Cmon Apple, Identifying an HDCP Display Is Not Too Much To Ask in iTunes

June 06, 2012

I decided to rent a movie and thought to myself, why not try an HD one, my display is ginormous. So I merrily Rent it for $3.99 and wait 6 hours for it to download.

Today I decide to watch it. Oopsy, "the selected movie won't play on this display". What? HDCP?

Seems like these movies have some nifty copy protection on them that the movie studios require of Apple. OK, I guess I can see that.

But really Apple, I download a movie with iTunes on my Mac with the ginormous Dell display, and there are no other devices attached to it that could possibly show this movie. So why can't you at least do the minimum thing and ASK ME FIRST. You could say, perhaps, something like "we see you are a moron and don't have a fancy display that could possibly show this fine movie, so are you sure you want to waste the next 6 hours on something you will just be stuck with?" Or assuming I do it anyway and then click play you might ask "hey moron this isn't going to work, are you sure you want to waste this download since we are about to start a 24 hour countdown?".

No of course not, you don't read your own UI guidelines, or perhaps your famed UI testing team is working somewhere else nowadays. A basic tenet of UI design is if the user is about to cross a fatal threshold with an action where there is no Undo or return path you ASK FIRST. Even the first Mac 128 MacWrite did this.

So you tell me the display is unusable and then merrily start the countdown. F*&^ you codist!

So now I have paid $4 for a worthless HD movie and I don't have enough time to find a suitable display to borrow.

Yes your products are wonderful and I am a lifelong customer (and one time worker at Infinite Loop) but even I can get a big irritation.

Sure I could dig around on the site and find some fine print telling me this, but I shouldn't have to since iTunes damn well knows what display I have. Maybe, just maybe, it should tell me.