The iMovie protected-music bug

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Reader Atilla Sohar is the latest of a few readers to write in with an issue involving protected iTunes tracks and iMovie HD and iDVD. He writes:

When using iTunes tracks in my movie soundtrack, I’ve been prompted by the software that my computer is not authorized to play this iTunes track on my computer. Then when I authorize it, it says that it’s been authorized by iTunes but still it doesn’t let me play it or download it to the audio track.

I’ve spent many sleepless night trying to figure this out but it’s been my first very frustrating experience with an Apple application. There needs to be a solution for that, other than copying the tunes to CD and re-importing them.

I chose this question not because I have the definitive answer, but rather because there’s a lot of FUD going around about this issue. Some have suggested that it’s an intentional hobbling of the iLife applications and therefore it affects everyone. That’s not the case.

I’ve tested this with three different Macs using different configurations of iLife. Specifically:

• Mac Pro running iLife ‘08, iTunes 7.3.2, and QuickTime 7.2. iTunes is authorized to play purchased tracks on this computer and iLife ‘06 was on this Mac before I upgraded to iLife ‘08. iMovie HD, the new iMovie, and iDVD import and play protected tracks with no complaint.

• MacBook Pro with the same setup. No complaints.

• PowerBook G4 running iLife ‘06, iTunes 7.3.2, and QuickTime 7.2. iTunes is authorized to play purchased tracks. Successfully imported purchased tracks into iMovie HD and they exported without a problem.

So, no problems here, which leads me to believe that this is a bug rather than anything intentional. Our job now is to see what causes the problem for those who are afflicted.

Have the problem? Use the comments link below and let’s see if we can run this sucker down.

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