I buy a fair amount of media off the video section of the iTunes Music Store (hereafter iTMS). It tends to be cheaper than buying blu-rays, and all I am going to do with a blu-ray is immediately redeem the digital code that came with it and then give the physical disc to the local library.
Yes, I have some OCD problems. I’m choosing to ignore them. The point is that I don’t like having shelves full of media around.
Anyway. Back to the iTMS and my rant for the day.
iTunes has actually been a pretty decent place to buy subtitled anime recently. Seasons tend to appear on the store at about 30 bucks a pop and then eventually drop to the $15 range, which is in impulse buy territory. One show I have been waiting on is Love Live! Sunshine!!, which is a fine show but one that I would like to pay less money for.
So every once in a while I load up iTunes and check how much it costs.
Searching for Love Live! in iTunes gives me results like this:
So you can see that the show exists in both the default, English-dubbed version and in an “Original Japanese” version with proper voices and subtitles. As a side note, you can search iTunes for “Original Japanese” and it will give you a pretty decent list of shows that are available subtitled.
macOS Catalina no longer has iTunes.
It has the Music app, which DOES have access to the iTMS (but only the music side) and the TV app, which has a new way of browsing for media. It is not a good change.
If you search on Love Live! Sunshine!! in the TV app, you get one result:
Dub only. No way to choose the subtitled version. I checked a few other shows just in case Apple had something against everyone’s second favorite team of nascent idols, but came up with similar results in every case.
Now, compare this to the TV app on iOS rather than macOS:
The iOS app shows that the show you are trying to buy exists in two versions.
And lets you pick the subtitled version.
Looking up Love Live! Sunshine!! on tvOS works similarly to the iOS app, by the way, though I couldn’t take a screenshot to demonstrate. It’s only macOS that doesn’t give you options.
This only appears to affect TV shows, so it’s not like it’s CONSISTENTLY broken in the same way. It can’t even aspire to that. If you use the macOS TV app to look up a movie available in both dubbed and subtitled versions – let’s take “Your Name” as an example – it works like the iOS app.
I have been more-or-less happy with Catalina in general. I don’t think the transition from Mojave to Catalina was quite as smooth as previous transitions, but I get that they are trying to make a lot of structural changes to the OS.
I’m not sure which of those structural changes justify “and you can only buy English-dubbed versions of shows from now on” but I rather hope they get their heads out of wherever they have gotten wedged and fix this.