The iTunes race to the bottom continues.

You are surely aware that both locations of DNA Pizza play music videos all day. One of the nice features of our setup is that if you have the Apple "Remote" app installed, you can request videos. It shows you the full list and lets you queue new ones. You don't have to pair your phone with iTunes, it just lets anyone on the network do it anonymously. It's awesome.

But iTunes 10.7, from 2012, was the last release that supported this. After that, they deleted the "anonymous requests" feature. Now you have to be paired to iTunes with your Apple ID, and it's useless and horrible.

Somewhat surprisingly, later versions of the iOS "Remote" app still supported sending anonymous requests to iTunes 10. So that was basically fine. Abandonware means no features have vanished, hooray. I had to figure out how to continue running iTunes 10.7 on MacOS 10.11+, which was difficult but possible.

But I think you know what's coming next: Apple just pushed out an auto-update of Remote 4.3.1 and they removed the anonymous request feature.

How out of character for them.

So if you still have Remote 4.3.0 or earlier, and you want to be able to request videos, don't ever allow that to upgrade. You'll want to be turning off "Settings / iTunes & App Stores / Automatic Downloads / Apps".

If it has already auto-upgraded on you, you might be able to get the old version back. Look in "Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/" for a "Remote.ipa" file. I had 4.2.3, which still works. You can re-install an old version by deleting the current version from both iTunes and your phone; syncing; opening that old.ipa file in iTunes; then syncing again.

If you know where to find a copy of "Remote 4.3.ipa", not 4.3.1, I would like to know. Nope, it has to be your own copy.

The iTunes Motto: "Fewer Features, Every Day".

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25 Responses:

    • jwz says:

      Oh joy, that doesn't work. Apparently .ipa files are locked to your account.

      • Clyde says:

        Probably using fairplay DRM, so possibly QTFairPlay will strip it. I'll give it a whirl over the weekend. QTFairPlay still works for unlocking audiobooks and videos bought via iTunes (though I have to use it in a virtual machine with, yes, an old install of iTunes 7 something I believe) so perhaps that'll do it. I might be hampered by needing to log in as the same account the ipa is locked to, in which case, no dice.

        • Clyde says:

          And no dice. QTFairUse (which I mistakenly called QTFairPlay) just simply predates the app store and the only other tool I've used -- requiem -- works only for music/audiobooks/videos/ebooks (the latter poorly). And even then I think the remote app would have to be tied to my account (as you updated above). I did find an old backup of the Remote ipa version 3.0 if there were some other tool to try. Pirates must do it somehow, right? There's piracy for ios apps out there I assume?

      • Vs says:

        Of course, how else can they deliver tailor-made spyware to your machine?

  1. published name says:

    Pretty sure this has been said, but have you tried using something that isn't iTunes? What's the killer feature that's keeping you?

    • jwz says:

      I've never heard of a plausible alternative at all.

      • published name says:

        The combination of MPD and a bunch of rickety shell scripts goes a surprisingly long way (has a number of different frontends/clients, supports anonymous remote control just fine and is very scriptable). Something I haven't used but that looks promising is forked-daapd. MPV has a server/input-file mode, etc etc.
        Since your needs are probably pretty varied (long-time users of any music player tend to come to depend on that one weird feature nothing else has), YMMV.

      • einstein von newtongalileo says:

        it's funny how your famous antipathy for Microsoft has driven you into a walled garden far more impenetrable than the one you escaped. oh well, enjoy taking whatever the brushed aluminum dildo shoppe in Cupertino deals you.

        • Leonardo Herrera says:

          You must be new here.

        • Not Frank says:

          Have you actually read anything jwz's posted, or did you mistake this for the Conclusion-Jumping World Championship?

          If there's one thing that's he's been consistent on, he wants things to work and offer automation that doesn't get fucked with all the time. This is the thing he's railed against whether it's Microsoft, Apple, or -- for those of you who aren't paying attention to where he's been and where he's gone -- Linux.

          (Probably could also include commercial Unixes in that if they were much of a thing anymore.)


  2. margaret says:

    it doesn't even seem like iTunes is racing to the bottom as much as doing the old man shuffle to the exit - and not quite sure where the exit is. my thinking is that they figure there's no future in having local media so why put resources there.

  3. apm74 says:

    I figure star ratings are destined for the same feature graveyard. I'll appreciate that when it arrives.

    • nooj says:

      On iOS, star ratings got blitzed in 10.2-beta, and (perhaps due to outcry), came back in 10.2.1 or so, but you have to turn them on first, and you have to click like three or four times in weird locations to rate. But that like/dislike heart is easy to find! So yeah.

      • apm74 says:

        They're completely hidden in the iPhone music app (as far as I know). I think I saw something that only way to rate a song on an iPhone now is to ask Siri to do it. And pretty inconvenient to do the rating in the iTunes (Windows) program, but at least you can see/change them.

        • nooj says:

          On iPhone, on iOS 10.2, you still can. (I don't have 10.2.1.)
          Settings -> General -> Music -> Show Star Ratings: On.

          In Music app, looking at song details or whatever,
          "..." -> Rate Song -> click rating

          • Holy fuck, thank you. I picked up a paid widget once ratings went away, but it wasn't really any more convenient.

          • apm74 says:

            Yeah, thanks ... I wonder if they snuck the option to turn the stars back on in an upgrade or if I just never noticed that option in Settings.

            • nooj says:

              Seeing as they've changed the place for ratings four times recently, it's no surprise we've all lost track of it. Used to be visible. Then under the album art. Then under the song title. Then was removed. Now has to be enabled in settings, and still is under ratings under dots.

              Dear Apple,

              I pay a lot of goddamn money to be able to 5-star rate music videos on my phone! Stop making it so hard.

              It's almost like you have lost your vision, and are removing features that distinguish iTunes from its streaming music competitors, and are instead chasing their taillights.

              Sincerely, all of us.

              • ssl-3 says:

                Jesus God --

                I am glad that I have not ever availed myself (much) to this ecosystem. Praise be that my device has no such features, and therefore none that can be removed.

                Best wishes,

        • nooj says:

          On iPhone, on iOS 10.2, you still can. (I don't have 10.2.1.)
          Settings -> Music -> Show Star Ratings: On.

          In Music app, on song details or whatever,
          "..." -> Rate Song -> click rating.

  4. nooj says:

    That is so obnoxious! I use the Remote feature all the time, when I play music videos at my local coffee shop. As soon as music videos go up, everyone wants to put their sticky fingers all over your computer, and play some dumb video of chipmunks singing Beyonce. But you can sidestep that if you give them the Remote app, and suddenly they've forgotten about Beyonce, and they'll go through all the new music you've got.

  5. Chad D Altenburg says:

    Well, if it makes you feel any better, I'll be at the next So Stoked Event on Friday. In other words, I once again plan on spending a decent amount of cash as I get entertained.

    I know this doesn't help your computer problems. But hey, at least I'm willing to support the circus!

  6. Frank Miller says:

    I left my iPhone behind for Android about a year ago. My last Apple product ever. I'm just trying to figure out when everyone else is going to figure out what a fucking piece of shit this company is and always has been. I want to short the stock just before that...

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