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Old Apr 27, 2009, 06:26 PM   #1
fpnc
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Is iTunes deleting DRMed content from the Apple TV?

It seems that there are a growing number of reports that the iTunes application will delete DRM-protected content from the Apple TV if your Mac or PC can't connect to the iTunes Store. Basically, it appears that iTunes is attempting to "phone home" to the iTunes Store whenever it is launched and if the connection to the iTunes Store fails then all of your DRM-protected content on your Apple TV will be deleted.

Some are calling this a bug that may have been introduced within the last two months through an update either to iTunes or the Apple TV firmware. Others are thinking that it may be a new DRM requirement that was put into place when Apple started making HD movies available for purchase. In any case, a lot of people are getting upset because when this happens they have to resync all of their DRM-protected content back to the Apple TV and depending upon the amount of content and the speed of their network this can take several hours during which time you must leave iTunes up and running.

It is also possible that this "behavior" is causing resync failures or forever-in-sync-mode conditions if your connection to the iTunes Store is failing on a regular basis.

Apparently you can duplicate this problem just by disconnecting your cable/DSL modem PRIOR to launching iTunes. In this case since iTunes won't be able to connect to the iTunes Store the end result will be that all of your DRM-protected content will be deleted from the Apple TV. Thankfully, the content on your Mac/PC will still be present but you will still require a potentially lengthy resync of the content to get your purchased music and videos back onto your Apple TV.

Furthermore, this problem can occur just because of random internet outages (ISP or router issues) -- that is you don't have to "force" this failure it can happen randomly to just about anyone.

Is this a known issue or something that is just beginning to come to light?
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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Ah, ok...yes...this has happened to me twice. I just figured it was a bug. Its kind of a pain because it erases everything, and then once I reboot the pc and ATV, it has to re-sync everything again...

...hmm...so does that mean I can't travel with my ATV without my content disappearing? That would make me very very angry and Apple will be getting an earful...
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 07:38 PM   #3
fpnc
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...hmm...so does that mean I can't travel with my ATV without my content disappearing? That would make me very very angry and Apple will be getting an earful...
I think you can still travel with the Apple TV except if while you travel you have it connected to a linked Mac/PC. In the latter case when you launch iTunes you'll need to have an internet connections so that iTunes can "phone home." Otherwise, iTunes may delete the content.

However, I'm pretty certain that a standalone Apple TV will continue to work as long as the iTunes application isn't allowed to have access to the Apple TV.
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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I noticed this too. I thought it was just a glitch that was happening to me.
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Old May 5, 2009, 04:23 PM   #5
jschuman
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Yep, seen it here too. In fact, I've "caught" the problem in iTunes when it's occurred. You'll see the triangle-with-exclamation-point-inside icon next to the AppleTV icon. When clicked, it will list the content that could not be synced. It IS a royal pain......
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Old May 5, 2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Confirmed here as well.
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Old May 5, 2009, 07:19 PM   #7
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I saw this a few days ago when my cable modem was being flaky and I didn't realize I'd lost internet. It suddenly got rid of my DRM'ed content and I had to wait a while till I had internet back. However, I think I remember that when it did come back, the files were magically present again without syncing the files back to the apple tv. Maybe they're just not being shown while you are not connected to the net? I also saw the triangle icon next to my apple tv when this happened and noticed it had ~8gb free all of a sudden. This went away when I was able to connect again and it returned to its usual almost-full condition very quickly. Hope this is just a software glitch and it gets corrected soon!
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Old May 11, 2009, 03:57 AM   #8
packgrad2000
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Yeah, this has happened to me several times and is EXTREMELY annoying. I'm currently re-syncying all my DRM'ed content back to my Apple TV for the umpteenth time. Glad to know it's not just me, and glad to know it's hopefully a bug that will be fixed.
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Old May 11, 2009, 07:02 AM   #9
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Yeah, same thing has happened to be several times now. But the real question is "Is it a bug?" or is this just reflecting a change in policy of the DRM rules that we don't know about. Has anyone here talked to Apple yet to find out?
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Old May 11, 2009, 10:21 AM   #10
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OK, I just got off the phone with Tech Support and here's what they came up with: he told me to deauthorize the computer with iTunes (the computer synced with the Apple TV) and then re-authorize, and then go to my Apple TV and sign out of the iTunes store and then sign back in. They think it may have something to do with the computer and TV not "talking" properly and by signing out of both and then signing back in, it kind of resets it. Of course, when you deauthorize your computer, all purchased content on your TV is immediately deleted again, so you get to re-sync yet another time.

But this is definitely NOT something that should be happening, according to Apple.
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Old May 11, 2009, 03:36 PM   #11
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I did a little network work over the weekend (cleaning up ethernet cables behind the workstation) and had just downloaded an HD movie, and noticed the same thing. I'm just gonna guess, despite what tech support told us, this is NOT a bug. It would actually make perfect sense that it's not deleting it, but just hiding it until it's authorized again by the server to play the content. Just a guess.
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Old May 11, 2009, 08:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rich1963 View Post
I did a little network work over the weekend (cleaning up ethernet cables behind the workstation) and had just downloaded an HD movie, and noticed the same thing. I'm just gonna guess, despite what tech support told us, this is NOT a bug. It would actually make perfect sense that it's not deleting it, but just hiding it until it's authorized again by the server to play the content. Just a guess.
If it was just deleting it, then why is it taking forever to re-sync all the DRM'ed content back to the Apple TV? Here's how it works with me: when it can't contact the iTunes store to authorize it, it deletes it from the Apple TV. When my internet connection is back up again, it can get the authorization from the iTunes store, and starts re-syncing. For me, it's about 30GB worth of content, which takes several hours to re-copy back to the Apple TV over my wireless-G network.
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Old May 12, 2009, 12:08 AM   #13
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Quit iTunes While Using ATV

I've had a boatload of problems with my ATV since the most recent iTunes and ATV upgrades. These have included video freezes(not audio), total freezes, weird color contamination. I've rebooted dozens of times, factory reset, reloaded all of my media, the problems have continued. When I have run the diagnostics option I get a message that there is a problem with the "video subsystem". I can't find out anything about that and actually the problems are seemingly intermittent and without obvious pattern. A total *********g drag. Mind you, I love this gadget and I think that the problem is software and I wish Apple would address it. I found that if I quit iTunes prior to watching something I don't have nearly as many problems. Makes me think that the problem is in the network and the application but I really don't know. Any ideas?
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Old May 31, 2009, 12:05 PM   #14
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Update

Well, after doing what the guy at AppleCare said to do, ie re-syncing the ATV and the Mac it's synced to, it appears it's still deleting DRM'd content from the ATV. My internet was out all day, and the ATV deleted anything purchased from the iTunes store. I'm convinced this is a software bug, and I believe it's a bug within iTunes itself.
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 09:32 PM   #15
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Will iTunes 8.2 fix this problem?

Well, we're going to have to see if this was fixed by today's update to iTunes. I submitted a detailed bug report to Apple about this issue several weeks ago but I'd be completely surprised if Apple has fixed this given that they've probably gotten very few bug reports that adequately describe this defect. I suspect most users just think that something is wrong either with their Apple TV hardware or with the sync function itself, but this selective deleting of DRMed content is something entirely different. I wonder how many Apple TVs have been returned for assumed hardware failure when the problem was really the willful deleting of DRMed content by the iTunes application itself.

I'm about ready to "sacrifice" my Apple TV to see if this is fixed in the 8.2 update to iTunes.
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Old Jun 2, 2009, 12:56 AM   #16
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iTunes 8.2 does NOT fix this problem.

Okay, I just verified that iTunes v8.2 does NOT fix this problem, the DRM-protected content that is stored on your Apple TV is deleted whenever iTunes can't connect to the iTunes Store. This means that whenever you launch iTunes you are faced with the possibility of having all of your purchased, DRMed content deleted from your Apple TV. Then when your connection to the iTunes Store comes back online you'll have to sync all that content back to the Apple TV which can take several hours of time on your Mac (since you must leave iTunes running in order for it to copy back the content that was previously deleted). It may also place your Apple TV in a constant sync mode if the content is deleted repeatedly over a period of days.

I'm going to submit another bug report to Apple and I urge everyone else who has been bitten by this very nasty bug to do the same. Here are the links you need to submit a bug report to Apple:

http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html

and

http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html

I would copy the same report to both of these links.
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Old Jun 4, 2009, 11:32 AM   #17
packgrad2000
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It's worse now!

I'm having even more problems syncing my DRM'ed content now. My internet connection is fine, but I keep getting that blasted message "cannot contact iTunes Store to authorize" blah blah blah. I've talked to AppleCare (not that they really know what's going on) and have sent in a bug report (actually that was before 8.2). Maybe I'll send another one in now. Does iTunes seem to have an even harder problem authorizing others' content now or is it just me?
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Old Jun 6, 2009, 01:45 PM   #18
dmm219
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Funny, I was just going to do a post about this. This problem is getting far worse for me as well. I'll submit one as well...

At first, this was a once every other month or so inconvenience. This is now happening multiple times a week and is getting annoying REALLY fast....

Last edited by dmm219; Jun 6, 2009 at 01:51 PM.
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Old Jun 7, 2009, 11:16 AM   #19
packgrad2000
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I do have to say, it does help if you deauthorize your computer that iTunes is syncing to, and then sign out of iTunes on your ATV. Then re-authorize & sign back in, and it seems to sync better. Since updating to iTunes 8.2, my Apple TV was having all sorts of problems syncing the DRM'ed content from my iMac, even though my internet connection was fine. It's been much better since I did the sign-out/deauthorize process.
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Old Jun 8, 2009, 07:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dmm219 View Post
Funny, I was just going to do a post about this. This problem is getting far worse for me as well. I'll submit one as well...

At first, this was a once every other month or so inconvenience. This is now happening multiple times a week and is getting annoying REALLY fast....
I posted in another thread also about this but it was a little off topic.

I have 2 aTV's and both keep dropping out after 20 minutes or so since updating to the newest iTunes. For the life of me I can't figure out how to make it stop. Up till now iTunes and both TV's have been working great.

I'm bummed, I will try the above tips and see if it helps.
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Old Jun 8, 2009, 08:09 PM   #21
dmm219
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I posted in another thread also about this but it was a little off topic.

I have 2 aTV's and both keep dropping out after 20 minutes or so since updating to the newest iTunes. For the life of me I can't figure out how to make it stop. Up till now iTunes and both TV's have been working great.

I'm bummed, I will try the above tips and see if it helps.
I'm DEFINITELY holding off upgrading iTunes...seems it breaks the ATV pretty good...
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 05:37 PM   #22
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I am having this problem and I noticed that my Apple TV is still pretty full(11g left). I hear people saying that the movies get deleted with this bug/feature. Is this really the case? All of my movies are gone, and I don't sync my movies to my already full 100g macbook HD. They only exist on the Apple TV so resyncing back isn't a possibility. Are they gone gone?
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 05:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by phillipduran View Post
I am having this problem and I noticed that my Apple TV is still pretty full(11g left). I hear people saying that the movies get deleted with this bug/feature. Is this really the case? All of my movies are gone, and I don't sync my movies to my already full 100g macbook HD. They only exist on the Apple TV so resyncing back isn't a possibility. Are they gone gone?
Yes, it appears that would be the case. I would try contacting apple and letting them know that this bug has caused you to lose content you purchased. Hopefully they will allow you to redownload it.

The AppleTV seems to remove content on its own if it has DRM (movies, tvshows, and music) and it can't verify successfully over itunes. This has been going on for several months (at least 4 months, but probably closer to 6). This will usually happen to me if I'm tinkering with settings on my Airport Extreme and need to restart the router. As someone stated earlier, you will see triangle with an exclamation point inside (which will say could not authorize x many files). Hopefully this will get resolved soon, as it can take a long time to resync purchased content such as HD TV Shows and HD Movies.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:56 AM   #24
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The OP described this issue perfectly. I took this original post and altered slightly and submitted bug reports to both iTunes and ATV support. I hope you will too if you're having these problems. I won't keep syncing if this continues, I will stream which has another set of annoying issues.

http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html

http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:20 PM   #25
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I gave up on it tonight and switched to all streaming. Apple sure isn't doing crap to support the ATV anymore these days...
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