iTunes + Zone Alarm do not mix

Crapple - Upside-Down Apple LogoJust noting this for future reference, but I finally got iTunes working properly on a Windows PC that would at random:
– transfer some songs to iPod Touch devices successfully,
– transfer some other songs, then crash, then the device reports no music on it, or
– corrupt the device so badly it needed fresh firmware restored.

And the the culprit turned out to be…. Zone Alarm. No kidding. Turn off Zone Alarm and everything worked instantly.

iTunes is still a god-awful PoS though, but at least it’ll now transfer music and apps. If you’re getting “app could not be installed because it is not signed” issues with iTunes, and you’re installing legit apps, chances are that turning off Zone Alarm will fix it right up. Amazing.

4 thoughts on “iTunes + Zone Alarm do not mix”

  1. Yes, I’ve known about this for a while.

    When you upgrade the iPhone OS (probably the same for iPod too) you also need to kill ZoneAlarm.

    Basically the sequence is…
    Open iTunes
    Import new songs, etc into iTunes
    Kill ZoneAlarm
    Transfer songs / update OS
    Start ZoneAlarm

    Updating the OS can often take in excess of 1hour so you’re relying on your router firewall to keep you safe.

    Personally I think iTunes is transmitting data on undocumented ports that they do not wish to make public.

    // Tinfoil hat

    1. Just uninstalled Zone Alarm and using Windows Firewall – it’s perfectly fine, and sitting behind the router firewall anyway.

      My own theory is that Apple are running encrypted TCP/IP over USB and that Zone Alarm is seeing something it finds suspicious in the stream and then stripping and/or blocking it.

  2. Hi peps this is great info I have been on the phone to apple for about 4 mths now trying to get this to work and been on the phone for about 2 hrs each time they are no help what so ever
    Wish I seen this website a long time ago
    Thanks
    Again
    Trigger

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