iTunes 7.3 update: Weird package problem

Posted by Pierre Igot in: iTunes
July 2nd, 2007 • 12:29 pm

There must be something wrong in the update script for the latest iTunes update released by Apple a couple of days ago (7.3).

Typically, I like to have control over when exactly my updates are applied and I like to keep copies of the update installers, so normally I either look for the download on-line on Apple’s support web site or I use the Software Update application, but with the “Download Only” option (in the application’s “Update” menu), which simply downloads the updaters (in “.pkg” format) in the local library’s “Packages” folder and then opens that library folder in the Finder to show the user the packages that have just been download.

I can then launch the “.pkg” updaters at my own convenience, and also keep copies of them on my 60 GB iPod, which doubles as an external FireWire drive and is my “Swiss Army” knife whenever I need to go somewhere to troubleshoot some Mac problem.

In the case of the iTunes 7.3 update, I first used the Software Update application to download what I thought would be the typical “iTunesX.pkg” package. But when the download was complete, in my “Packages” folder, I actually had not one, but three separate package files:


What was that supposed to mean? I tried launching the main, recognizable one, i.e. “iTunesX.pkg.” The installer application launched properly and went through all the usual steps. But then after I entered my password to authorize the installation, I got the typically useless “There were errors installing the software” message.

I tried again, and got the same error message.

I tried the other two packages, and they both worked just fine as stand-alone installers. They both told me that they had installed their stuff just fine. I went back to the main “iTunesX.pkg,” but I still got the same error message. So then I selected “Installer Log” in the “Window” menu in the installer application. And here’s what the log said:

Jul 2 12:20:41 Mac-Pro : Package Authoring Warning: The installer script defines but doesn’t use (and can’t install) package id manual version

Jul 2 12:20:41 Mac-Pro : Package Authoring Warning: The installer script defines but doesn’t use (and can’t install) package id iTunes version

Jul 2 12:20:50 Mac-Pro : Failed to locate package at path /Volumes/iGod/Tools/Apple/Software/iTunes/iTunes7.3/

Jul 2 12:20:50 Mac-Pro : Install failed.

Mmmm. The first two lines actually appear as soon as the installer is launched, even before you go through the different screens that take you to the actual installation. The last two lines appear when the installation fails.

There is obviously something fishy going on here, because the installation script appears to expect to find the “AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg” package inside the “iTunesX.pkg” package, whereas, as indicated above, when I used Software Update to manually download the iTunes update to my “Packages” folder, it downloaded the “AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg” package separately and the file appeared next to the “iTunesX.pkg” package.

When I saw this, I figure that I didn’t have much to lose. So I used the “Show Package Contents” command in the Finder’s “Action” menu to open the “iTunesX.pkg” package, and then I manually copied the “AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg” package inside there, where the installer script said it was expected to be.

I then relaunched the “iTunesX.pkg” installer and—it worked! iTunes 7.3 was installed, and I tried launching the iTunes application. Everything seemed to be OK.

I am not sure whether the glitch that causes the “AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg” package to be in the wrong place is in any way related to the problems I had with the Mac OS X 10.4.10 update earlier on in the same day. But I suspect that it does not. I suspect that it is a problem that only occurs when you use Software Update to manually download the packages and install them yourself.

I suppose I could try redoing the whole thing, but I don’t really fancy downloading another 40 MB of data just for that—but mostly I have had enough of Mac OS X glitches for a while.

3 Responses to “iTunes 7.3 update: Weird package problem”

  1. Paint the Tiger, Carve the Swan » iTunes 7.3 update: Weird package problem says:

    […] Betalogue » Blog Archive » iTunes 7.3 update: Weird package problem: […]

  2. HandyMac says:

    Pierre, see this MacFixIt article for an explanation of how this happened. The error is that Software Update’s Download Only feature should have downloaded the unified .mpkg file, not the separate .pkg files. As noted, if you get the update from Apple’s Download page (where I usually do; I almost never use Software Update), you’ll get an installer (in a .dmg) that works fine.

  3. Pierre Igot says:

    Cool, MacFixIt actually links to this post :).

    Yeah, I probably should have gone to the Download page and downloaded the .mpkg file instead, but once Software Update pops up with the new version, it’s just kind of convenient to download it from there.

    With my limited bandwidth, I tend to choose the most direct path (which is also why I haven’t bothered to redownload the .mpkg yet, and I see now that there is a new update, so I might as well download the .mpkg for that new one instead).

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