Many, many users are now experiencing Blue Screens of Death when upgrading to iTunes 8. Often the BSOD will occur after reboots or after plugging in a device such as an iPhone via USB.

The BSOD will note the error is with usbaapl64.sys.

Here are some potential fixes and work-arounds.

Most of the problems are related to Logitech and HP drivers. Uninstall iTunes 8.0 and then uninstall any logitech and HP drivers on your system. Then reinstall iTunes 8.0. Of course, the downside of this is that your logitech and HP hardware will not work without the drivers.

Often just disconnecting the HP or logitech device from the computer is enough to prevent the error without uninstalling the drivers. Moving your USB device or Apple device to different USB ports may work for some people as well.

With an error this large, I imagine Apple will release a fix soon. Until a fix is found you can downgrade your itunes to an older version. However, it’s a tricky process.

1. Uninstall all Apple Products including quicktime, apple mobile device support, and iTunes.
2. Download and install older version of iTunes 7.7.
3. Go to your iTunes music folder
4. Backup (or rename) your iTunes Library.itl file and then delete it. By backing up this file in a safe place you will keep your iTunes 8.0 library intact.
5. Open the Previous iTunes Library folder
6. Copy the most recent .itl file to your main iTunes music folder and name it iTunes Library.itl
7. Start iTunes
8. Deauthorize and then Reauthorize computer (if you don’t, you will have to reinstall all the apps onto your iPhone). You can find this option through the Store Menu.
9. Sync with fingers crossed

Updated: Activation servers are back up and working. Upgrade at will.

With people across the country slamming the iTunes servers, new iPhone users and upgrading users are commonly seeing the following error:

iphone 9838

“We could not complete your iTunes Store request. An unknown error occurred (-9838)”

Alternatively you may receive this error as well:

“iPhone activations are unavailable at this time”

Sadly, this may render your phone unusable!

Calls to Apple support suggests that this a problem with their servers. This is similar to Apple’s activation problems during the first rollout. Just do not upgrade or activate your phone at this time. The iPhone must reconnect to activate initially or to reactivate after the software upgrade.

For those who are currently getting the 9838 error. Keep trying. Once you get punched through the server, your activation should complete. Closing any application that may be in the activation/upgrade chain may help as well. Therefore, if you are trying to activate/upgrade, have all applications closed except iTunes.

Many people have assumed that once the official SDK was released that jailbreaking would die. I believe that the jailbreak process is something that will be linked to the iPhone for eternity. As long as Apple limits absolute and complete control, the jailbreak community will continue to flourish.

Let me take a step back for those less geek-inclined. Programs can be developed for the iPhone through two different methods. The official SDK that is being released by Apple will eventually allow programs to be released to users through iTunes. These applications can be purchased much like users purchase iTunes music or videos. Prior to the release of the official SDK, unofficial methods that were not approved by Apple were used to develop software for the iPhone. In order to use these applications, the user is required to “hack” or to jailbreak the phone. So now, two different, incompatible styles exist for iPhone application development — the official SDK and jailbreak methods.

Where is all the code being developed with the official iPhone SDK? As far as I can tell, there is only one SDK app, other than the examples, that can be found in the wild. Tons of jailbreak code and examples can be found. One of the reasons behind this is that the official SDK will allow programmers to make cash from their applications. Once money is added into the equation, suddenly people are less willing to show source code to the public.

One would assume that the promise of coding for dollars would make jailbreak methods die a quick death. However, it has not. Why? Here are the reasons that jailbreaking will be around forever.

    1. Official SDK has coding limitations. The SDK will never allow full access to the iPhone’s complete capabilities. Cellular VoIP, background processes, wireless synchronization — these are just a few of the multiple limitations in the official SDK which are being explored (or exploited) with jailbreak code.

    2. Users are passionate about hacking and unlocking their mobile devices. I think seamonkey420 hacks or mods a mobile device about once a week. Like tattoos, clothing, or jewelry, cellular devices are now part of a person’s style. Making the phone unique or using it in a locale where it is not supposed to work is part of the mobile hacking drive.

    3. Until the iPhone is carrier independent, jailbreaking will be required. Lots of countries do not have an iPhone carrier. Unlocking the phone is tied directly to jailbreaking. People will pay good money to be able to use their phone with whatever cellular service they want. As long as jailbreaking is tied to cellular independence, it will continue to exist.

    4.People will want apps that Apple will not allow. Free music, free “pictures,” and streaming technologies are all examples of applications that Apple will be unlikely to ever allow. AT&T (or whoever the iPhone carrier of choice is) cannot allow bandwidth to be drained from the system.

    5.Apple may limit or repress application distribution. Applications with encryption may not be exported out of the United States in certain circumstances. Apple may require that apps have extensive testing prior to release. Such a process may prevent hobbyist programmers from joining the game. Apple could even require that applications not be distributed for free. The way Apple handles the iPhone application distribution could really change how excited developers are to use the official system.

I am sure there are other reasons that the process of jailbreaking will continue to exist. I do believe that the official SDK will gain traction. If iTunes allows small programmers to make money the way it has allowed small musicians to compete in the music marketplace, it will be successful.

Although Apple has little desire to make the official SDK compatible with the unofficial methods, the converse is unlikely to stay true. The unofficial methods will eventually develop and absorb SDK compatibility. That way if an app developed with the official SDK is denied access to the public through iTunes, it can still be released through alternative, jailbreak installers. If there are two ways to code something, most programmers will choose the official methods to keep their options open for later release.

Although Apple is finally opening up the iPhone platform to application development, the unofficial jailbreaking methods are not going to disappear. The terms “iPhone” and “jailbreak” will be forever linked in history.

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More feature disappointments for the new version of Apple TV.

No Video Playlists.

One of the amazing features on the audio side of Apple TV is the ability to play audio playlists. Select a playlist full of songs and you can listen all day. Why not the same for video?

A local wine company displays a video of visits to the wine country using the Apple TV. Shouldn’t they be able to have a playlists of videos from multiple trips running? I would love to have a continuous run of music videos, for example.

Obviously, this is something that can be updated in future revisions.

No Sharing.

Oh, if you have more than one Apple TV, you are not going to be able to share rented content between them. If you rent something on your Apple TV, that content is locked to that device. You can not bounce it back to iTunes or transfer it to any other device.

If you rent it on iTunes, you can bounce it where you need it. Just remember that iTunes rentals will be lower quality than direct-to-device rentals.

When Apple throws the switch on renting through iTunes, here is how you do it.

1. Within iTunes, click iTunes Store in the left column.

2. Navigate through the store and select the movie you want to rent.

3. Hit the Rent button. The download will start.

If the rent button is not there, then that movie is not available for renting.

Note: If you plan on watching a rented movie on an AppleTV, you should rent directly from the device. For some reason, this ensures the highest quality.

Rented movies expire if not watched after 30 days. Once the movie is started playing, the user has 24 hrs to complete viewing.

All of this info is found in the new iTunes 7.6 help files.  I’ll update with further details when Apple actually activates the service.