The other problem with this change, intentional or not, is that it often takes a lot longer for stuff to show up in purchased. For example, it used to be that whenever I got the email for a new episode, I'd hit check for availalble downloads, and it would already be there.
Since this issue has started, when I get the email and go into purchased, 9 times out of 10 the episode is not there yet. It often takes several hours for it to show up there, so using this method means I have to wait longer to get a new episode than people who buy an episode at a time. Way to take care of your most loyal customers!
Well, or course, I hope they fix it. I thought it was intentional due to other posts and the fact that Apple actually changed the email message to say "...get it from purchased...". That is strange. Why not just fix it? Whatever new backend update they did should be cancelled and put on hold if it is going to break a critical user feature. Stores in other countries are working. But changing the email makes it seem like it is either intentional or that fixing this issue is not as high a priority. But, then again, I don't know what is really going on or why Apple is choosing to take this route... maybe whatever broke it was a patch to a serious security vulnerability.
As I mentioned, I asked my tech support guy to find out why were getting different answers to the same question. Here is his response:
"I have consulted my manager and I have confirmed that this is just a ongoing issue with the available download feature and its not been completely removed.
For the meantime you will need to obtain the episodes via purchased page. This is just a work around till the issue has been resolved. Our engineers are working diligently to resolve this as soon as possible.
I once again apologize for the inconvenience and confusion this has caused. If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to reply to this email and I will be more than happy to assist you further. Thank you for being an iTunes Store customer."
So, according to this, they are still working on it, and it is not intentional, but no idea why it is taking so long. Also worth noting that the text of the "new episode available" email has changed (again). To wit:
"The lastest episode of Revolution, Season 1 is now available to download." This is a clickable link, which I have removed in case it contains any of my account info. I clicked it on my iPad and it immediately began downloading -- much more convenient. I will try it on my iTunes laptop as well when I get home.
It's good news that they say they are working to fix the problem although I find it suspicious that it's only affecting the US iTunes stores and it's taking so long to resolve. A support tech I dealt with was able to reset my account to download automatically but only for one show. Then it stopped downloading again. The clickable link isn't a substitute because a) I have to be there to click on the link and b) I'd have to install email on my iTunes server (that drives my Apple TV's) which I don't want to do. Thanks for the info.
So got this email
The latest episode of Hart of Dixie, Season 2 is now available for you to download.
To stop receiving email notification of new episodes, edit your preferences in the iTunes Store.
The iTunes Store team
Clicked on the link and it opened up iTunes and asked if I wanted to download it now, and I pressed DOWNLOAD NOW. Then it says "Purchasing On the Road Again" and I was like WAIT WHAT???
So, Iv'e emailed them to verify whether or not I have been charged again, and asking them to please change that word... having it say PURCHASING when I have already purchased it freaks me out!
Won't streaming videos eat up bandwidth too?
Yes. I am guessing they did an analysis of how many people download season passes and do not watch episodes and considered that if they do not auto download, they can save bandwidth. Or, since the cost of bandwidth is always decreasing, delaying downloads across their entire user community defers the expense until a later time when it is less expensive. I suspect there is no other reason other than saving money to do something like this.
Well quite frankly the easiest answer than is to NOT purchase season pass. A little inconvenient Yes, but screw them.. purchase and download each episode as you want it not give the money across straight away.
The more people that drop Season Pass - the more they will realise they screwed up with the decision.
If you buy each episode rather than a season pass then for one of the shows I subscribe to it's $48 rather than the $38 for the pass. So not financially viable really when I subscribe to 6 shows.
I had an email back today saying that the issue has been resolved and that all further episodes of my season passes need to be downloaded from the purchased page.
This is not possible in my house as we have one computer where all tv shows are downloaded and 4 people with different iTunes accounts who have season passes.
We store all iTunes stuff on an external hard drive and then it's available to everyone.
It's not now possible to download the new episodes because of the 90 day issue.
It sounds like there is going to be an upgrade to iTunes and the 'check for available' option may disappear.
this is part of their reply when I complained about dropping the check for download option and having to download from the purchased page.
"I understand that this change to the way Season Pass episodes can be accessed is not ideal for you, so I'd like to encourage you to use the iTunes Feedback page to submit your comments regarding this change.
Apple takes suggestions from customers very seriously, and recognizes that no one is better qualified to provide feedback about iTunes than the people who use it. This is the reason for our feedback page - to create a forum where customers can submit their ideas for requests or improvements to the iTunes Store. We'd appreciate it if you'll take time to submit your comments or suggestions so we will know how we can serve you better.
You can submit this request and any other request through the feedback page at:
From this link, you will be able to choose to provide a feedback specifically for this issue and freely express what you feel on how these concerns should be addressed more suitably. "
so I guess we all need to go to the link.
I have been getting links in my emails for new episodes again. The check for downloads still doesn't work, but I have just made an alternate script that automatically opens the download links on the new emails, so my media server now has the same functionality that I had before.... it downloads the new episodes when it gets an email that they are available.
I wouldn't be surprised if the download functionality through the store changes again, though, and then I will have to come up with a new solution.