Dear iTunes: Where Are My God Damned Bugles?

Dear Mr. iTunes:

First, I love your store. Generally-speaking, it’s a terrific way to discover and purchase music, whether I know specifically what I want to buy or just know vaguely that I’m interested in discovering new music.

But this is the second time the iTunes app has told me that there’s a new episode of the Bugle podcast waiting, and then not allowed me to download said podcast.

I don’t think you understand the dramatic impact that this failure has upon my Friday and Saturday workflow, Mr. iTunes. I will, charitably, conclude that you’re like the little kid who steals a fire extinguisher from their school just for a lark, without really thinking it through.

Well, iTunes, let me put it to you plainly: The Bugle is certified for class A-B-C-D fire-suppression and though it lacks formal Class K certification, it can, and has, been used to successfully combat grease fires when the user has the presence of mind to thoroughly wet the episode down properly. I ask you: what happens when that pile of combustible metals that I’ve been meaning to recycle suddenly lights up and white-hot flames of magnesium are lapping at my Precious Moments figurines? What do I do after I leap to my MacBook and click the “Get Episode” button, only to be left with a little round exclamation point icon in my hands?

Yes, you’re sorry and you didn’t know what you were really doing when you allowed your friends to goad you into taking down those Bugles. But “I’m sorry” won’t rebuild my rec room, will it?

And before you even try it, don’t go blaming The Bugle for this. I know it’s an election year and it’s so easy to just blame all of your problems on an incumbent podcast but it’s time for you to step up and own your failures. I see the latest episode right there. 10/21/10: “Poor, Poor Britain,” thirty-nine minutes and nineteen seconds. I know that John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman recorded the episode and Chris the Producer edited and posted it. They’re fine, decent men. Andy has a wife and children; John has an accent that’s breezily reminiscent of Eric Idle in the “Nudge, Nudge” sketch; Chris, to my knowledge, has never dressed up any of his cats as Captain Jack Sparrow.

While you, Mr. iTunes, sell more than two dozen different recordings of “Sometimes When We Touch.” Including one by Donny Osmond.

Put yourself in my position, iTunes: who would you believe was the more trustworthy party in any given dispute?

This sounds like it’s a really big issue, but really, iTunes, it isn’t. Just give me my Bugles.

Give. Me. My. Bugles.

Good day, sir.

18 thoughts on “Dear iTunes: Where Are My God Damned Bugles?”

  1. Damn straight. I use my Bugle as both a fire suppressor AND a general purpose plant food. My tomatoes are not going to ripen themselves you know. I suspect the Helen Zaltzman is behind it in an effort to get Bugle listeners to accept a download of Answer Me This instead.

  2. It’s all Chris’ fault. We never had these problems until Tom headed of to the other side of the earth. So that would mean it’s Tom’s fault too.

  3. I have three children – their lives are now hanging by a thread as their mother reaches new levels of Bugle withdrawal. Please Mr i-Tunes, Mr Ihnatko speaks the plain truth.

  4. Never heard of this podcast before. Great stuff. However the last episode 131 file is acting weird. I can stream it but not download in Podcaster. No idea why that is.

  5. I think this is a problem with the RSS feed, not iTunes itself. If it were just iTunes, those of who don’t use it would still be able to get The Bugle (which we can’t). The problems seem to have started after The Times changed to a pay site and the official Bugle web site went away, but I’m not sure if it’s connected.

  6. TimesOnline.UK decided to charge people a fee to see their website. Since all the Podcasts for the Bugle are posted on the TimesOnline.UK website that means someone has to pay for the stupid newspapers website, then download the pod cast and put it on bittorrent for the rest of us. This happened a few episodes back(the first time it took 5 days for me to get a hold of a copy of ep 128.) Anyway as soon as someone at the bugle enters the 21st century and figures out how to use a computer they can just start posting to a website that us bugle fans Can Download from…

  7. I do understand the paywall problem. This post is _slightly_ tongue in cheek. Either way, I wish they’d solve their little problems and LIGHT THIS CANDLE!

  8. Oh the wit!
    Thank you for bringing a smile to my face as I down a latte and await my Apple store appointment. If you like, I can check with the Genius Bar for a resolution. Maybe they could hand deliver your latest Bugle on a gold plated thumb drive, born on the back of a rare spotted owl and given to you with the gracious apology you so richly deserve?

  9. Actually, I use the Podcaster app on my iPhone to manage all my podcasts, and I use Times Online’s feed, not iTunes’. I couldn’t get Friday’s Bugle either. And it’s happened before. So apparently it’s not iTunes’ fault.

  10. Andy, first let messy I really enjoy listening to your comments on macbreak weekly on twit. You seem to always voice the things I am thinking during the discussions. There was a couple of points that were skipped over surprisingly about the MacBook air announcement. I guess because my iPad has become such a major machine in my ecosystem. Anyway straight to the point, the lack of 3G being built in to the air immediately made me think why would anyone want it , I mean this is obviously suppose to be a road warrior machine. None has mentioned this since launch and I just wonder if I am missing something. Who wants to have a big ugly dongle hanging off the side of it. Anyway thanks for all the information. Scott

  11. I enjoyed your letter immensly! I’m glad there is someone else in this world writing letters to iTunes in a slightly skewed, insane manner. I too have written a letter to iTunes. It is a bit sweary and a tad offensive so I will not post it directly onto your page but come and have a read on my page: http://www.thegamingtramp.com
    I am seriously considering emailing it to their complaints department. Should I?

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