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HD shows from iTunes being overwritten

updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri September 12, 2008

iTunes HD TV problems

HD versions of TV episodes downloaded from the iTunes Store are being overwritten for some users, Apple support discussion shows. Whenever users buy an HD version of a program, iTunes downloads the HD copy first, followed by an SD version. While the software is meant to keep both side-by-side, the SD version appears to be overwriting the earlier one, leaving shoppers without the video they originally paid for. The problem also appears to be inconsistent, affecting some episodes in a download queue but not others.

It is believed that the issue may arise from how iTunes names files, as while it typically adds a number to the end of duplicate filenames, it is not always doing this in the case of the SD videos. Workarounds appear to be available in two forms: the first involves enabling simultaneous downloads, which may force iTunes to generate separate names. The second entails pausing an SD download before it completes, and either restarting iTunes, or renaming and/or moving the HD file.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shows overwritten

    This is happening for me. 30 Rock overwrites HD version, however, The Office seems to be saving both versions ok. Especially painful for me, as my connection is less than 1 Mbps! I got 30 Rock to finally download (Free Episode) by moving SD version from my library, re-downloading HD version, and cancel the download for the SD from my queue. I lot of hassle for something that should be seamless...

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    easy fix

    Come on Apple, just append "HD" to the name of the HD show on the server.

  1. paulc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not such a problem...

    it can and probably will be rectified. Far WORSE is that if you do not have an Intel machine, it will NOT d/l the HD version. Despite the fact that I have tons of 1280 x 720 movie trailers I got FROM Apple tat play just fine on my dual 2.7 G5, if I want to get HD titles from iTunes, they will NOT let me get them (it's a stated policy that a minimum of a Core 2.0G is needed... not even Core 2!).

    So I have to BUY a new machine that probably is LESS capable in playing such videos for the privilege of buying the movie. Or go on BitTorrent and pay nothing fore the movie and NOT have to buy a while new machine... decisions, decisions.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: not such

    That's just plain stupid. Doesn't Apple know people tend to have more than one computer, or a mac and an AppleTV? Why they even check is beyond me.

  1. pbjudge

    Joined: Dec 1969


    stupid question

    I apologize for advance for this stupid question, but I downloaded a bunch of the free HD shows, included Battlestar Galactica and 30 Rock. How can I tell if I have the HD versions or the regular SD versions? What size and what res does Apple use for their HD content?

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Make sure that you have simultaneous downloads enabled. If you don't, one overwrites the other.

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