Apple is encrypting store data?

Remember back when iTunes 4 first came out and people like Fuse and Erik blogged about how you could access the iTunes store data and get handy XML document back?

Well I was messing around today and noticed that the phobos servers now return a jumble of random ascii characters rather than a nice XML document. Poop.

Reading the comments at NSLog seem to put this change happening well before the 4.0.1 update was unleashed. Apple must’ve had plans for this from the beggning. How else would millions of clients be able to seamlessly be able to switch over from one protocol to an encrypted one? Unless Apple sends proper feeds to iTunes because it sends a special header? User agent?

Edit: Look like they’re serious, I did a Curl -I on the pages and you get:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 21:02:59 GMT 
Content-Length: 3088 
Content-Type: text/xml; charset=iso-8859-1 
Cache-Control: no-transform 
Server: Apache/1.3.27 (Darwin) 
content-encoding: gzip, x-aes-cbc 
x-apple-max-age: 3600 
x-apple-crypto-iv: 25fc26fc381c5e528bbf1f10e889ac8b 
x-apple-protocol-key: 2 
x-apple-asset-version: 233 
x-apple-application-instance: 42 
Via: 1.1 netcache05 (NetCache NetApp/5.2.1R2D2)

Guess that’s one way of doing things :)