In addition to providing vast archives of music and podcasts, iTunes allows users to download entire episodes of popular television shows for viewing on a computer, iPod or other mobile device. Downloading TV episodes can prove difficult for some iTunes users, due to the shows' large file size, but if you find yourself waiting impatiently due to slow episode downloads, you can optimise iTunes to speed up the process.
Update iTunes. If you still run an old version of the software, your performance and download speeds will suffer. Visit the iTunes page at Apple.com to download and install the latest version (see Resources). If you do not know your current version, click the "About iTunes" option. For Mac users, this appears under "iTunes" on the menu bar; for Windows users, it appears under "Help" on the menu bar.
Turn off the Genius feature. Genius constantly runs in the background and analyses your downloads and playlists in order to create new suggestions. As a result, the feature can greatly slow the functions that require your immediate attention, such as downloads. To turn off Genius, click "Store" on the menu bar and select "Turn off Genius" from the drop down menu.
Turn off the Apple TV feature. Like Genius, Apple TV will slow your iTunes performance by constantly scanning the software. Click "Preferences" to access your "Preferences" window. This appears under the "iTunes" menu for Mac users, and under the "Edit" menu for Windows users. Click the "Apple TV" tab and uncheck the option that reads "Look for Apple TVs."
Click the "Sharing" tab on your "Preferences" window and uncheck the boxes that read "Look for Shared Libraries" and "Share my Library on My Local Network." Sharing demands additional system performance, and as a result can influence your download speeds. Click "OK" when you finish.
Close other applications on your computer, like web browsers, torrent clients and anything else that may compete for your system performance.
Download and install an iTunes download accelerator (see Resources). Programs like Download Accelerator Plus, Autobahn and Speedy iTunes offer the ability to boost download speeds by optimising your internet connection.