3 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2013 5:52 AM by DJChad
DJChad Level 1 (0 points)

I was informed today from iTunes Support that new episodes that become available will no longer come through the Store > Check for Available Downloads option in iTunes.  If you notice in your email alerts for the new episode's availability, it now says the new episode is found in your Purchased items in Itunes in the Cloud. 


I was also told that if I checked the options "show iTunes Purchases in the Cloud" in iTunes > Preferences > Store tab, that I could just see the new episodes in my Library under TV Shows.  I used to have this option and could access the new episodes and download them this way, but that option is now GONE as well from iTunes.  I am awaiting feedback from my Senior Support Rep as to what is wrong there. 


I have been simply going to the iTunes Store > Purchased > TV Shows and clicking the "Not on this computer" option in the upper right.  I have to go show by show and click "Download" or "Download All".  I have almost 15 Season Passes at any one time.  This is a completely horrible way of downloading them. 


When the new episodes were evailable via the "Check for Available Downloads" Option, I had my iMac scheduled to restart every morning around 4am Central.  That was about 2 hours after the date/time stamp of the email notifications.  Since iTunes was always set to start at login, it would automatically check for available downloads, and then download all the new episodes.  I then had a cloning process scheduled that would clone my primary iTunes Media drive to a backup iTunes Media drive.  That way if one fails I always have an up to date copy. 


This new method totally screws up how slick this whole process worked.  I understand streaming and the cloud is the direction they are taking here, but this is completely an about face.  I want the new episodes available locally.  I want it downloaded when I am asleep and always available locally when I want to watch.  That way I dont have to worry about my internet availability.  Storm can knockout my internet.  The construction down the road can cut the optical cable.  I may loose my internet due to a problem with the ISP.  Having the files locally allows me to watch them worry free, buffer free, and when I want to. 


I urge those who are annoyed by this change to provide feedback here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html


I really hope this decision to remove this functionality is not a sign to come.  Next I will be downloading each song one by one when I buy an album because I can just stream it in the cloud. 


I love my Apple products and servies.  But this totally makes me hate them right now. 

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 27"; i5; 16GB RAM
  • lhotka Level 1 (45 points)

    Really?  This is on purpose.  How completely dumb, especially since it takes hours to download a single episode because of bandwidth issues on Apple's side (see the very long and growing thread on the issue).

  • DJChad Level 1 (0 points)

    I am so angry right now I can not even see straight.  So the "Show iTunes Purchases Option" out of the blue showed up in iTunes this morning. I dont know if a reboot fixed it or what. But the attached screen shows the lack of that feature along with the iTunes version.  ScreenGrab-2013-4-30-2303951-17678.png


    So I am not freaking crazy.  So I turned it on this morning to pick up 3 new episodes.  I get home tonigth and sit down on my couch with my Apple TV ready to roll... and it has completely screwed my "watched" vs "unwatched" episodes.  I come to my iTunes library on my iMac and sure enough TV Shows and Movies I know I have not watched or started are marked as watched.


    I have not watched a single episode of The Following Season 1, and it basically shows I have watched all but the latest 4 shows.   I have not watched the last several episodes of Revenge, and it says I have not watched only the last episode.  I am guessing as to where I left off, but it looks like Episode 13 was the last episode I watched and iTunes said I had only not watched Episode 19.  Vikings Season 1 - I have not watched a single show, but it shows I have watched all but the last 2 episodes, 8 & 9. 


    Movies - I have bought and downloaded many movies that I have not watched as of yet.  For instance: Django Unchainted, and all 3 Matrix Movies.  I have watched a couple of the Matrix movies but not all the way through.  But I had gone back and marked them as "unwatched"  Everything else I had not even touched to hit play or nothing.  These are all purchases. 


    I hunted down all the episodes and movies I knew I had not watched... which took me quite a while... and then when I close and re-open iTunes and at least the watched/unwatched TV shows stayed as I marked them.  This was not the case when this feature was first rolled out with iTunes 11.  That is exactly why I never used this feature in the first place.  Time will tell if it remains stable with the watch/unwatched situation. 


    Regardless, I am so tired of taking time out of my day and writing iTunes support and giving Apple feedback so they can perhaps look into it and see if its a larger issue than just my library.  So they can also maybe realize that some of us actually love their product and want to see them continue to working awesome, slick, and incredible. But as someone who is looking at 8 active season passes.... I may never buy a season pass from iTunes again.  The reason why EVERYONE still has a TV antenna and/or cable is because the basic concept of how you watch the programming DOESNT CHANGE.   They should take this feedback simply as TV shows are not like Movies and Music.  TV shows happen weekly.  Having a consistent and repeatable process to get the shows and watch them each week is paramount. 


    I am usually very good with change and enhancements.  But this one.... has completely made me an irate Apple Customer.

  • DJChad Level 1 (0 points)

    Noticed this morning the the email notifications from Apple now contain links.  Those links redirect into iTunes and allow you to select an option to "Download".  It then starts downloading the new episode.  This is a little bit more convienent than the cloud purchases appearing/disappearing in your library. 


    I set up a new iMac Friday and it had all the auto download, itunes purchases, 1080p, etc.. settings in the Store tab of iTunes preferences.  However somewhere along the way... all of that was undone and I had to go through setting those settings again.... and of coarse the "show itunes purchases in the cloud" setting messes up all your watched/unwatched flags.  So I had to go through my library and fix all those again.   Its painful. 


    I tried this weekend to watch from the cloud on my Apple TV vs the iTunes Computer library and it pales in comparision to the Computer library method.  The ATV cloud for TV shows only shows "recent". Does not matter if you have or have not watched the show... it shows as recent.  So you have to go to each TV show listed there and determine if you have watched the newest episode or not.  Which for me, there are times I have time to watch 2 hours of TV a week and other times I can watch 10.  So it can be difficult to know what I have and have not watched.


    But overall, going to the ATV, Computers, TV Shows, and UNWATCHED is simply the BEST TV watching experience around.  I have Tivo which is known for besting amoung the best DVR interfaces out there. And it is alot of hunting and clicking to find your shows across 1-2 DVRs.  So I really hope if Apple does improve and enhance the TV shows in the cloud, it more resembles the TV show views in the Computer library. 


    Watched and UNWATCHED is a user definable flag as well as is automatically set when you first download or have a new piece of video content available. Its critical to me that this be maintained and supported to work probably.  Recent is not the way to go.