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Apple Declutters, Speeds Up iTunes With Major Upgrade

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the not-fixed-enough-for-me dept.

DRM 295

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Washington Post reports that Apple has finally unveiled their new version of iTunes, overhauling its look and feel and integrating it more closely with the company's iCloud Internet- storage service with one of the biggest upgrades Apple has made to the program with 400 million potential users since its debut more than a decade ago. The new design of iTunes moves away from the spreadsheet format that Apple has featured since its debut and adds more art and information about musicians, movies and television shows. It also adds recommendation features so users can find new material. According to David Pogue of the NY Times Apple has fixed some of the dumber design elements that have always plagued iTunes. 'For years, the store was represented only as one item in the left-side list, lost among less important entries like Radio and Podcasts. Now a single button in the upper-right corner switches between iTunes's two personalities: Store (meaning Apple's stuff) and Library (meaning your stuff).' Unfortunately, Apple hasn't fixed the Search box. As before, you can't specify in advance what you're looking for: an app, a song, a TV show, a book. Whatever you type into the Search box finds everything that matches, and you can't filter it until after you search. It feels like a two-step process when one should do. 'Improvements in visual navigation and a more logical arrangement of tools are good, but for me the biggest positive within iTunes 11 remains its vastly improved performance on all three Macs I've tested it on, including a relatively ancient five-year-old MacBook,' writes Jonny Evans."

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Bazzer (0)

aedan (196243) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160719)

Still seems to play the wife's Manilow I'm afraid.

To much selling me shit. (1, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160725)

The interface spends too much time trying to sell me shit. I just want to play my music and podcasts.

Re:To much selling me shit. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160797)

Huh? Can't really see your point: There is just that one button to the iTunes Store and a link if you right-click an album. And if you don't like that, you can disable it in the parental settings.

Re:To much selling me shit. (5, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160857)

The article is also in error. They found shortly after release that you could limit the scope of the search field to the selected library, a wildcard match within that library category, or a title match within that category under your library. I suspect this information is a few days too stale. You just select the dropdown in the search box, and deselect the 'Search Entire Library' option.

Re:To much selling me shit. (2)

dhaines (323241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161351)

Yeah, listening to both music and podcasts this morning, the interface isn't trying to sell me anything at all.

Maybe someone got confused by the iToonz Extreme Premium Platinum free trial on their BigBox box.

Re:To much selling me shit. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160807)

The interface doesn't spend any time trying to sell you shit. You could easily play your music and podcasts without ever going near the store in any way. Don't let that get in the way of your irrational Apple hate though - this is Slashdot News for 1st Level Helpdesk these days after all.

Re:To much selling me shit. (0, Troll)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160813)

Indeed. Way too much visual clutter.
This might just as well have been a microsoft product.

Re:To much selling me shit. (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161355)

are you looking at the same iTunes 11 I am? in music mode, it just shows me a player on the top bar with simple controls(Previous track, play, next track), a volume slider and search.

Then a mode sensitive bar where I can switch between various types of media, different categories in those types of media, and any devices connected. Then a simple interface for picking items from that category.

Compare that to the default WinAmp install which is kind of a bloody mess.

Re:To much selling me shit. (0)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161513)

music mode

That's the problem, the UI is so cluttered the user is forced to switch modes just to clear it up.

I'm with the GP. I just want my music presented in multiple lists so I can find what I want quickly, and basic playback controls.

If I want the music on my phone I can just copy the files with a right click or explorer, or just use Google Music. If I want apps there is an app store on my phone and a web site. If I want radio there are web sites. If I want to buy music there is Amazon and a million others offering DRM free platform neutral MP3s. If I want movies the only option at the moment is to buy the disc and rip, then copy the files to my phone. I don't need a massively bloated app for all that.

And make no mistake, iTunes for Windows is still bloated as hell. Arguably it is for Mac as well, except that like old versions of Internet Explorer half of it is tightly integrated into the OS.

Re:To much selling me shit. (3, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160815)

The interface spends too much time trying to sell me shit. I just want to play my music and podcasts.

I use Winamp with the iPod plug in. Probably doesn't work for ya if you use stream via iTunes, but I have never bought any music via them, so I don't care.

Re:To much selling me shit. (2, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160977)

Does that work with the new iPods and iPhones? Because frankly I'm tired of dealing with customers that have a buggy iTunes, I swear iTunes on Windows is probably the most buggy thing I've had to deal with in awhile, so if there is something I could give them and say "If it gets buggy again use this instead" that would be quite helpful.

Re:To much selling me shit. (1)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161501)

Generally for third party software (WinAmp, CopyTransmanager) to be able to sync to iPhone and iPod Touch (and I assume iPad), it requires Apple drivers, which are installed when you install iTunes (along with a bLoat load of background services). Supposedly you can separate the installer into components, and just install the drivers, but I haven't had luck with that. Copytrans Drivers installer will automate the process http://download.cnet.com/CopyTrans-Drivers-Installer/3000-18546_4-75300288.html [cnet.com]

CopyTransManager http://www.copytrans.net/copytransmanager.php [copytrans.net] is simple drag and drop for music and videos

i-funbox will let you drag and drop files for apps that support it (Downlite, FileApp, etc) http://i-funbox.en.softonic.com/ [softonic.com]
Here's a lifehacker article that mentions a couple alternatives: http://lifehacker.com/5914638/the-best-desktop-file-explorer-for-iphone [lifehacker.com]

I can't believe how terrible iTunes for Windows has always been. When I bought my iPod Touch 4g, I finally reached the cold day in hell where I intentionally installed iTunes on my computer (only to activate, and upgrade the iOS version)

Re:To much selling me shit. (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161149)

I would love to have winamp back. now if they supported something other than windows.

I hate itunes. I firmly believe it should be three pieces(media player, Media Store and Media Sync). but I have yet find another music player on the mac that actually works.

Re:To much selling me shit. (2)

pr0nbot (313417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161185)

Incidentally, if it keeps prompting you for a password that you keep cancelling, the answer is apparently to delete all stored web content... in Safari. (It worked for me.) Whether or not it is good that other applications apparently have unrestricted access to your Safari cookies is left as an exercise for the reader.

Re:To much selling me shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161227)

Use Google Music. I haven't touched iTunes since I uploaded all my music to it, and despite being cloud based it's much faster than iTunes (or at least the Windows versions I've used). You'll then also have your library anywhere you have a web connection, which is really nice, for instance, at work.

iTunes was the last thing holding me to Windows since I had thousands of songs with star ratings and couldn't find any good Linux applications that used that meta information. Google Music actually reads it and translates it on the fly to a thumbs up / thumbs down, or if you enable a lab, a 5-star system just like iTunes.

Its 2012 (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161295)

Everything is like that now. Best get used to it and learn to ignore it out of habit.

Re:To much selling me shit. (4, Informative)

JimR (101182) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161463)

Then go to the Parental Controls Preferences and disable the iTunes Store.

Wasn't too hard, was it?

Re:To much selling me shit. (0)

ruiner13 (527499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161467)

You can completely disable the iTunes store under the parental controls section if it bothers you that much.

sidebar (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160737)

The layout on the top bar helps to separate out: player from store from device management. I will admit I do like the sidebar with the old layout for familiarity.

Anyway I think the big difference is that more of the functionality is exposed on the interface, sort of like an office application. I think they are assuming that iTunes user base is sort of stable and they can make things less obvious. That's a typical Apple pattern:

lots of new users = aim for obviousness
lots of experienced users = decrease obviousness and increase features

Can I have v 10 back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160749)

I found the old spreadsheet format very intuitive. This sucks, it's all slick presentation rather than useful interface.

Re: Can I have v 10 back? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161253)

You can change it to look like 10.0, it's two clicks, show menu, show left thingie, done

Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160757)

I was looking at an artists website, and clicked on the link to buy an album. It too me to the iTunes website. OK I thought, I'll try it. Except that I couldn't. To actually buy the album it said I had to do so through the iTunes software. Whoops. I guess I won't be buying anything from iTunes at all then.

You know, 'cause I run GNU/Linux.

It doesn't matter how fast the software is, if I am required to use it to buy shit, I ain't buying it. Websites work as store front ends for many other people, so why not Apple?

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160875)

you use linux. you wouldn't buy shit anyway.

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (4, Informative)

pmontra (738736) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160903)

In other news [twolofbees.com] Linux users pay more than Windows and Mac users at humblebundle.com, but that's no shit I guess, so you're right.

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (1, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160955)

In other news [twolofbees.com] Linux users pay more than Windows and Mac users at humblebundle.com, but that's no shit I guess, so you're right.

Not that I think it's bad, but it must be nice to have those big front donations from single users skewing the average, eh?

Honestly I don't think there's much difference between the average users in terms of how much they spend, or their likelihood of buying something.

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161363)

In the same news, some Slashdotter pulls out the single point of data that supports their point of view and ignores the rest (And gets modded up for this kind of dick move!). How very fucking scientific of the Slashdot crowd. If we were talking global warming you would have been modded troll within 5 seconds of the post.

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160985)

You are a faggot.

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161047)

Buy Windows and run it in a VM.

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (4, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161121)

Buy Windows and run it in a VM.

...or simply use one of the great players and Linux...and a store that is OS agnostic.

Which OS-agnostic store (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161289)

For one thing, I seem to remember finding a few pieces of music that are available on iTunes but unavailable or "album only" on Amazon MP3 and Google Play Store. For another, people occasionally buy entertainment works other than music. Which OS-agnostic store carries movies that can be bought, downloaded, and played offline?

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161483)

Or pirate it. I'm not planning on giving any more money to MS.

(Note: I didn't actually pirate my copy of Windows. I bought it. I do feel like a bit of a sucker, though.)

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161191)

Why would Apple worry about the 5 Linux users?

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161225)

Why would Apple worry about the 5 Linux users?

Because if you count by body fat, body odor or allergies, they'd be worth 500 scrawny boys.

Re:Still can't use on Linux, still not buying (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161311)

Why would Apple worry about the 5 Linux users?

Because there are a lot more than five. Android, which uses the same kernel as GNU/Linux, is beating iOS on phones, neck and neck on 7-10" tablets, and about to beat it handily on game consoles this coming April unless Apple gets apps onto Apple TV pronto.

uhh excuse me but wtf (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160783)

why does an itunes story have a "drm" logo when itunes was the first webstore to sell drm free music?

but scrolling down i see the bill gates borg logo is gone and now replaces with microsoft corporate logo?

man, slashdot sold out, fuck this shit hole, i hope dice loses money.

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (4, Informative)

PIBM (588930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160883)

First webstore without DRM ? What are you smoking ??

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160895)

1. The submitter probably liked the icon, and didn't read it's name.
2. Because compared to today's Apple, Microsoft is actually warm, fuzzy, cute and cuddly.
3. There are other websites that offer the same thing Slashdot does. But perhaps what you'll miss the most is posting under AC? (I'm willing to bet you also have a named account, but didn't want the bad karma, sooo sad, sooo sad )

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161115)

1. If it's not a straitjacket, it's a gay jacket [explosm.net] . Perhaps Apple users who accept the straitjacket aren't as gay as the stereotype predicts.

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (0, Flamebait)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160999)

why does an itunes story have a "drm" logo when itunes was the first webstore to sell drm free music?

Personally I dislike the AAC tracks which are incompatible with everything, which is the trouble with patent encumbered formats [No MP3 has nothing like the same problems]. I also find it kind of sad that those who bought those DRM (128-bit) laden tracks are not getting those tracks either upgraded to a higher quality version...or having the DRM removed. I think there are better stores today elsewhere, Amazon offers DRM free 256kb tracks. ...of course this does not say a lot about all the over content offered in iTunes which is still heavily DRM.

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161087)

I dislike the AAC tracks which are incompatible with everything

Incompatible? Anything that plays AVC (aka H.264) encoded MP4 video also happens to play iTunes m4a files. AAC appears to be supported on more home and mobile entertainment devices than Vorbis.

I also find it kind of sad that those who bought those DRM (128-bit) laden tracks are not getting those tracks either upgraded to a higher quality version

Not sad as much as stupid because Apple offers a deep discount on DRM-free repurchases of tracks previously purchased with FairPlay DRM.

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (5, Insightful)

joncbo (1264062) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161387)

Not sad as much as stupid because Apple offers a deep discount on DRM-free repurchases of tracks previously purchased with FairPlay DRM.

Wow, a discount for redownloading an already purchased track? How magnanimous. /sarcasm

iTunes Plus upgrade (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161429)

Given that the new copy is also encoded with a higher bitrate and presumably a new version of the encoder with a better tuned psychoacoustic model, I'd think it merits the 30 cent upgrade fee even apart from the lack of digital restrictions management.

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161101)

IANAn Apple user, but isn't there a way to remove drm's from Apple music, by burning the tracks to disc then copying them back from the disc?

I stopped paying for music after cd's. Just rebuilt my mp3 collection in less than 2 months by borrowing/ripping library CDs. After having backed up over 9000 tracks to flashdrive, I'm done for awhile. :-)

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161009)

why does an itunes story have a "drm" logo when itunes was the first webstore to sell drm free music?

Amazon MP3 store, August 2007.

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (4, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161027)

The movies still have DRM. I believe the books also use a proprietary extension to ePub, but I don't think it's currently used to implement DRM.

Re:uhh excuse me but wtf (1)

Too Many Secrets (449095) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161167)

that's a total lie. emusic.com was selling DRM free music long before that.

Goodbye Windows 8 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160785)

When I found out that Apple had come out with an updated version of iTunes, I threw all of my Windows desktops and laptops in the dumpster. In other words, I unplugged and tossed them 7 minutes ago.

It'll cost me a small fortune to replace them with Apple products, but it's worth it. This post was created with an iPad.

Apple 4ever, Micro$oft and Linux NEVER.

Re:Goodbye Windows 8 (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160823)

itunes still is a shitty program

Re:Goodbye Windows 8 (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161003)

I have a feeling the OP was trying to be sarcastic. No one in any kind of even mostly-sane state of mind would just throws desktop and laptop computers in the trash just for an updated iTunes - version.

Re:Goodbye Windows 8 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160995)

When I found out that Apple had come out with an updated version of iTunes, I threw all of my Windows desktops and laptops in the dumpster. In other words, I unplugged and tossed them 7 minutes ago.

It'll cost me a small fortune to replace them with Apple products, but it's worth it. This post was created with an iPad.

Apple 4ever, Micro$oft and Linux NEVER.

You're a certified idiot.

Alternatives to iTunes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160817)

I have grown to hate iTunes lately. More bells, whistles, forced integration with iCloud, gratuitous multifunctionality...and it seems that v11 continues the trend. I'm starting to look for alternatives to iTunes, and I wonder what the /. community would recommend. And no, Windows or **nux aren't options for me. Tnx.

Re:Alternatives to iTunes? (1)

alcourt (198386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160877)

I know many people have suggested songbird in the past. I was able to pretty well ignore the functions I didn't want, so it didn't bother me. "Mac alternatives to iTunes" turns up lots of sites that suggest a few other options.

Re:Alternatives to iTunes? (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161203)

Or as an alternative to Songbird on Windows which doesn't do Podcasts (and doesn't look like it ever will) Miro http://www.getmiro.com/ [getmiro.com] is pretty good, especially if you pair it up with Winamp http://www.winamp.com/ [winamp.com] for Shoutcast streaming radio.

iTunes??? (0)

shine (1502) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160819)

I'll have to take your word for it, I just never have used iTunes.

Re:iTunes??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160965)

why are you posting here then? you've added nothing to the conversation.

who modded this retard up?

Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160827)

As a PC user, always found Apple's software beyond the OS baffling and counterintuitive, probably because they hide what they are doing. Something as simple as moving and saving songs to my phone seems like an excercise in frustration - syncing is not backing up for some reason and I always end up with duplicate songs or apps from other family members' devices. If they didn't have to hide the file system.

Amazing that a company that makes decent hardware and a decent OS and ok apps can't make decent software. Hope this update fixes some of the bullshit.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160885)

Well, the OS is of course BSD unix, and has not been made by Apple.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160991)

Not entirely correct. The underlying system is indeed Darwin ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system) [wikipedia.org] ), but all the GUI-stuff is proprietary. And quite obviously all the GUI-stuff is a part of the OS and therefore you cannot say OSX is BSD.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161135)

No, the OS is not BSD Unix. It's partially BSD and partially something that Apple (NeXT) wrote. A clear explanation can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diagram_of_Mac_OS_X_architecture.svg. The other item to note is that while there is a BSD portion of the xnu kernel, a large part of these are Apple/NeXT code.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160941)

Something as simple as moving and saving songs to my phone seems like an excercise in frustration

That's because it's not designed for the exact opposite. It's designed so that the user shouldn't have to "move and save songs to their phone". iTunes should just take care of it for them.

I always end up with duplicate songs or apps from other family members' devices.

It sounds like you're using a single user account on your computer for multiple users. Rather than expect every application on your system invent their own ways of dealing with multiple users, you should just have a user account for every user on your computer.

Granted, iTunes is by no means perfect, and the sharp corners show through in some cases, but if you're looking at an Apple product and thinking "I can't do X manually", it's probably because you have an XY problem [stackoverflow.com] , and they are solving X while you are asking about Y. X in this case being listening to your music on your phone and Y being manually putting them there.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (1)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160971)

That's because it's not designed for the exact opposite.

And in case anybody is confused, that sentence was supposed to either be "not designed for that" or "designed for the exact opposite", and somehow it came out as both.

Guest accounts (1, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161145)

you should just have a user account for every user on your computer.

Including everybody who might visit and use the computer? A lot of people have only one guest account.

Re:Guest accounts (1)

jsdcnet (724314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161497)

Why are you syncing a visitor's phone with your iTunes library?

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161147)

It's designed so that the user shouldn't have to "move and save songs to their phone". iTunes should just take care of it for them.

No sir, I don't like it. That's a solution looking for a problem if I've ever seen one.

XY problem etiquette (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161181)

it's probably because you have an XY problem

Yet when I try to diagnose XY problems by asking "Why do you want to do Y?", I often get called a troll.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161017)

why would syncing be the same as backing up? what consumer product has EVER treated syncing in this way?

sync means "make content the same on both devices", and that's exactly what itunes syncing does unless you change the defaults.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161393)

You're probably correct. But if I buy a song on my phone, I was expecting sync to transfer it to my computer. To sync/transfer content basically. iCloud kinda fixes the downfalls of a lost phone but the only time I connect to a computer is todo an OS upgrade and instead of being one step, it's a series and even done correctly, all manner of screwups occur - phone populated with other people's apps and that junk.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (1)

jsdcnet (724314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161505)

You're probably correct. But if I buy a song on my phone, I was expecting sync to transfer it to my computer.

That's exactly how iTunes has always worked. With iCloud you no longer have to sync. With iTunes 11, purchased-but-not-on-computer items show up in the library just like any other content, but with an iCloud logo.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161095)

As a PC user, I absolutely hate iTunes. I stay away from Apple products specifically because of iTunes.

My kids have iPod touches, and I loath having to go into iTunes and update their software/apps. Going through the huge app list is painful. For some reason the app icons never get cached, so they are reloaded every time iTunes forces me to view them. Plus the entire software is sluggish on my reasonably fast Windows 7 system. And it eats CPU like crazy.

I often wonder if Apple purposefully made iTunes run like crap on Windows just so that they can push people more toward Macs.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (2)

jsdcnet (724314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161519)

As a PC user, I absolutely hate iTunes. I stay away from Apple products specifically because of iTunes.

My kids have iPod touches, and I loath having to go into iTunes and update their software/apps.

Well, you don't have to do that any more. Remember the whole "PC Free" thing from a year or two ago? You can update the OS, apps, whatever, on the device itself, and use iCloud for backup. If you ever have to reset the device for some reason it will just redownload everything automatically once you put in your iCloud login. As long as your kids' iPods can run iOS 5 or later, you never need to connect to iTunes ever again.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (3, Insightful)

TejWC (758299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161103)

Apple makes great software; its just that they make the worst Windows software you could ever use. iLife is half the reason why I was using a Mac for so many years. General rule of thumb for all Apple software:
If it ends in .exe, it will be slow, bloated, and unintuitive
If it ends in .app, it will be fast, slick, and makes sense

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (0)

sco08y (615665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161239)

Apple makes great software; its just that they make the worst Windows software you could ever use. iLife is half the reason why I was using a Mac for so many years. General rule of thumb for all Apple software:
If it ends in .exe, it will be slow, bloated, and unintuitive
If it ends in .app, it will be fast, slick, and makes sense

That's because .exe stands for 'execrable'.

Thats Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161243)

Killer hardware married to crap software... rendering it completely useless.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (1)

mkraft (200694) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161411)

I agree, some of the changes in iTunes 11 are downright baffling. For example, if you want to sync updated apps, you now need to do a "backup" instead of "sync". I suppose that makes syncing faster, but it makes little sense otherwise.

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (2)

jsdcnet (724314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161493)

Set your phone to "Manage manually" instead of Library sync. Then you can just drag and drop stuff onto it. No more syncing weirdness. Syncing is for people with a small amount of music that will fit neatly on one device. If you buy new things on the phone or on the computer, it doesn't matter, they will always be exact mirrors of each other after syncing (and with iCloud, you don't even necessarily have to sync any more).

Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161499)

Apple didn't write the original iTunes. Apple bought SoundJam MP [wikipedia.org] from Casady and Green. I still remember using SoundJam fondly. For its time, it was way ahead of the curve (which is why Apple bought it, I'm sure). SJ and iTunes are similar, but iTunes was redesigned as a store as much as a music player. SJ just wanted to help import, organize, and play music.

Many of the same flaws, some new ones (4, Interesting)

alcourt (198386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160853)

Too many of the same old flaws are still there. For example, it insists on sorting artist rather than composer in many views. If I have an album where two different pieces have different featured soloist artists, it insists in some views as treating it as two separate albums, while other views may not. For larger works, this can be a problem, like the complete symphonies of Haydn.

Groupings remain the red-headed stepchild, poorly used, despite being the only way to logically group together movements of a larger work within an album.

It introduced a few new flaws. In playlist view, it appears trivial to turn on shuffle and start playing a random piece. In library/songs view, that no longer appears possible. Multiple testing shows it always plays the first piece of the playlist, then shuffles.

The column browser is gone, just gone inside a playlist. I have some very large playlists. I want to be able to use the column browser within that playlist. I now have to go outside the playlist to the library view and use that, hoping I remember correctly the criteria that form the smart playlists.

I never had much of a performance issue, so I can't speak to that, but the first thing I turned off was album art based views. If I wanted an album, I'd pick it from the column browser.

Re:Many of the same flaws, some new ones (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161209)

Would you rather have it sort by composer, so that contemporary pieces show up under Holland-Dozier-Holland, Stock Aitken Waterman, etc.?

Re:Many of the same flaws, some new ones (2)

cob666 (656740) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161241)

The column browser is gone, just gone inside a playlist. I have some very large playlists. I want to be able to use the column browser within that playlist. I now have to go outside the playlist to the library view and use that, hoping I remember correctly the criteria that form the smart playlists.

I just tried this and if you select a playlist, you can still go into View / Column Browser / Show Column Browser

Re:Many of the same flaws, some new ones (2)

alcourt (198386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161271)

Odd, completely grayed out for me. Might be the difference that I'm using smart playlists, not regular ones. I create playlists based on combinations of genres or comments put in the comments field (Moody is a nice tool for me).

CNET overviews the removed features (3, Informative)

acroyear (5882) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160867)

7 Features Apple Killed Off in iTunes 11 [cnet.com] . I was originally annoyed by removing the ability to edit the 'gapless' state of files (removing that one just seems stupid), but as no other player I use on any other platform supports the feature, I gave up caring.

Re:CNET overviews the removed features (2)

SOOPRcow (1279010) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160915)

Winamp has supported gapless playback for a decade now. I honestly can't understand how gapless playback isn't a default feature/setting in any music playing software.

Re:CNET overviews the removed features (3, Interesting)

Dare (18856) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161197)

"5. Multiple windows"

Tried this on my test machine, and it appears to be true. What The Hell. This completely wrecks my workflow for creating playlists (which was to have library open in one window, playlist in another, and to drag files from the library into the right place on the playlist).

For fnord's sake. It seems that these days every update from Apple ends up just frustrating me. Not installing this one either, just like Safari 6 (no RSS, again WTF?)

TPB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160893)

TPB is still better.

Major overhaul is useless: still no FLAC support (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160909)

and no, I'm not dual stacking flac-alac just for them. stupid retards.

Re:Major overhaul is useless: still no FLAC suppor (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161237)

Is installing the Ogg plugin for QuickTime [xiph.org] "dual stacking"? And if so, what's so wrong with dual stacking?

But Can It Read DRM-Locked iBooks? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160925)

I made the mistake of purchasing an iBook without reading the various notices saying that iBooks are only readable on iPhone, iPad, etc. Why can't iTunes read the DRM-locked iBooks so I could... read what I purchased?

I ended up pirating the book I bought just so I had a DRM-free copy of it to read. Generally I don't mind the DRM associated with iTunes (save the 'can only play videos out of iTunes bit, but that's a minor gripe), but being unable to consume entertainment I purchased from them is a shining example of DRM done wrong.

New (1)

Botia (855350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160937)

Did they fix the bugs, the performance issues, the crashes, the thrashing of the library, the sync issues, the poor UI, the hiding of fields when they don't work properly making it near impossible to troubleshoot, the unresponsive UI, the resource hog? Not sure how a company that can build the crap that is iTunes can build something like iOS, although that's headed the same way: 1st party apps crashing, app store update not working, app icons never installing, sync issues. Go back to doing one thing and making it work Apple. Having most things mostly work is Microsoft's domain, and you're not there.

Re:New (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161019)

Perhaps its all legacy crap from when iTunes was aquired?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITunes_version_history

I guess it's okay (2)

TraumaFox (1667643) | about a year and a half ago | (#42160943)

Once I figured out how to get it to sort my albums by title rather than artist again, I have to say I'm getting used to the minimalist interface. iTunes has always been minimal on features, so it never made sense that its UI was such a mess. Now it's more, uh, pushbutton-y? Feels like it was designed for touchscreens, oddly enough. I definitely like the new pop-out Visualizer, now I can properly have that running on my secondary display without jumping back and forth between the full interface. The only thing I'm not digging is how double-clicking an album immediately starts playing it instead of opening the song list. There's actually no way to get to that song list anymore, you have to start the album and then skip to the track you want, else you have to sort through the Songs view which includes your entire library. Oh well.

Re:I guess it's okay (2)

TraumaFox (1667643) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161273)

Correction: Apparently the album view does have a neat expanding songlist if you single-click on an album, there is just an obnoxious delay which is why I didn't notice it before. Double-clicking still only plays the album without opening this list though, so it's now a two-step process. -1 intuitiveness.

Eat it, Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42160997)

Once again, Apple tells me what I like and want with version 11. Once again, they are completely wrong. No surprise. I will keep using WinAMP.

Re:Eat it, Apple. (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161071)

Apple does not want your opinion, they want your money.

Next step: fix the iPod (4, Informative)

hackertourist (2202674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161291)

I got my iPod nano 1G replaced with a 6G in the battery recall program, and it feels like a downgrade.

- The interface defaults to the useless album art screen, so that's one extra action every time you want to do anything.

- A touchscreen is way inferior to the clickwheel. It's now impossible to operate the iPod without looking at it, even for simple things like skipping a track. So I attached a remote controller which halves its battery life.

- the touchscreen also means that you have to press the button to wake up the screen before you can do anything. Two actions before you get to a useful screen.

- Some idiot has decided that when you're playing music from a playlist, you then can't easily navigate back to the playlist from the default (album art) screen. You have to go all the way back to Music->Playlist->select the list you're in->scroll down to wherever you are.

Linux (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161305)

Have anyone tried it under Wine yet? (the previous one didn't work at all, and it may be useful to have the MP3 store)

Yes, they did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42161329)

It was pretty obvious to me yesterday that a new iTunes update was out. People kept contacting me asking how to "fix" iTunes so it went back to the way it used to be. It's a shame Apple can't make a decent music player, or at least make it easy to roll back to previous versions. They are doing a good job at ticking off their customers.

SoundJam (1)

Balthrop (2786045) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161373)

this is astounding that this post is as old as it is and no one hast yet mentioned SoundJam, a new record I thinks.

Power search in iTunes store (2)

doginthewoods (668559) | about a year and a half ago | (#42161377)

The Power search tool, in the uTunes store is gone. For those who use this to find versions of a song, or research other tunes by artists, this is a valuable tool
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