Back into the fire
I liked that video I noted a few days ago so much I decided I wanted to buy it. So I bravely went back into the nightmare that is iTunes. I had a very difficult time getting it to work (it would abort after being invoked), but after Googling some solutions (the Apple site provides too many hits, and is not very useful), I got it up and running. I downloaded the video, but it had no audio. I checked other videos I had on disk, and some had audio and some didn't, so it seemed like it might be something peculiar to the format.
Throwing caution to the wind, I emailed the secret email address (email@example.com) that is buried so deeply in the iTunes support site. They responded quite quickly with a useful suggestion. But when that didn't work and I emailed back, I once again got the electronic third finger, "The iTunes Store team answers questions via email about billing, customer accounts, downloading items, and the selections available on the iTunes Store," followed by the usual unhelpful links.
So tomorrow I will try the AppleCare 800 number again. Last time the fellow was very sympathetic, if unable to help. We shall what happens this time.
And I recognize that I'm creating a large part of this problem myself: there is competition out there for song/video downloads and I'm not taking the time to look at folks that may actually support their product.