iTunes – The Missing Update

Back on Thursday Apple Software Update pushed iTunes 7.4 to my iMac. Since the Mac was off for a couple days while I traveled I figured this was the update for the new features and hardware. This was confirmed by the description.

Now, this morning Apple Software Update wants to push iTunes 7.4.1 to my iMac and it’s also described as an update to handle the new iPods and features. (Click the first thumbnail to see my update history) So there’s been two updates in less than 5 days.

The Apple download website no longer mentions the iTunes 7.4 update.

This leaves me wondering why and there’s no info from Apple’s website. Possibilities I can come up with include:

  1. The original iTunes 7.4 update had problems and needed to be quickly replaced. Version 7.3 had problems but even that wasn’t updated this quickly.
  2. Apple had to block a hack or vulnerability (are they blocking the ringtone tools now that they’re selling them for the iPhone?)
  3. Apple didn’t have all the new features available at once so made a conscience decision to inflict two updates on customers.

Update: Engadget reports that 7.4.1 blocks a ringtone workaround from working going forward.

If I was a iPhone user that used any hacks or workarounds I think I’d hesitate before any update. This one would outright scare me as released to plug a hack.

But as a non-iPhone user I’m getting more than a little annoyed with Apple and all their updates. Two updates for the same software within the same week is either sloppy, incompetent or, if a conscience decision, abusive. Perhaps they should take a page from Microsoft and try to schedule updates to occur on the same day and only once or twice a month. They don’t even have to pick the same day each month. According to the download page at Apple they released 13 updates on 10 different days, often back to back. The 7th, 8th, and 9th each saw patches. This ignores a major security update on July 31st that most people probably didn’t get until August. Click the thumbnail to the left to see the update list.

By the way, iTunes Update 7.4 (and I assume now 7.4.1) contained a patch to a security vulnerability that Apple quietly stuck in. It’s not mentioned on the download pages or the description of the update. So from a security perspective you should update unless all your music files come from a trusted source. The vulnerability requires a malicious music file.

Is some sanity in the update releases an unreasonable request?