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Flawed iTunes Stands Out Among Apple's Products

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the maybe-if-it-only-had-one-button dept.

GUI 390

waderoush writes "On top of all the other features that it has crammed into iTunes, Apple this week added Ping, a Facebook-like social network for music discovery. It's all part of the company's plan to dominate the world of consumer media, but Xconomy argues that this time, Apple may have gone a bridge too far. iTunes, nearing its tenth birthday, started out merely as a program for ripping CDs, and has grown increasingly creaky and impenetrable as Apple has added more and more cruft, the article argues. The company won't have a stable base for its new media empire until it rebuilds iTunes from scratch — perhaps along the lines suggested by its other new product this week, the revamped Apple TV."

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How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465572)

But there’s one piece of the Appleverse that I’ve always detested, and that’s the desktop version of iTunes. The ugly duckling of the iFamily, this program is hard to understand, hard to use, inelegant, and ill-behaved—in short, the very opposite of most other Apple products. I dread booting it up every day ...

Yeah, yesterday I bitched about this [slashdot.org] and have actively refused any upgrades to iTunes since 9 because I'm not sure if 10 is going to get better or worse.

Now I have to have Quicktime on my machine ... which I am not a fan of. And what's worse is that reviews are telling me that it's faster but with a crappier UI [arstechnica.com] while at the same time Ping concerns me if it has my credit card information and is just a spam portal [pcworld.com] .

So while I want iTunes to run faster, I definitely don't want anything to do with this "Ping" service and if it's reminiscent of how they made me dependent on Quicktime (despite the fact that I have never used iTunes for anything video -- VLC kicks ass) I don't want auto-opted into something that I cannot get out of!

If you're looking for open source alternatives to iTunes: CDex [sourceforge.net] , VLC [videolan.org] and handbrake [handbrake.fr]

My biggest problem is that support seems to wax and wane with actually moving songs/videos on and off an iPod with open source alternatives ... so that leaves me tied to the beast that is iTunes.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1)

yumyum (168683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465660)

Hmmm. I don't have the same experience as you. I use iTunes daily without issue. It works fine with my iPhone. It has yet to be "ill-behaved". My only issue with Ping, which I think is a great concept, is that it will probably languish and not catch on. Right now there is not much to it, and without some major initiative on Apple's part to seed it with worthwhile connection opportunities, I don't see it taking off.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (2, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466108)

Good, perhaps you can help me out. My old computer died, so I had to install on a new computer.

  • I plugged in my wife's iPod, and it synched up the tunes she'd bought from their store, but not anything we'd ripped from CD. How do I do that?
  • How do I deactivate the old computer so it doesn't take up one of the five "computer licenses" Apple allows me?

These were the main two headaches, but there are heaps more.

Honestly...I read comments waxing lyrical about how easy and intuitive it is, and I wonder what I'm missing. Every single time I try and use iTunes, it ends up a frustrating and painful experience, because I can't figure out how to do what I want without going to the help forums. This is not how software should be, especially from Apple.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466158)

You have to use a third party program like SharePod (http://www.getsharepod.com/) to get it to work. I had the same issue, now I just keep SharePod on a flash drive and can dump my music collection wherever. And for your second problem try ( http://www.obsessable.com/how-to/how-to-deauthorize-all-your-itunes-accounts-at-once/ [obsessable.com] ) but I haven't ever used it so your results might vary.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33466180)

a) you don't with iTunes, you use a third party software such as Senuti to get third party music off. iTunes will only sync over songs that are associates with your iTMS account.
b) you don't if the computer is dead. However, this is a non-issue. Once you reach the five computer limit you can deauthorize all of them with one click and then reauthorize the ones that are still valid. If you never reach the five computer limit you won't have to do that.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466110)

Then either A) You have a Mac or B) You have an awesome machine. I've ran iTunes on Windows 7 with a Core i7 and 6 GB of RAM and it still lagged. iTunes on OS X is rather nice, iTunes on Windows is complete crap. Plus, it takes about 10 times as long to "process" a song as it does to download it!

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (-1, Flamebait)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465668)

I never understood why people willingly buy Macs when you get limited so severely to Apple's choices for you. Granted their computers are visually stunning, but Id rather not have to deal with quicktime, itunes, and no-flash at all, its anti-consumer.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (2, Informative)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465734)

Um, you do realize that you can use Flash on a Mac right? Also you can download alternative media players to your hearts content.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1, Flamebait)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465824)

Yes, but you can't on the iPhone or the iPad. It pretty much hamstrings the devices since alot of the internet uses flash.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (2, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465924)


It pretty much hamstrings the devices since alot of the internet uses flash.

I hear that old line a lot yet I don't seem to every having it be much of an issue on my iDevices. Certainly the loss of Flash-ads has more than made up for any perceived loss of functionality.

YMMV.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1, Interesting)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466054)

I hear that old line a lot yet I don't seem to every having it be much of an issue on my iDevices

Thats because you are spoon fed content from Apple itself. Of course they would design things to work on their platform, but it works the way they decide it should rather than leaving it up to you to decide.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466084)


Thats because you are spoon fed content from Apple itself.

I also run Firefox and NoScript on Linux and Windows which blocks all Flash. How, again, is Apple spoon-feeding me?

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0, Troll)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466162)

Look, you called them iDevices. This already is justification to lump you into a sub-group of people known as Apple Enthusiasts. Blocking flash ads is a bit different than choosing to use flash for a video game or something. Apple just wants to control the flow of content through their App Store and ITunes. Shackle yourself to them if you must.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466124)

I had no idea apple made an entirely separate internet just for the iPhone. Quite and impressive accomplishment.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0, Redundant)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466200)

Not so much internet, how you view it yes. You can't play flash games on the iPad. Apple made this decision for you. They are a tad too authoritarian for my taste, but apparently people think that my own personal opinion is wrong since they keep bothering my inbox with slashdot replies.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (2, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466012)

If you're aware of the limitations of the devices and decide you can't live with them, then don't buy 'em. It has nothing to do with the functionality of a Mac.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466014)

iPhone/iPad != Mac. I grew up with Mac computers and have always liked them, but I've never really wanted an iPod or iPhone. Still undecided on iPads.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466074)

I am aware of this.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33466168)

Are you sure about that? This is your exact post from four minutes ago (emphasis mine)

I never understood why people willingly buy Macs when you get limited so severely to Apple's choices for you. Granted their computers are visually stunning, but Id rather not have to deal with quicktime, itunes, and no-flash at all, its anti-consumer.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33466102)

But dude, you said "Macs", not iPod or iPad. Make up your mind.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33465886)

iTunes is slow and bloated and has been for many versions. The ripper is still substandard. Back in the day, way before it started telling you what music to listen to, it was the best music organizer around, but today it pales in comparison to the many media players available for Linux.

But I'm not at all surprised someone who "thinks Ping is a great idea" looks forward to moment when they need only open iTunes for all their consumption of "content" and the poisoned gifts we so gratefully receive from the culture industry.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465748)

I assumed it was because they don't want to buy a Windows computer and don't know how to use Linux, *BSD or any of the other alternatives.

Mac hardware for better or for worse tends to work much more reliably in my experience than the Windows equivalents do, for the simple reason that Apple is able to effectively set rules about what is and is not acceptable for the platform. Whereas MS has been caught over the years programming around hardware bugs rather than saying no, we won't support it. The most notable example I can think of is the ACPI debacle, where many motherboards would have buggy implementations which wouldn't properly compile on the Intel reference implementation, but would run fine on Windows thanks to workarounds in the Windows source. Sure it would work, but as a result there'd be consequences and ultimately you'd have a tough time using the hardware with full support outside of Windows.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465902)

Im not saying Im a big fan of Microsoft. I only use it because I play games occasionally (which is getting rarer the older I get) and my work pretty much requires it. I just dont understand why people flock to Mac over their Windows issues. There should be something else. Linux has a little bit of a learning curve, so I understand people not using it. Its like you either pick bugs or a ball and chain. I wish Apple would loosen up a little because I would be more willing to use their products at that rate.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466142)

You're conflating Apple PCs running OS X with i-devices. You're not limited in any way to an Apple 'ball and chain' using one of their desktop or notebook machines. There's probably not as much choice as on Windows, simply because Windows has a larger installed base and more software available in total, but you can install whatever third party software you want, including Flash.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (5, Insightful)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465808)

I never understood why people willingly buy Macs when you get limited so severely to Apple's choices for you. Granted their computers are visually stunning, but Id rather not have to deal with quicktime, itunes, and no-flash at all, its anti-consumer.

No, I suspect you understand perfectly well why people buy Macs, and simply don't agree with their reasons. For example, you seem to think that Apple severely limits something or other. Whereas the people who buy them don't feel limited at all, They think that the machine (iPad, Mac, music player, phone, whatever) does what they wanted it to do, which is why they keep buying them. My wife owns a Jaguar, it requires Premium gas, and she has no choice in this. But she loves that car, so it does exactly what she wants it too, and, god help me, when it comes time to replace that 12 years old beast, she's gonna want another one.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (4, Informative)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465814)

Perhaps they buy them because they're not as wildly misinformed as you are? Macs are not iPhones.

Macs have flash, you aren't forced to use iTunes on a Mac any more than you are on a PC (that said, the Mac version is far less shitty, though it still desperately needs a rewrite as TFA says), and "Quicktime" isn't some add-on cruft like on Windows, but rather is part of the video frameworks of the OS (but as far as playing videos goes, you can use VLC, Mplayer, Plex, whatever the hell you want).

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466022)

I am well aware of the limitations of the iPhone/iPad versus the Mac. I just don't like how Apple makes decisions for the consumer ahead of time. Its not totally exclusive to Apple, for example IE is Microsoft's default decisions for the consumer, however Apple seems to force people to accept certain formats or programs more often without apology. I somewhat misspoke in that I was lumping the iPhone/iPad in.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466166)

Which formats and programs do you think you are forced to use on the Mac? You're no more forced to use anything than you are on Windows or Ubuntu.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (-1, Flamebait)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465926)

How the hell did this get modded flamebait? I didn't call anyone out nor did I say Macs are inferior without justification. I just said I don't like Apple's policies on their platform basically.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1, Offtopic)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466020)

What, you think the apple cultists don't get mod points?

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (0, Troll)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466090)

Apparently they do. I criticize Apple and all the sudden my Email is getting bombarded by responses from Apple-heads.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (3, Informative)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465678)

iTunes 10 is an improvement. Apart from the almost useless Ping, it seems a fair bit faster. The patch notes claim performance improvements and frankly I believe them. I'd recommend it. Only downside I've seen is that the first time you try and download from iTunes Store it attempts to trick you into activating Ping (click Cancel when it asked you for personal information that "might be available to the public.").

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (5, Informative)

Evardsson (959228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465746)

Just as a heads-up - Ping is OFF by default. If you want to use it as another spam portal you have to turn it on.

At least they didn't follow the Facebook protocol: add a new insecurity, uh, "feature" and turn it on to the whole world by default.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (4, Informative)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465756)

There's no auto-opt-in for ping.. you have to turn it on manually.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (3, Informative)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465786)

If you have Windows, try Media Monkey (www.mediamonkey.com). It's NOT open source, and it's free version isn't as functional as it's non-free version, but the cost of the lifetime license as well as the MP4/AAC encoder has been worth it to me so far. They've been really good at pushing updates to sync with new versions of iOS (though I have a Classic 6G so that hasn't been an issue for me), and although they only support music right now, they will support video in the next version. It's the first alternative to iTunes that actually had me uninstalling iTunes from my system completely... I only use iTunes to "reset my iPod to factory defaults". You can write your own custom scripts to do stuff, and many are avaliable to download, it works with a LOT of WinAmp plugins, and it's skinable... though I prefer the ugly but fast and functional "Don't skin it and look like a windows app". Downsides: SOME podcasts are itms only, and check for an iTunes client version. That's ridiculous of the podcast provider, but there you go. It doesn't currently do video. It is windows only. The free version lacks some of the advanced AutoPlaylist creation. It can't currently sync an autoplaylist to an iPod as a smart playlist that dynamically changes (though to be fair, I'm not sure if that ever worked on the Classic anyway), and the AAC encoding doesn't play nice with the iPod 100% of the time, so I generally wind up doing a transcode to MP3 whenever I sync, which isn't a huge issue for me. Also there are some "niceness" fixes that could be done, but haven't so far in the name of speed... so... yeah. Not perfect, but a reasonable solution on Windows for music now, and video soon. Ebooks and apps... you'll have to boot up iTunes every so often.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (2)

byersjus (987526) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465972)

I'll second Media Monkey. I found it while looking for an iTunes replacement years ago. I previously only used iTunes to tag my music, and then it started to fuck that up too (was putting long random strings in the comments field and wiping out album art for no reason). Never looked back.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1, Informative)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465910)

Don't spread FUD.

Ping is completely opt-in. The iTunes Store is completely opt-in. Even "Genius" is opt-in (since it sends your library contents and play information to Apple servers where the mixes are calculated).

And I'd add Double-Twist to the list of iTunes alternatives, especially if you have an Android phone.

Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (1, Interesting)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465956)

Now I have to have Quicktime on my machine ... which I am not a fan of. And what's worse is that reviews are telling me that it's faster but with a crappier UI while at the same time Ping concerns me if it has my credit card information and is just a spam portal.

Are people really still complaining about this? I hate QT as much as the next guy, but it's a design decision. Do you want identical functionality and codecs in iTunes and Quicktime, or do you want to have both installed on your computer? Using VLC for video is of absolutely no consequence to Apple as it is hardly a ubiquitous claim. I, for example, ONLY use iTunes for video and absolutely hate VLC. If you don't like Quicktime, don't use it and set all your video filetypes to default to something else.

I love iTunes! (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465592)

What isn't there to like about an application that wants to update itself twice a day and requires you to agree to a new EULA each time?

Fixed it for you (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465754)

rule number 1 of slashdot: ANY thread can be twisted into a bash of microsoft. no exceptions.

Heh.

rule number 1 of slashdot: ANY thread can be twisted into a bash of microsoft/Apple. no exceptions.

Re:I love iTunes! (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466122)

An application on the iPod that does the same thing -- only on the iPod the EULA is (I kind you not) 55 screens long!

They've done this before (4, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465594)

The company won't have a stable base for its new media empire until it rebuilds iTunes from scratch

Kindof like they did with Mac OS X. They should have no problem doing this with iTunes.

Re:They've done this before (4, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465834)

I suspect that significantly fewer people used OS 9 than use iTunes, and considering its basically iTunes and the iPod that brought Apple back to life, there might be a slight bit more reluctance to admit that maybe it's gotten out of hand.

Although, I'm glad someone brought up the point about CD ripping. When iTunes first came out, the slogan was something like, "Rip. Mix. Burn," where as now its "buy everything off our store! cds are for squares!" Its kind of along the lines of the broadband advertisements of about the same time, which basically used Napster as a selling point for cable and DSL internet -- Cox saying "download music and movies at blazing speeds!". Apple and the broad band industry basically colluded to make piracy a selling point, then turn around and try and label everyone who engages in it now as some sort of social anathema or infrastructure hog rather than update infrastructure and/or software to meet the requirements of the new reality.

Re:They've done this before (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466212)

What's this 'CD' thing of which you speak? The last thing to go into my DVD burner was my OS installation disk.

Re:They've done this before (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465872)

Yeah and how long did that take to make the switch from System 8/9? Nearly a decade?

Re:They've done this before (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466048)

Ok, sorry overshot the time. Could have sworn it was longer from how it felt at the time.

Re:They've done this before (1)

Waruwaru (857592) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465994)

Kindof like they did with Mac OS X. They should have no problem doing this with iTunes.

Is there a good open source project with lenient license that Apple can "leverage" off from?

Cruft (5, Informative)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465604)

Not only is itunes full of cruft, it was originally bought [wikipedia.org] from an outside developer and shoehorned into what apple wanted it to look like. It has been horrible from the get go.

Re:Cruft (1)

jockeys (753885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465958)

I was one of the few people who PAID for SoundJam... it WAS that good. iTunes has been nothing but a continuing series of disappointments. Uglier interface, no extra features that I even remotely care about.

Bottom of their game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33465616)

Come on Apple. Everybody knows you can do better than this. I refuse to have iTunes on my machine right now. No bronze leaguers.

Ripping CDs... (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465626)

is still about all I use iTunes for; well, that and transferring them to my iPod. Can't remember the last time I actually used it to listen to music, and I think I've only "set foot" in the store a few times (and only when I had a coupon for a free download).

I don't really care how big and ugly iTunes gets given how rarely I use it, my only objection is that Apple feels the need to install three different startup processes in Windows along with it - 'cause, you know, it would be absolutely awful if I had to tell Windows what program to use when I connect my iPod to the computer...

What you need, my man, is not iTunes! (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465898)

If all you are doing is ripping CDs, you need to grab yourself a copy of: http://www.audiograbber.org/ [audiograbber.org]

Benefits:
1. No iTunes.
2. No Quicktime.
3. No iTunes.
4. No bloatware laden PC (unless, of course, you have Norton :-( )
5. No Quicktime.
6. No iTunes.
7. No Quicktime.

Re:What you need, my man, is not iTunes! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466182)

Good job not even reading to the end of his first sentence there! *thumbs up*

iTunes...feh (4, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465630)

I'm sorry, but iTunes is a piece of crap as far as software is concerned. I don't know how smoothly it runs on a Mac, but on Windows it's nigh useless (this is on a Phenom II X4 965 with 4 gigs of RAM, btw).

The day my wife switched over to an alternate piece of software (she uses SharePod) was the day she became much happier.

Re:iTunes...feh (2, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465798)

Are you serious? I'm running a 955 with 4GB too, and it's the first time in my life I haven't complained about iTunes' performance.

There's something seriously wrong with your rig if you can't run iTunes without problems using that kind of hardware.

Re:iTunes...feh (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465862)

I'm not talking about performance issues, I'm talking about general usage problems. Tracks will disappear and reappear on a whim, playlists would disappear (and, in one extreme case, change its own order) amongst other things.

Tried formatting the system, still continued giving her problems. Since she switched to SharePod, she hasn't had a single issue. ::shrug::

Re:iTunes...feh (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466208)

I'm not talking about performance issues

Then don't include your systems's specs as if they're somehow relevant?

I hated iTunes on OSX as well. Don't remember there being any performance issues, but the interface is just plain babying and annoying.

Re:iTunes...feh (1)

Stolovaya (1019922) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466040)

There's something seriously wrong with your rig if you can't run iTunes without problems using that kind of hardware. Yes, it's called iTunes. iTunes runs like shit on my computer. Dual 2.0GHz with 4GB of RAM. I have about 3000 songs in my library and it takes forever to load up and the performance is crap. And no, it's not my computer because nothing else acts like this.

Re:iTunes...feh (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466196)

I think it is a Windows vs. Mac thing. On my MacBook Pro I have 5055 songs right now, opens in less than a second, runs perfectly.

Re:iTunes...feh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33465894)

Its a massive resource hog on my work pc but runs like a champion on my mac. I think Apple simply doesn't care.

It sucks (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465654)

I use iTunes everyday and it's sucked ever since Apple bought SoundJam MP and renamed it iTunes. No wait, SoundJam MP sucked too.

iTunes is the hillbilly armored Humvee, sure it "works" sometimes but it's still an old clapped out rig with a bunch of crap bolted on to it.

http://www.bartcop.com/chick-jeep.jpg [bartcop.com]

you don't have to use every feature in the app (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465672)

I have no interest in Ping, and I don't use it. iTunes 10 continues to work even though I don't use the feature.

In the past year or two of iTunes releases, it's only gotten faster for me. I also noticed that the download for iTunes 10 for Mac OS X is 86 MB, whereas the previous version (9.2.1) was 106 MB.

Re:you don't have to use every feature in the app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33466082)

But you have to install it.
I don't want an 86 MB program just to play music. It's a terrifying thought.

Update the framework already (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465708)

I can't believe iTunes is still a Carbon app to this day. Everybody else has updated to Cocoa, what's taking you so long Apple? Are you too busy figuring out ways to break your own Human Interface Guidelines?

Re:Update the framework already (1)

Waruwaru (857592) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466068)

Apple is just waiting for those lazy Adobe programmers to implement everything in Cocoa first.

iBloat drove me to the droid (3, Insightful)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465718)

I got very frustrated with the itunes interface for my 64GB touch and when getting a new phone, opted for GalaxyS rather than the iphone. maybe apple has finally "pooped in its mess kit"

Winamp. (2, Interesting)

Vehstijul (85085) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465720)

Back when I was on Win2k (or Windows, period) I used Winamp... and then they started adding crap I didn't want that slowed down the program. At least I had the option to keep the older version.

Sounds like iTunes is doing it again. Social networking in my music player?! Not needed. I'm not on Facebook, I'm not on Twitter, I don't want that in my music player, I must be a Luddite.

Can't they have a iTunes "lite" that only connects your iPad/Pod, organizes your music, and that's it?

The iTunes "Plus" can play your videos, tweet your OMGLOLs, and buy DRM music for you.

Re:Winamp. (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465776)

Can't they have a iTunes "lite" that only connects your iPad/Pod, organizes your music, and that's it?

First they'd have to come up with a version of iTunes that could actually do all of those things halfway well.

Sometimes I wonder how many people never tried a Mac because they experienced iTunes on Windows and assumed all Apple software must be that terrible.

Re:Winamp. (5, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466152)

"Sometimes I wonder how many people never tried a Mac because they experienced iTunes on Windows and assumed all Apple software must be that terrible."

Spot On. Agree 100%.

Itunes is the one Apple software that almost all Windows users will see. It could have been an opportunity to showcase the awesomeness of Apple software. Instead it is judged to be "meh" at best and in fact from other comments here, a lot of people think it is a bloated bugfest and actually hate it. Total fail on Apple's part.

Re:Winamp. (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465874)

i'm still using oldschool winamp on my laptop.

Re:Winamp. (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466016)

Can't they have a iTunes "lite" that only connects your iPad/Pod, organizes your music, and that's it?

I know there are a number of music players out there that do that job pretty well. My favorite is still Pana (Amarok 1.4.x plus bug fixes and upgrades) [bunnies.net] , although it looks like they have stopped development on it.

Re:Winamp. (1)

Roberticus (1237374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466094)

I *am* on Facebook and Twitter, and I don't want either of them in my music player.

And we still can't move the song name column (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465724)

I like to sort my music by Artist --> Album --> Track Number --> Song Name. (Madness; I know.) Apparently this is not what Apple wants. Although I can move any other column anywhere I want, I can't move the "song name" column in iTunes. Does anybody out there know why? Is there a logical reason for this that doesn't involve lazy programming or "because Steve Jobs said so"? I am genuinely puzzled by this.

Re:And we still can't move the song name column (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465982)

I'm puzzled too since I just did it.

Re:And we still can't move the song name column (1)

starbuzz (590877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466032)

  • Select list view
  • Click on Album header until it says Album by Artist

Done. What's your hangup?

Re:And we still can't move the song name column (1)

yumyum (168683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466202)

Works for me.

YUO FAiL IT? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33465728)

and what suuplies And financial

iTunes is Th Suck (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465736)

I was very happy when I turned in my iPhone for a Droid and could remove that POS iTunes from my machine. I would block it by group policy on every network I run if I could.

Sadly true (4, Informative)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465744)

I lit up Ping last night, it seemed to only know about music I had bought from Apple (1.4% of my library), and said "That user hasn't written any reviews" when I clicked on "My Reviews". Hel-lo? Might you suggest to me, "here's how to write a review?" "would you like to write a review?"

Or maybe, an option to harvest ratings already made (1-5 stars) from my iTunes library, instead of asking me to go wandering through the store?

The route to "review an album" goes down an interesting rabbit hole that accidentally exposes their database organization into the UI. Take an album that is not in Apple's catalog (e.g., Anderson/Burroughs/Giorno, You're the Guy I Want to Share my Money With), you get to the "write a review page" by clicking on the arrow next to a song. This then takes you to a different album containing that song, not the one you might want to review.

I realize that Apple, like everyone else, is just trying to make a buck, but you're not supposed to give the game away quite so crudely. If you don't have the album, say "sorry, we don't have the album in our store. Do you think we should, and would you like to review it anyway?"

Re:Sadly true (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466112)

Or maybe, an option to harvest ratings already made (1-5 stars) from my iTunes library, instead of asking me to go wandering through the store?

I'd agree with this one. It seems like absolute common sense. On the other hand, you know if they did that, no matter how clearly it was labelled, people would be complaining about it as a privacy violation.

Can't even get it installed (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465752)

Refuses to install on my quad core intel with 4 gig ram and windows 7 x64.

Perhaps I don't have a beefy enough system to run it ?

Re:Can't even get it installed (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465826)

Hardly, it's actually too beefy. Apple thinks your machine may become self-aware and directly threaten their beautiful, fragile empire.

Re:Can't even get it installed (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466164)

i installed it last night on my wife's netbook. you have problems.

iTunes is just a web browser and sqllite (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465784)

the store part is a web browser with a slightly different GUI than other web browsers. even on my iphone, which is how they added Ping to it without me upgrading to the latest firmware. i'm still on 4.0.

the local storage part is either xml files or a sqllite database. that's the slow part unless you have a new computer with lots of RAM

the problem is not building a new iTunes, that's easy. it's migrating the existing data over. the big challenge will be to migrate the existing data seamlessly during an upgrade, which will probably cost too much money to code so apple won't do it since there is no return on investment and no viable competitor. we will just have to wait for a technological evolution

Ping is a major fail so far. no facebook because apple tried to bully them and got told to go away. no twitter integration.
Ping doesn't even have an auto scan of gmail and other email account address books. who is going to manually try all their contacts?
no artists. i think there are only 20 or so on there
spammers have taken over
everything is geared to make you buy something, no real social networking
people on macrumors have figured out that a lot of content comes from Tumblr and is not even original
a lot of artist postings seem fake and like they were done in some call center. some celeb tweets are like this, but compare Lady Gaga's twitter feed and Ping feed. the twitter feed seems like it's really her

either this is a public beta or this will die in a few months like digital LP. Apple wants to hoard cash and maintain profit margins at the expense of hiring enough people to code these things to completion. there were stories earlier this year how developers at apple are always changing projects depending on what is priority. also explains why some things like an iPad OS update are so far behind schedule

one shocking thing i learned on the Pong of social networking sites this morning. Lady Gaga like Iron Maiden and Faith no More.

I for one am 100% behind a complete rebuild (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465800)

of iTunes from scratch because that's pretty much the only way to fix this behemoth. Then when you consider that complete rebuilds always result in higher quality software, there's only one question to ask! Apple, where are you on the rumored iTunes rebuild?

Entirely Possible (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465806)

Given that this is a company that blew up their entire operating system to, more or less, start from scratch, I would not be the least bit surprised if they decided to do this with iTunes if they feel that it has bloated too far off track. Say whatever you want about Apple but they are, and have long been, a company that is willing to make tough decisions if they feel it is the right one. They do not shy away from the hard choice like so many other companies do.

Do they need to blow up iTunes and start fresh? Well, I'm sure everyone will have a different opinion on that but, if Apple starts to think that way I am certain it won't be long before they actually push the plunger and rebuild from the ashes.

It's kind of the AOL Desktop of the media world (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465906)

I've never had any problem using it, including what looks like a dozen in-place upgrades on my 3 year old XP SP3 box.

But it is getting to be "too much" of an application that does too little. I don't think it's going to change, though, as AFAICT it has become the "Apple Desktop". In fact it wouldn't surprise me if it became almost some kind of virtual desktop environment in the future, a place to run iApps on desktops, interact with Apple's Apple-product-only app and media marketplace.

It doesn't scale well in terms of being able to categorize your media or create media libraries specific to individual devices, especially if you have multiple devices -- I've always hated the way you choose and filter media, especially music, among media devices. "Checked" songs are sheer idiocy with an iPhone, iPad and two iPods all syncing the same music, and there's no other song-level ability include/exclude specific songs from specific devices.

I'd like to see a much more specific sync application for iPhones in particular, especially one which would allow you to sync with multiple computers and was more focused on mail, contacts and app data than on digital media like music and movies.

Re:It's kind of the AOL Desktop of the media world (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466138)

No, it's the Homer Mobile of the media world.

The bloat isn't that bad. (2, Interesting)

Zelgadiss (213127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465908)

Apple surprisingly has manage to keep most of the new features they add pretty streamline when added to the UI.

My main complain about that stupid app is it's speed and memory consumption.
Something which has been it's Achilles' heel since forever.

It seem just about every piece of Apple software on Windows is 2-3 times less efficient that any other software of it's class.

Needing iTunes for iPad (4, Funny)

Geeky (90998) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465938)

I still can't get over the fact that you can't use in iPad without iTunes. When you first switch it on, you have to sync it to iTunes before you can do anything, and you need it to apply updates to the OS.

I got an iPad purely as a portable photo portfolio - the rotation makes it better than a netbook as you can show portrait and landscape format photos full screen. Sadly the built in photo gallery software is poor, especially if you have to sync with iTunes (you have more control if you use iPhoto - on a Mac).

I kinda feel dirty for buying in to the whole Apple thang.

iTunes bad, new iPods not much better (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465964)

iTunes has always been a frustration to work with. I have thousands of MP3s in mine, mostly OTR and the concept of one central library isn't too bad, but the inability to create folders within folders, for organization, is exasperating. It's like these designers never thought anyone would like to organize more than 1 folder deep.

I looked over the new iPods and 'Meh' is the best I can muster. Why isn't there a 64GB or 128GB Nano? This is 2010, after all. 16GB just doesn't cut it, way too small and I don't want all the stuff of a Touch, just for more capacity.

I'm still on my 30GB classic, which is starting to hit drive errors. Time is running out and Apple doesn't look like the answer for a replacement.

So happy all my stuff is in MP3 format, not Apple's proprietary format.

iTunes is like Adobe Acrobat these days (1)

cjcela (1539859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465980)

Both of them started as useful, free, little products. But then they bloated so much that grew largely irrelevant. On top of that, both have a pile of unusable features, and an user interface that appears to be designed by AOL. And Apple keeps pushing updates that are utterly irrelevant to 90% of their customers, be it to support some new device or add even more unwanted features.

...

So I choose not to upgrade either of them anymore, and actively avoid to use them if I have an alternative. I used to like iTunes. And all my computers are Mac's. But Apple, you are killing a product out of greed here.

iTunes Alternative programs (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33465998)

So far, I have had light success with the following iTunes alternatives:

Winamp - Various plugins seem to work, then not work depending on iOS versions. Sharepod turned out much easier, then later I discovered MediaMonkey.

SharePod - Originally for iPods, but seems to support iPhones fairly well. Last I checked, you DO need to have iTunes installed. It's been flaky from time to time, but is good for providing a drag-n-drop interface for the iPhone.

MediaMonkey - This one I think is going to be big for me in the future for as long as I keep my iPhone (Perhaps not too much longer). It seems to integrate very easily with my iPhone, and provides a relatively simple interface.

Now, I'm in the process of building all of my CDs to FLAC, and from what I understand the paid version of MediaMonkey will convert FLAC to MP3 (or other formats) on the fly as it copies it over to my iPhone. Having the ability to not need a MP3 library and a FLAC library might be nice.

The only thing that I wish MediaMonkey would do (and I think the next version gets it) is handle video files for the iPhone.

Oh my main point: it seems like even the most poorly written and feature limited versions of iTunes alternative software is lightyears better than iTunes itself.

It is so freaking annoying trying to keep my computers 'updated' to Apples preferred setup. 9 times out of 10, each time I hook up my iPhone to my computer it will tell me it needs to erase my phone before it can even think of managing it. I'm sorry, but I'm not surrendering to the Apple method of letting them manage every aspect of my data and would prefer to just do it the way that has worked for me since 1994.

Looks like you reformated your computer: Let me erase your phone
Looks like you altered your library: let me erase your phone
Looks like you updated your phone from your laptop: let me erase your phone.

Yeah, I'm sure that there is some way that I can avoid iTunes caring about how my phone is managed, but if it does it even 1 time out of ten, that's one too many.

Redesign and rebranding (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466088)

I would agree Apple should go back to the drawing board with iTunes. Not because I think it's horrible-- IMO it works fine on OSX-- but because it was designed primarily to store and play a music library. Since then, it has grown to store movies, TV shows, podcasts, sync calendars and other personal information, store and transfer applications to portable devices, backup the applications' data, transfer documents to portable devices, and now have a built-in social networking site. It's also used to do weird little things like sync photos to portable devices with iPhoto.

It's just a lot of stuff for one application to be doing, and if you want to use it for one thing, you need to install it all. The name doesn't really make sense anymore; iTunes does a lot that doesn't have to do with "tunes". Many things seem incongruous. For example, managing applications and transferring documents to an iPad are not the same sort of activity as listening to your music library. The method for transferring documents is kind of terrible, which I think it tied up with trying to do it in an application that was not intended for it.

I think they need to break things up a bit. Maybe they could make the media store software, music management software, video management software, and the device syncing software into 4 different pieces of software, each optimized for its task? Or maybe some things could be built into the OS better?

I don't know, really. It seems like there are always trade-offs between trying to put everything into one application vs. trying to make a separate application for each task. You can go too far either way.

Apple's had lots of misses... (1)

stagg (1606187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466116)

Apple and Google both seem to do a really good job at drawing the media attention to their hits and not their misses. There's always a back catalog of unsuccessful software, this is just a fairly high profile case.

I used iTunes many years ago and it was horrible (3, Interesting)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466118)

I briefly owned a 2nd generation iPod Nano when they were brand new, and of course it insisted I install iTunes in order to transfer music to it. I installed it, uploaded some songs, and found out that Apple insists on ignoring folder structure when organizing music playlists. Since all my mp3s came from random sources, the id3 tags were a mess, but up to that point I did not care. Every computer and mp3 player I had used to that point was fine reading folders first with Artist_name/Album_name/track_number_-_song_name being the default sort.

Apple just HAD to be different. It was using just file names and id3 tags to sort songs in playlists, so "Unknown Artist", "Doors" and "The Doors" were all different, even though on my PC they were all under the same folder. This was annoying beyond belief, but I wanted to fix the id3 tags anyway at some point.

So I embarked on the gargantuan task of editing the id3 tags in my entire music collection, about 90Gb at the time, using iTunes. It wasn't as horrible as I thought, since iTunes does have batch id3 tag processing. At first everything was fine, all my songs were nicely organized both in iTunes and iPod.

Then a few months later I decided to sell the iPod Nano and just use a cellphone as an mp3 player. Since I was only using iTunes to sync the Nano and play the mp3s, and I always liked foobar better anyway, I uninstalled it. HUGE MISTAKE!!!!!

It turned out that iTunes wiped out the id3 tags from the songs and stored them somewhere else, because when I loaded the mp3s in foobar not a single one still had their tags. They were wiped clean! I posted this before and people said it must have been a mistake on my part. But I promise you guys, every single file in my music collection did not have an id3 tag. Verified with several media players on several computers.

After that I swore never to buy another product that requires iTunes to function. I'd probably be tempted by an iPhone 4 once my Nokia N900 breaks down, but since I have to use iTunes, it won't happen...

And if history repeats itself (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466134)

That for the most part, when media pundits make fun of an upcoming Apple product, more often than not, it's exactly what the market's been looking for. It's easy to tear down something on a technical basis but nobody will call the writer out when they get their predictions wrong.

iTunes slow? (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33466150)

I've found that iTunes is very slow on XP with 1 gig of ram. On VBox Hackintosh, it's a lot quicker, and even dare I say it, smoother. It's nicely linked into the OS (though syncing to an iPod is slow as hell). The problem is making a Windows version - lots of different OS code, probably a load of UNIX code they have to replicate and convert badly into windows syscalls when it already has the same calls but incompatible. This is probably some of the reason why they didn't want a Linux version - it'd have to be another version to maintain, plus Linux is quite different from Mach. But the userspace stuff is not surprisingly similar. I think they just couldn't keep up with the flak. It's slow enough already.

As not a fan of Apple or iTunes, I'll give them that their products work well together, just not with anyone else's. And as for iOS updates? Asking Apple if that's okay? Not allowing downgrades? I think not. It's MY iPod after all.

I hope you've found my speech useful. Yours sincerely, the guy who wrote it.

Portable PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33466206)

When I first checked out this web write-up I concluded Apple Slashdot regulars should check this out! http://hubpages.com/hub/rent-a-laptop-rentals . I just don't get renting a portable PC at all! The rate for renting a portable PC for even a couple of weeks is going to set you back as much as just going online and buying the portable computer!

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