The latest iPhone update finally makes MobileMe work. But, many are still having issues with iTunes.
With iPhone 2.0.2, many have reported in (and we’ve confirmed as well) that MobileMe finally works as promised with iPhone and iPod touch. Contact, calendar, and mail data does download properly whenever you open any of these apps. And, unlike other versions, it actually does so quickly. We tested iPhone 3G on AT&T HSDPA, and MobileMe was able to download 500 contacts, and 1500 calendar events… in under 30 seconds.
But, the bigger problem remains iTunes. Apple has begun to acknowledge that many iTunes users have been completely locked out of their purchased content from the iTunes Store. The bug surfaced in the latest version of iTunes, 7.7.1, and appears to mostly be hitting Mac users. While Apple has not pinned down the problem internally, the bug essentially locks users out of being able to play any purchased, copy-protected content. That includes Music, Movies, TV Shows, and… the App Store.
The problem is what Apple refers to as an “authorization loop”. This is essentially where the user is repeatedly asked to authorize (log in) their computer. When the user logs in to iTunes, the application reports success… but then asks the user to log in again. This repeats in an infinite loop. While other problems can cause this set of symptoms, this bug is not resolvable by the user. Apple’s posted list of fixes for a reauthorization loop do not work with iTunes 7.7.1.
One of PhoneNews.com’s own systems was affected by this problem. We performed a clean install of Mac OS X, iTunes, and built a new iTunes Library to no avail. The only workaround we came up with… was migrating the entire iTunes Library to another computer. A PC.
Apple has made no public statement about the bug, but individual users that contact iTunes Customer Service are told Apple is aware of the issue. However, the problem is serious enough that developers affected by the issue have been requested to hand over computer logs. This appears to indicate that Apple has yet to pinpoint the root cause of the problem… almost two weeks after it began affecting users.