available for Mac users. I swear by it for Windows but I've yet to try it myself for Mac because Safari seems just a hair's breadth from having such a feature available. I always prefer an integral solution over a third party one wherever possible anyway (no disrepect at all to the wonderful third party developers doing such a terrific job out there).
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation whatsoever to CCleaner or its developer, and you now have proof that other equally splendid privacy applications are available just like I told you!
So: GO ON APPLE! You've got the list there, all the cookies and details are there, so all we need is to be able to check or uncheck them and you'll have a much happier bunch of iTunes AND Safari users - it's a Win/Win surely!?
Apple don't necessarily read this forum so we can all file our Enhancement Requests here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/safari.html if we want to.
Huge apologies as ever to Skiziks for my equally huge interruptions on this thread.
10.5 seemed to settle down for me, and it only happened when I reset iTunes cache.
However, in 10.6 I get it at least twice each time I open iTunes and Ping has gone a little mental as well.
I don't use Ping, but each time I click on the sidebar it asks for password then proceeds to try to set my Ping account up...
Oh well, one step forward, two steps back...
The request is still occurring for me too; although it appears I'm only getting it the once now.
I have been delving, and I finally found a very simple method to view the details inside 'Cookies.binarycookies' which is definitely our troublesome little friend.
Unfortunately, that's about where my limitations of understanding come to a bit of a grinding halt (truth be told, I was probably already past my limitations a while back!).
Anyway, here is where we need to call upon the really clever forum folk. If anyone can advise if there is a command that can be inserted before, or into, the text of a cookie that prevents its deletion but does not prevent the deletion of all the other cookies, then I see no reason why we wouldn't have a solution to this issue. This would need to be done via TextEdit.
Regardless of finding a workaround, I really think that Apple could fix this problem ever so easily.
The same folder that 'Cookies.binarycookies' lives in, is also home to just one other file: 'com.apple.appstore.plist'. It was no surprise to discover that that little fella contains...... a cookie and nothing else! Now, I don't know for absolutely sure, but I reckon I'd put a few quid on that cookie being the persistent login for the App Store (albeit that I believe you would still have to enter your password to actually make a purchase).
My (possibly naive) assumption here is that this seems to be a logical place where a persistent login cookie for iTunes could permanently flat-share with 'Cookies.binarycookies' and 'com.apple.appstore.plist'.
If I can ask that those with far greater grey matter than mine refrain from shooting me down in flames if I am continuing to make little sense, and perhaps just gently guide me on this wondrous journey; it will make you feel so much more worldly and wise!
Updated to 6.1. Still got the prompt (albeit in a differently formatted box), but I did find a fix for my Windows 7 machine. I have had this problem since day 1, and this actually stopped the prompt. I had deleted all cookies as mentioned by several Mac users, but still got the prompt, what DID work though was deleting all my Temporary Internet Files located in C:\Users\(username)\appdata\local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files. Select all the files in the folder and delete them. Restart itunes and see if it works for you. Keep in mind that the hidden system folders need to be "unhidden" in order to find this folder. Hopefully this works for some of the frustrated itunes users out there...
Fixed my problem for now. For what it is worth. I downloaded the latest version of iTunes this morning March 12th, 2012 on my Snow Leopard machine. Still had 2 popup windows asking for password for automatic downloads. Has annoyed me for some time. So I just did two things. First, I went to and opened the following folder: \Users\<username>\Library\Caches\com.apple.iTunes\. Then I found and deleted the following 3 items: "Cache.db", "goog-phish-shavar.dat" and "goog-phish-shavar.db". That may have fixed it, but I cannot say for sure because I found another setting in my account that had eluded me before! So here is the second thing I did and it may have been THE solution for me. It was to open iTunes, and then click on my email/account name in the top right corner. Clicked Account, and signed in. I made sure Ping was turned OFF. I had done that previously but it did not fix my problem. THEN I saw for the first time, under "settings" in my account (just below the Ping setting) a little phrase that said, "Recommendations & Ping Posting". To my surprise it was STILL ON. I clicked "Manage" then UNCHECKED the box that said "Show recommendations and give me the option to add a message to my purchase on Ping after each purchase." Then I "Saved Changes". Next I Clicked to "Reset all warnings for buying and downloading". Then clicked "Done" at the bottom. So I closed iTunes and reopened to see if it worked. IT did ! So I turned off my computer and rebooted to check again and it still worked. For now, no pop-up window asking for my password once or twice or more. Sorry for the way I posted without numbers for order or action. . . I'm in a very big hurry, but wanted to share anyway.
I have tried just about everything suggested in this thread as I worked my way through it chronologically.
This includes the suggestions related to resetting safari. The last fix I tried before altering the Ping settings was that suggested by Livebox on Mar 7, 2012 1:02 PM.
At this point, I must apologize because I don't recall if I thoroughly vetted THAT routine by trying to replicate the problem (closing iTunes, rebooting, logging in to iTunes, etc.) BEFORE I followed the suggestions regarding Ping. I would note that I DID follow other procedures suggested earlier in this discussion. That would include those related to resetting safari. All with no luck.
If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that, for me at least, either the solution suggested by Livebox (Mar 7, 2012 1:02 PM) or the suggestion from seethebluesky (Mar 12, 2012 11:55 AM) worked or it was the two in tandem that did the trick.
Since gaining the fix, I have not yet tried to reset safari. Should that return me to purgatory, I will report back.
To Powerbook 1701,
I reset safari frequently. iTunes is still working as expected. I'm like hnakedtuna in that I've been desperately trying all of the suggestions and none of them worked. In fact, it was about 2 months ago that I first turned off Ping in my account settings because of this thread. It worked once I "reset all warnings. . . " but came back the next time I booted up my Mac. So I came back today hoping someone had discovered a more permanent solution. Intuitively I still believed that some inadvertant setting must be working against me. So I went back thru everything until I accidentally saw the new settings list under the Ping section of account settings. So far, resets, restarts, reboots have not provoked any new password requirements. . . and my iTunes account is signed in as well. I can tell you this problem plagued me for months now and I was loath to even open iTunes at all. Thankfully, today my problem is solved. I'm tempted to test my solution by going back into iTunes Account settings and re-clicking the box beside the "Show recommendations and give me the option to add a message to my purchase on Ping after each purchase." I say tempted, but you know if it aint broke then. . .
Upon Further Review...
After my post of Mar 12, 2012 2:17 PM I used safari and executed a reset leaving 'Remove all website data' unchecked. I then opened iTunes to find that the login request problem had returned. The ping settings remained as I had left them per seethebluesky's instructions.
I then went back into safari (Safari, Preferences, Privacy, Details) and removed all items except for: apple.com.
After that I closed all programs and rebooted.
When I next opened iTunes, it worked in normal fashion. I did have to login to view my account information which is normal. The Ping settings are still off. Genius is on.
I would conclude, in my situation anyway, that there is a definite link between safari resets and the iTunes login bug. I also believe that the Ping settings somehow come in to play.
Again this is with this configuration:
OS X 10.6.8
iTunes 10.6 (40)
Safari 5.1.2 (6534.52.7)