An iTunes irritation…

I’m watching TV almost exclusively from the Internet nowadays, and mostly by subscribing on iTunes and watching in HD from my AppleTV. This works incredibly well, once you have the season downloaded and ready to play.

The downloading process exposes some seriously irritating bugs and/or design flaws in iTunes, however. I live at the northern edge of civilization on an island (well, my Canadian friends would say the southern edge, and after reading coverage of the Tea Party Convention I’m inclined to agree…) and I have “difficult” internet connectivity. This is no fault of my local ISP, who do an amazing job considering where I live.

But I often encounter TCP resets in long downloads given the Motorola Canopy point-to-point wireless I use, and iTunes really behaves badly. Despite having typed my Store password to begin the download, upon resumption, iTunes will ask me again. And again. And again. Possibly once for every stream that needs to be resumed, but it doesn’t seem to be as well patterned as that. The application hasn’t restarted, I haven’t logged out, it’s the same hardware underneath, why can’t the application cache the Store password used to initiate a given set of downloads for the duration? Perhaps only asking me to retype if the application closes and restarts?

This seems trivial, but if it happens frequently, and you’re not sitting in front of the computer to type your password whenever needed, downloading a season of episodes can literally take days. Three thus far, in fact, for a show I’m subscribing to at the moment. With 29 more items to go. Basically, it’s going to take a week of retyping my iTunes Store password to get the entire season down, given my internet connection (which is normally pretty decent for browsing and other purposes).

Doesn’t anybody in Cupertino test this type of use case?