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iTunes and Vista Sing A Sad, Sad Song

One has to wonder what Apple was doing with its time during all the years that Windows Vista was seeded to developers, in developmental beta, in public beta, and available to business and enterprise clients in advance of consumers. Maybe they were too busy making iPods, converting Macs to Intel processors, planning iPhones, and rolling out the Apple TV—who knows? In any case, the maker of one of the most commonly used jukebox applications on the planet—iTunes—seems to have been caught with its pants down now that Vista is available to consumers. It’s best advice to the millions of iTunes users under Windows: hold off on upgrading to Vista until we get the next release of iTunes out the door.

Apple says that the current version of iTunes—7.0.2, if you’re counting—will work fine under Windows Vista for many "typical PCs," but there are several known compatibility issues, some of which many Windows users would consider serious. For instance, iTunes may not be able to play music purchased from the iTunes store if users upgrade to Vista from a previous version of Windows, and ejecting an iPod using the "Safely Remote Hardware" feature may not be so safe: instead, the contents of the iPod may be irretrievably corrupted. In addition, contacts and calendars won’t sync with an iPod, and iPod models with the "Enable Disk Use" option turned off might not be able able to update or even restore iPod software, or make settings changes.

Apple has released an iTunes Repair Tool for Vista which can re-enable playback of media purchased from the iTunes store under Vista by fixing some permissions issues…but fixes for any other Vista-related problems will have to wait until the next version of iTunes. And Apple has yet to say when that might be.

If you’re darned and determined to install Vista and run iTunes, Apple recommends the following steps as a best chance of success:

  • De-authorize all iTunes accounts
  • Enable Disk Use on all iPod models
  • Uninstall your current version of iTunes
  • Perform a clean installation (rather than an upgrade) of Vista
  • Reinstall iTunes
  • Open iTunes and re-authorize the computer from iTunes’ Store menu

Good luck with that!

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