Prepping the Lombard: iTunes and QuickTime

After my DVD Player discoveries, my next step after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.9 Combo Update and installing all the aforementioned updates, has been to look for the latest versions of iTunes and QuickTime supported under Panther. Strangely, these updates are not included when you run Software Update, and the versions of iTunes and QuickTime in my installation — 4.0.1 and 6.4 respectively — were obviously too outdated, albeit functional (I was able to listen to some Internet radio stations on iTunes).

Now, I must admit that the Wikipedia was quite helpful in this regard, and my hunt ended way before I had expected. Wikipedia has two very useful pages:

  1. iTunes version history, and
  2. QuickTime ~ Platform support

In both cases you’ll find an exhaustive table outlining each Mac OS system version with the correspondent latest version of the software, with direct links for downloading (or at least with updated links to Apple Support pages from where you can download the desired version). So, within a few minutes I knew that the latest version of QuickTime supported by Mac OS X Panther is 7.5 and the latest version of iTunes is 7.7.1.

After installing both updates, I launched iTunes and tried to access the iTunes Store, but when I tried to sign in with my Apple ID, iTunes threw a strange error about not finding the keychain and suggested I ran Keychain First Aid from inside the Keychain Access application. I searched for a solution on the Web and turns out that Panther had a small bug of some sort affecting keychains and the possibility to access secure pages on Safari and iTunes (hence the strange error). Among my findings, the quick and dirty solution has been to launch Keychain Access, go to Keychain List and check the Global option for my account keychain and for the System keychain. Back to iTunes, I was able to log into my account, only to be shown this page as the Store home page:

iTunes 7.7.1
Sorry, Apple, I can't upgrade to iTunes 10 on a PowerBook G3.

Which means that I couldn’t access the iTunes Store. Also thanks to my Twitter contacts, I soon discovered that you can’t access the iTunes Store anymore if you don’t have at least iTunes 9.2.1 (in other words, unless you have a Mac with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and a G4 CPU). At first I considered this limitation just another silly caprice on Apple’s part, then I remembered that it was a technical issue. Again, the Wikipedia came to the rescue:

Store pages are delivered using standard HTML with a special header. This change was made when iTunes 9.0 was released. iTunes uses WebKit to render these pages on the screen.

Prior to iTunes 9.0, The iTunes Store was delivered using a custom XML format that describes the position of all of the elements, boxes, album art and all of their properties — including whether a reference link can be dragged out of iTunes and into another document. The App Store portion of the store is still rendered in this fashion.

In the next part of my operation ‘Prepping the Lombard’ I will talk about the minimal set of tools I’ve put together to be able to use the Lombard for a series of basic tasks in case of emergency.

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