If it is, in fact, the case that Apple has decided to discontinue automatic downloads, then why hasn't everyone with a season pass been notified of the change? As much as I like Apple's products, and generally have few serious complaints, I find their customer service to be so lacking as to basically be non-existent. Simple things that could be done - INFORMING people about changes instead of just implementing them, for example - are not done. I have googled various issues over the years, and the majority of the times I've found a link to an Apple discussion board it has been years old and there was no satisfactory response given to the problem, if any at all. It seems to me that discussion boards, especially in the "Support" area, should be places that Apple would want to trawl regularly in order to find out what kinds of issues their customers are having with their products. And when they find problems many people are having, THEY SHOULD ADDRESS THEM. "We know about the problem and we're workiing on it" doesn't cut it, either - if you're going to do that, it needs to be followed up on regularly, even if it's just to say "we haven't quite gotten it yet, but we're still at it" or "sorry, guys, we can't fix this" or something.
Sorry to get a little ranty, but it ticks me off when I see a company that I like doing such a terrible job responding to their customers.
Re: the New Changes page. Am I blind or is there NO mention on that page that you can now stream content from iCloud on a computer and I assume on IOS devices? I found this by accident when I double-clicked a TV episode that wasn't downloaded and it started to play. Knowing nothing else and reading that "New Changes" page, it seems like Apple is only giving you the choice to download now or download later, which, whatever.
I don't want to jump on the "Since Jobs is gone, Apple has been going downhill" bandwagon, but it's really becoming hard not to. I have streamed a few episodes, but that's not 100% reliable yet, where a download is. I'd prefer automatic downloads was an option, but Apple keeps dumbing down their software and taking options away. Annoying!
Apple doesn't troll these forums. They insist that you send them "feedback" on their various Feedback pages. I've found though that since you get no response from feedback, I usually "Report a Problem" if I'm annoyed enough about it or can't find a workaround. Your rant is totally justified!
I still want to know why I don't receive an email that a new season of a show that I've previously purchased is available. It seems like the simplest marketing they could do! Instead I have to set up an alert if I want some kind of notification. Dumb!