Previously when downloading an iTunes U video I could double click it and the video would start playing while it is downloading. But now after updating to iTunes 10 it doesn't seem I can do that? Is it just me or have Apple gone backwards on this.

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure whether this was available for iTunes U items before, but it definitely isn't available now. As a compromise, you can stream an iTunes U item directly from its listing in the iTunes Store. And yes, you would still have to download it separately if you want to keep it.

  • Bizarrely I could watch it be going to the file currently being downloaded in Finder. Just not through iTunes. But I think in iTunes 10 it adds the file your downloading to your library when you click download, not when it's finished, so you can watch it from your library, however it got mixed and put the video in Movies instead of iTunes U.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Oct 31, 2010 at 17:36

As of iTunes 12, you cannot watch a movie while it is downloading. This is a pretty recent change, but has been proven and is 100% reproducible. You have to wait for the movie or TV show to finish downloading. (Trying to play before it finishes downloading shows a black screen, until download is finished -- then play begins as usual). This is a real shame and makes no sense, given that an Apple TV can actually play while streaming... but, guess that's different software. (Netflix for the win!)

  • After I downloaded 65MB of a 4GB+ movie, iTunes 12.5 just popped up a dialog telling me that my movie was ready to begin watching. I was able to get to the 'dvd menu' for the movie and press play. However, attempting to start the movie makes iTunes freeze for about 30s, and then show nothing but a black screen, paused at 0:00. At 500MB in I can get a still, frozen image to show up.
    – Phrogz
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 3:50

You was previously able to watch while downloading, not to mention it takes over a couple hours to download even with top notch internet.

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