Living in a state of accord.

How To Report Bugs to Apple

So Sam Ruby is pandering for links in a vain effort to tell Apple that iTunes's RSS support is horribly non-standards compliant.  Of course this effort will fail horrible because Apple doesn't do anything unless there's a Radar issue created and Radar issues created by internal staff carry far less weight and get far less priority than Radar issues created by external parties.

That's right, you can create Radar issues yourself.  Apple has a bug reporter which is the official and the only official way to tell Apple anything.  Don't like the fact that Apple only acts on things that have a Radar issue?  Log a Radar issue telling them so!  Don't like the bug reporter? Log a Radar issue telling them so!  Don't like the way iTunes works with RSS?  Log a radar issue telling them so!

Now here's the kicker, Apple uses duplicates as a measure of priority.  So instead of pandering for links, log a Radar issue, then post the contents of it to your blog and add a note to the top that references the Radar issue you've already created.  Finally, get as many people as you can to log a Radar issue with Apple using your template.

Besides, it's just common decency to report bugs directly to the application vendor instead of or as well as making a big scene in public.

UPDATE: Added link, sorry I intended to do that originally but forgot.

  • Nikolas 'Atrus' Coukouma says:

    I suggest linking to directly. I doubt many know it’s RadarWeb.woa, especially if they don’t realize it’s a good idea to use it anyway.

    July 6, 2005 at 11:46 pm
  • Sam Ruby says:

    I did post to the Apple Discussion Forum. Despite others getting responses, mine has gone unanswered:

    As to Radar issues, not being an Apple Developer, I was unaware of that mechanism. Apparently in order to report this properly, I have to agree to have access to Apple Confidential information. I’m not sure I am quite prepared to take that step just yet.

    July 7, 2005 at 12:24 am
  • Mark says:

    > Apple doesn’t do anything unless there’s a Radar issue

    This is verifiably false. I raised issues on my weblog about Safari when it was first released in beta (circa January 2003). Dave Hyatt of the WebKit development team responded (on his weblog) asking for test cases. I posted said test cases on my site, and maintained it for almost 2 years. He once emailed me privately to thank me for the quality of my test cases, and said he checked them whenever he got depressed wading through the Radar swamp and wanted to do something both interesting and important.

    July 7, 2005 at 12:58 am
  • aj says:

    The WebKit team is a special case – they’re a bunch of opensource hackers and have always worked a lot like that. They now have a fully opensource project to work with and have their own bugzilla instance. The Apple policy however is that nothing gets done without a Radar issue.

    Besides which, if bugs aren’t tracked in the system they are likely to get forgotten and you certainly have no guarantee that the right people at Apple have heard about the problem.

    Sam: if you don’t want to sign up as an Apple Developer I’d be happy to log the issue for you if you can give me a set of specific bug reports, I’m not familiar enough with the area to be able to produce a good bug report myself.

    July 7, 2005 at 6:44 am
  • Mark says:

    > The Apple policy however is that nothing gets done without a Radar issue.

    And that’s a good policy, one which I happen to agree with. I’m just saying that your argument would be strengthened if it were actually true.

    See also:

    July 7, 2005 at 11:27 am
  • aj says:

    My argument was that the best way to get Apple to fix things is to log a bug with them. That is absolutely true, plus it’s just common courtesy to notify the vendor directly instead of just deriding them in public. Besides which, if you log a bug with Apple they’ll notify you when it’s fixed even before the fix is actually released and work with you to ensure that it’s fixed properly. All that through Apple’s official channels with their QA people checking that it’s done properly. I’d say that’s better than hearing that some guy at Apple reckons they’re working on it.

    July 7, 2005 at 1:14 pm
  • Mark says:

    Well, I took your advice, sold my soul and signed up for ADC, logged into, selected the relevant choices, read their description format guidelines, typed up a bug report in the correct format, selected the relevant feed file as an upload, and clicked Submit. Radar told me that I had to select a file to upload (despite just doing that), so I re-selected the feed file and re-clicked Submit. Radar told me that use of the browser back button (which I hadn’t clicked) was unsupported and I would need to go to “My Originated Problems” and click on the problem number. I clicked Submit a third time (this time without trying to attach the feed file) and got the same error message, but this time it was followed by an empty bug report form (all my info wiped out). I clicked on “My Originated Problems” and found an empty problem list.

    I feel that I have shown you every courtesy thus far, but I have come to the inescapable conclusion that you are full of shit.

    July 8, 2005 at 1:25 am
  • aj says:

    I fail to see how I’m full of shit because you had a problem with Apple’s bug reporter. I never claimed that Apple’s bug reporting system was good, easy or reliable in fact the reason I included my comment “Don’t like the bug reporter? Log a Radar issue telling them so! ” is because so many people dislike it. I don’t work for Apple, I have no control over whether or not the bug reporter works, all I’m saying is that the official channel to report bugs to Apple is the bug reporter. Getting everyone to log bugs with Apple is more likely to have an impact than getting them to link to some blog out on the internet. I know this because a range of Apple engineers have repeated said so.

    July 9, 2005 at 7:55 am
  • Andrew says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that the bug Mark ran into with bug reporter should be fixed now.

    August 2, 2005 at 3:56 am
  • Craig says:

    I recently purchased an album from iTunes BUT track 1 had a nasty buzz on it which kinda ruins it. I logged a bug for this since there is NO WAY on the Apple website to report this type of quality problem, since it *never* happens?

    Going back to the iTunes site today I see that they are now selling the album as a “partial” album with track 1 deleted! That is fine but I purchased the whole album and I expect them to replace track 1 or give my money back.

    What should I do?

    June 20, 2007 at 8:53 pm
  • Adrian Sutton says:

    From the iTunes terms of service:

    For assistance with billing questions or other order inquiries, please refer to our online support page by clicking here: If you cannot find the answers you are seeking in our robust knowledge base, you can send us an email by visiting the following URL, and completing the email form. Responses to emails will be provided as soon as possible.

    Pretty easy to find….

    June 21, 2007 at 7:13 am
  • Craig says:

    Uh Oh… I get a “Page Not Found” response from the Apple server for the URL See my problem? I looked at my Purchase History and they actually removed track 1 from that too EVEN THOUGH I BOUGHT the track. Unreal. Anyway I did use the “Report Problem” link on the Purchase History to report track 2 and the missing track 1. Let’s see what happens.

    June 21, 2007 at 6:03 pm
  • anirog says:

    So there is a bug in the bug reporting tool :)

    October 1, 2007 at 4:34 am
  • Graham Perrin says:

    Apple rdar is debatably not the only official way to inform Apple of bugs.
    Anyone can use the forms. It’s not immediately satisfying – there’s no two-way communication – but the forms are official and for someone who finds Apple Bug Reporter daunting, a simple feedback form may be preferable.

    April 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm

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