Bugs & Fixes: Apple admits, fixes iTunes 'remember password' bug

On Monday, Apple released iTunes 9.0.3. According to the release notes, the update’s numero uno bug fix is “iTunes no longer ignores your ‘Remember password for purchases’ setting.” In other words, if you enable this iTunes Store option, you will no longer have to continue to re-enter your password each time you make a purchase. Actually, if you are logged in to your account, the dialog is now skipped altogether. Prior to 9.0.3, enabling this option in iTunes 9 had absolutely no effect.

Until iTunes 9.0.3, ‘Remember password...’ kept forgetting.

Thank you, Apple. This has undoubtedly been the most irritating glitch in iTunes 9.

My only question to Apple is: Why did you need to keep your repair work a secret until now? It’s not like this was some security bug, where there is a danger in letting people know of the leak before it gets plugged. Nor did it involve some secret new product that you wanted to keep under wraps until you were ready to go public. So…why not simply state, sometime soon after iTunes 9 was released, that you were aware of the problem and intended to fix it?

There’s no shame in doing this. Other companies do it all the time. You even (sort of) do it yourself at times, when you issue a support document that describes a symptom without a final cure, and end the article with “This document will be updated as more information becomes available.” So couldn’t you have offered at least this much help for this particular bug?

I only ask because, in the absence of such guidance from Apple, I spent several hours, over the course of several days, trying to figure out and fix whatever was going on. Since the feature worked fine in iTunes 8.x, and since Apple made no mention of the bug, I initially assumed the problem was on my end. There must be some new option I had failed to set correctly. At the very least, there must be some easy fix (like deleting an iTunes .plist file) that would get things working again. But nothing worked. I searched the Web and found numerous reports of the problem (including, of course, on Apple’s Discussions Boards). But no one had a sure solution. Eventually, frustrated, I gave up.

I expect that thousands of other iTunes users went through the same experience.

Apple could have saved us from this wasted time by acknowledging the bug. No such luck. I could find no support document or Board posting or any other Apple statement on this matter—until the release of iTunes 9.0.3 and the announcement that the bug had been fixed.

I’d like to believe that Apple will be a bit more considerate the next time a similar situation arises. But I’m not counting on it.

Subscribe to the Apple @ Work Newsletter

Comments