An update to fix a bug in iTunes 11.1 could wipe a user’s files, says one man who found his podcast files deleted. Kevin Goldsmith, a former Apple staffer and now director of engineering at Spotify, updated iTunes to the 11.1.1 version after it said it had fixed an issue with deleted podcasts.
“I installed it,” wrote Goldsmith on his blog, adding that it seemed to work for a bit. When his computer froze, he forced quit and relaunched iTunes to find that it had “completely removed most of my podcast subscriptions and unsubscribed me from the ones that were left.” Thanks to a backup, Goldsmith was able to copy the files and relaunch, until the same thing happened–this time, without a force quit.
“I then checked my file folders and of course it DELETED MY FILES WITHOUT WARNING, AGAIN!!! DO NOT UPGRADE TO ITUNES 11.1 IF YOU SUBSCRIBE TO PODCASTS! At this point, I once again have to completely reconstruct my podcast library due to poor Apple engineering.”
There is a long and frustrating discussion on the topic the Apple support forums here, with solutions being suggested and then rubbished, and a wild theory that this is a deliberate move by Apple to make people buy content from them. “Hollywood would rather sell you something that you have to stream every time you watch it, so you never end up with a physical product at all. And Apple seems to be going the same way – you don’t need the storage, we’ll stream it to you, if it’s still in our library. Oh you have your own content, well we’d rather you bought it from us…”