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iTunes for Windows Reviews

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the ireview dept.

Music 628

joshv writes ""Hell has frozen over" proclaims the front page of Apple.com. iTunes for Windows was released this week. iTunes has been around for awhile as a Mac only product, receiving rave reviews. It's the Windows availability of the iTunes Music Store that is garnering the real interest. It has been eagerly awaited on the PC, ever since Apple launched it as a Mac only service in the spring of 2003." Read on for the rest of joshv's review; Ars Technica also has a review of the service.

The iTunes stores provides one of the most liberal usage policies of any of the Internet music download services, matched by some of the best prices. Most individual tracks are 99 cents, most albums under $10. There is no subscription fee, so once you've downloaded it, you can listen to it forever. You can also burn CDs with the music you've purchases, provided you don't burn the same playlist more than 10 times.

These terms are a testament to the weight Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, pulls in the media industry. The fact that he was able to single-handedly negotiate such liberal licensing terms is simply amazing given the comparatively restrictive policies we've seen from other online music download services. Jobs clearly gets it, and he's dragging the music industry, kicking and screaming, into an entirely new way of thinking about online music distribution.

And now it's all available on the lowly Windows PC. We'll talk about the implications of Apple writing Windows software later, but for now, on to the review.


You start at apple.com and click the download link for the Windows version of iTunes. I thought perhaps I'd experience some sort of clunky installation experience - after all, Apple has never written any Windows software, let alone had to deal with the vagries of the Windows installation process. But the installation went off without a hitch, requiring one reboot.

Atfer the reboot, you launch iTunes, it asks you a few questions, and you are ready to go.

The iTunes Music Store

To download music, you must first create a user account. This is a fairly simple process. You provide an email address, credit card number and verification information. It's quick and painless, and when complete you are immediately logged onto the iTunes Music Store (iTMS from now on).

First, a little bit about the interface layout in iTunes. iTMS is presented as a browser pane within the iTunes software. A hierarchical "Source" sidebar on the left hand side of the screen allows you to switch between the Music Store, your own music libraries, shared libaries, CDs, Internet radio, and the iPod (though I don't have one, so I can't test this).

All of the various content choices are displayed in some way in the main browser pane. Along the top of the iTunes window you'll find a search box that works as well for the iTMS as it does for your own music libraries.

The iTMS is attractively laid out with quicklinks on the home page to top songs, top albums, featured artists, and celebrity play lists (what does Shaq listen to?). A drop down allows you to browse a particular genre (what, no separate genre for Heavy Metal?)

Click on an album you like and you are taken to an album details page. Here Apple takes advantage of the fact that iTunes is more than a simple web browser. The top of the browser pane shows cover artwork, top downloads from the album, and a "People who liked this, also bought" list (didn't Amazon patent that?).

The bottom of the browser pane shows a sortable list of all the tracks in a grid format. You can add and remove columns, chosing from Album, Artist, Comment, Composer, Disk Number, Genre, Time, Track Number, and Year. Double clicking on the track plays a short, 20 second sample of the music. The Artist and Genre columns provide little arrow icons that serve as links to display more music from that artist or genre.

At the top of the page you click "Add Album" to purchase all of the tracks, or click "Add Song" in the grid to purchase a single track. Some album's don't allow you to purchase the entire album, you have to buy all the tracks individually. Some tracks are available only when purchasing the entire album (these are marked "Album Only" and are usually longer tracks).

Buying and downloading music

Apple provides two options for purchasing music, a "1-click" option, and the traditional Shopping cart/checkout. I prefer the shopping cart. It helps keep down the impulse buys and the cart itself is pretty slick. When you select the shopping cart, the main browser pane shows a list of all the tracks you've selected for purchase. Tracks from a whole album purchase are nested under their album title. Almost all of the same functions (preview, links to other works/genres) are available in the shopping cart. At the top of the pane a list of "Recommendations based on the items in your cart" is shown. Ah, blessed be the up-sell...

After you click "Buy Now" you will be asked to provide your iTunes password. You can optionally tell iTunes to remember you password for music downloads, and you will not be prompted. After a final confirmation, the download begins. You can continue to browse the music store, listen to other music in your library, or rip CDs while the download continues. The status window at the top of the screen continues to show the download progress. You can also check up on the status of a download by looking on your "Purchased Music" folder, a sub folder of the Music Store folder.

iTMS Music Selection

I found plenty of variety in just about every genre I like. Apple claims 400,000 tracks from 5 major labels are available. If you like audio books, they've got 5,000 online. And no, Metallica, that fun loving band of music sharing nay-sayers, isn't available.

Burning CDs

The easiest way to burn a CD is to create a playlist with the tracks you want to burn. If the playlist contains any music you've purchased from the iTMS, you will only be able to burn that particular playlist 10 times. Not much of a restriction in my book.

Burning is as simple as selecting the play list, selecting the songs in the playlist you want to burn, then clicking the "burn disk" icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. This confused me at first, because the icon is grayish before activation, it looks disabled to this long-time Windows user. But once clicked, it comes to life, turning into a little radioactivity icon that throbs and spins as the burn progresses.

The progress of the burn is displayed in the same place that the download status is displayed, the oval status window at the top of the screen. A little icon in the status window allows you to switch between "Now playing", download status, an equalizer, ripping status, and burning status. Another little 'X' icon in the status window allows you to cancel a download, rip, or burn.

I have to say that this layout is a marvelously efficient use of screen real-estate, and avoids the dialog box hell many similar programs suffer, but at first I found it a bit confusing, especially since it's not immediately obvious how to get the status window to display the status of the various tasks iTunes has initiated.

I burned several CDs and had no problem playing them on other PCs. There are only a few options to set for burning. You can explicitly specify the burn speed, and the format, picking between Audio CD, MP3 CD, and Data CD (I am assuming this is just a direct burn of the music files, in whatever format).

Music burning just works, and works well. In fact I burned a disc at the same time I was ripping another, and playing some downloaded music. Everything worked without a hitch, though CPU utilization was high enough that it slowed down other things on my machine.

iTunes also supports burning to DVDs but I believe this is still available on the Mac only. As I don't have a DVD burner handy, I can't test this.

Organizing your music

Even without the iTMS, Windows users should want iTunes for it music library management/jukebox features alone. iTunes blows away the competition in so many ways it's hard to catalogue them all.


Let's start with the play lists. Playlists are added to the Source pane, along the left hand side of the screen. You can create a play list and add songs manually. You also have the ability to check and uncheck songs within a playlist, to disable and enable their playing after you've created the list.

The "Smart Playlist" feature allows you to build dynamic song selection criteria based on the meta tags (song attributes - artist, album, rating, genre etc...) For example I created an "Ella" play list for Ella Fitzgerald. This included three rules: "Album contains 'Ella'", "Artist contains 'Ella'", and "Song Name contains 'Ella'". These playlists can optionally update dynamically as new music is added.

You can tell the Smart Playlist to match 'Any' or 'All' of your criteria. Criteria include "contains", "does not contain", "is", "is not", "starts with" and "ends with". Criteria can be applied to any of the meta tags. The number of songs in the playlist can be limited to a specific number of songs, minutes, hours, or total file size.

The Library

Selecting the "Library" icon from the Source pane displays your entire music library in all of its glory. The bottom of the screen shows the total number of songs, number of days of music, and total size in Gigabytes. The default view is a sortable grid displaying all of the meta tags as columns. You can sort on each column. The columns can also be rearranged. Every column but the "Song Name" can be enabled and disabled.

All of the usual meta tags are present, along with some new ones (at least to me) "My Rating", "Play count" and "Last Played", and "Equalizer". That last one lets you specify an equalizer preset for that track only. You can also specify a volume preset when you view the track's Info page (this is not available in the grid view).

Most of the fields are editable in the grid display, just click on the text and wait a second, an edit box will appear, allowing you to type over the information. You can also perform bulk updates by selecting multiple songs then viewing the "Info" page for those songs. A "Multiple Song Information" dialog appears that allows you to update selected tag fields for all of those songs.

I found this to be very handy for my ratty old MP3 library. It was poorly catagorized, with many fields missing. The bulk update feature made for quick cleanup.

As in the music store, double clicking the track in the grid plays it. By default, when finished with a track, the player plays the next track in the list, based on the current sort order. You can select a "Shuffle" mode that plays random tracks. Repeat options include "Repeat Playlist", and "Repeat song". I'd like to have seen a "Repeat album" feature.

The Browse feature

When viewing the Library, or any playlist, you can click the "Browse" button in the upper right hand of the screen (minor nit, the "Browse" button looks like a large, poorly rendered eye). This toggles the browse pane, taking some real-estate away from the song list grid at the top of the screen.

The browse pane itself is broken into three panes, Genre, Artist, Album. Selecting a genre limits the artist pane to only those artists in that genre. Selecting an artist limits the album pane to only that artist's albums. As you are doing this selecting, the grid below dynamically updates to show only those tracks that meet the catagories selected above. It's a very quick way to see what you have at a glance, and to find a particular track, album or performer in a large library. Very cool.

Overall iTunes does an excellent job of allowing you to flexibly organize and find your music. The interface is clean and simple, but powerful.


Simple. Stick a CD in, select it from the "Source" sidebar on the left hand side of the screen, and the click the "Import" icon. I was not impressed with the ripping speed, which seemed to vary between 2x and 4x. There doesn't appear to be anywhere to set or tune the ripping speed.

There are only a few configuration options for importing. You can set the import format, choosing between AAC (MPEG-4), AIFF (mac uncompressed), MP3, and WAV. For each of the formats you can pick the sample rate and stereo/mono. For AAC and MP3 you can select the bit rate (VBR is an option for MP3s).

iTunes uses CDDB to look-up album and track information. In my usage this performed flawlessly, recognizing all the albums I threw at it.

More on the AAC format

AAC is the default music encoding format (codec) for the iTunes player. Apple claims that 128kbps AAC encoding provides quality almost indistiguishable from the original, much better than a 128kbps MP3. To my ears it all sounds great. The AAC files I downloaded at 128kbps sound great. I rarely encode MP3s at that low a bit rate, so I really can't do a comparison.

The full name for the AAC standard is actually MPEG-4 AAC. Music purchased from the iTMS is downloaded in an encrypted version of this format (.m4p) which is presumedly proprietary to Apple. However, you can rip music into an unencrypted AAC format (.m4a).

AAC is not an open standard, but was developed by the MPEG group, which includes Dolby, Fraunhofer (FhG), AT&T, Sony, and Nokia. As a result any software or hardware that uses AAC has to pay a license fee. As AAC is realtively new, support may be sporadic for the format in other players.

As a test I ripped some CD tracks to AAC format and then tried them out in other players. The Real One player didn't recognize the .m4a file extension. After renaming the files with .mp4 file extension, Real One downloaded a decoder, but then failed to import the ripped tracks. Note that these should not be encrypted tracks, as I ripped them, they weren't purchased from iTMS.

Windows Media Player didn't know what to do with either file extension (and I have the fully up to date version 9). There supposedly exists a winamp plugin for MP4/AAC, but I did not test it. There also appears to be a burgeoning gray market in unlicensed MP4/ACC de/encoders.

Even if your other audio players can read the audio format, they may not be able to read the meta tags you've created in the iTunes software, as Apple apparently uses its own tag format. So, if you rip to AAC, expect that iTunes will be the only platform that is going to provide full access to your music, until other players fully support the format. Also, don't expect to play the purchased music in native AAC format anywhere but in the iTunes player because of the built in encryption/DRM (though you can certainly burn a disc, then rip to MP3 format, you will lose some of the native quality).

If any of this is a problem for you, just rip directly to MP3 format and be done with it.

Importing your existing library

When you install iTunes, it will ask you if you want to search for existing music. I passed on this option, preferring to tell it exactly where to look. Importing older libraries of MP3s is simple. Just use the "Add Folder to Library" feature in the "File" menu.

I pointed iTunes to the root folder of my entire MP3 collection, and it figured everything out, flawlessly importing all of the albums, along with all of the meta tags. By default it leaves the tracks in their current location (which is what I wanted). You can choose to consolidate your music library at a later point. This copies everything into you iTunes music directory.

The iTunes music library directory is configurable. By default in Windows it's under My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music. If you want to change it (as will many with large secondary drives used for music storage), make sure you do so before you start downloading, otherwise you might end up with music files in multiple locations.

Sharing your music

No, iTunes won't let you get in trouble with the Recording Industry by sharing your music with everyone else on the Internet. What it will do is allow you to export your full music library, or various playlists, to up to five other people on your local network. I didn't test this feature extensively, but it worked flawlessly between my desktop machine and my laptop over a Wi-Fi network. Apple calls this feature "Rendezvous", and it's been available on the Mac for a while now.

It just works. I fired up iTunes on the laptop, and the shared library, with all its playlist was immediately available in the Source pane. I'd suggest Microsoft take a page from this playbook. Anyone who has ever messed around with Microsoft's supposedly 'plug and play' home networking knows what I am talking about.

You can't do much with a remote music library, other than play it, and it's play lists. You cannot edit the meta tags, or create/edit play lists. Not a biggie, I am not sure I'd want that much flexibility anyway.

Sharing between users on the same machine

iTunes makes sharing music with other PCs on the network a snap, but it's a bit harder to share music between users of the same PC. At home I've set up my computer with an account for myself, and one for my fiancee. I installed iTunes in my account, and downloaded some music.

We wanted to see if my fiancee could use this music as well. The iTunes icon was on her desktop, but when we launched it, there was no music available in her Library. We changed her music libary to point to the music library iTunes had created for my user account, but still, nothing showed up in the play list.

We did mange to get it to work by exporting my Library using the "Export Library" option on the "File" menu. This allows you to save all of your playlists and track information to a massive XML file. We then imported this into iTunes when logged into her user account. It worked. This is a bit clunky though, and I doubt any meta tag updates she does will be reflected in my Library, and vice versa.

I imagine we could have manually added the music to her iTunes Library using the import functionality. The larger problem is that as we buy or rip more music we will constantly have to worry about keeping both account's Libraries and playlists in sync.

One cool way to work around this would be to use Windows XP's fast user switching. I haven't tried this (I run Windows 2000), but in theory with fast user switching you should be able to use Rendezvous between two users on the same machine.

Digital Rights Management

Digital Rights Management, or DRM, has become a dirty word in some technology circles. Many other music download services use DRM to lock you into their music player, force you to pay a subscription to keep listening to your music, and to tightly control what you can do with the music once you've downloaded it.

With iTunes, what's most noticable is how unobtrusive Apple has made the DRM. In fact, it's almost not present. Here are a list of things you can't do:

  • Burn a play list with purchased music more than ten times
  • Share music with more than 5 other computers on your local network
  • Share music over the Internet
  • Access your purchased music at full quality outside of iTunes
  • Re-download music once you've successfully downloaded it once (remember to make backups!)
Pretty much everything else is allowed. The first day I used iTunes, I downloaded an album, burned it, took it to work, and ripped it. This is as close to unrestricted usage of downloaded music as it gets. Granted, it's a little more restrictive than what you can do with a CD you've purchased - but CDs are more expensive, and to my mind, less flexible.

Internet Radio

iTunes provides a comprehensive list of Internet radio stations. I don't believe that Apple provides the content for any of these stations, but it does dynamically update the lists for each genre when you access them to ensure that the list remains fresh and defunct stations are removed.

I didn't exercise this feature too extensively, as I quickly found one of my favorite di.fm trance stations and spent the entire day at work listening to it - so I can't vouch for the quality or availability of the other stations. But there appears to be a wide selection, within a good variety of genres.

User Interface

If there is one thing I don't like about iTunes is the way it plays fast and loose with the various user interface metaphors. The iTunes player is a strange mixture between a "Brushed Metal" look, the native Mac OS X "Aqua" interface, and the boring old Windows native interface. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what's used where.

The menus and most drop down lists are windows native, even if the controls that access them are the Aqua look alikes. For example, in the iTMS there is a drop down list labeled "Select Genre". It's rendered with the translucent Aqua look and feel, but clicking it displays a drab Windows native drop down list. Just weird.

Also, what's up with this brushed metal obsession of Apple's? Why should computer software look and feel like a 1970's stereo component? I don't know. Do you?

The interface overall is sluggish. Presumably because of whatever software Apple used to port the Aqua eye candy to Windows. I'd prefer to give up some of the eye candy for a bit more speed.

All things considered, the interface potpourri doesn't get in the way too much, and though sluggish it's still usable. So these are all minor quibbles. Apple did such an outstanding job in making iTunes a simple yet powerful way to organize your music, that a few minor interface issues can easily be overlooked. At least until the next release.


One might think that as a first attempt at Windows software that iTunes might be buggy or prone to crashes. It didn't crash once in my usage, and handled some heavy workloads without incident. In fact I had it burning, ripping, and playing all at once. I'll bet you could add downloading to that list without a hiccough. There have been some reports of iTunes locking up after install - Apple is currently investigating. I did not experienced that particular issue.

I did find some minor display issues where sometimes the screen didn't update properly. Particularly when ripping, the little check mark sometimes didn't appear next to the track after it was ripped. This didn't seem to affect functionality in any way, and the songs played fine after the entire CD was ripped.

Wider implications for Apple

For years, Apple has been writing superior software, but only for the Mac. This has been a way for Apple to draw users to the Mac platform. Apple's tight control of the both the software and hardware environment allowed them to provide a superior user experience. For Apple to produce Windows software represents a sea-change in this philosophy.

First of all it represents a huge risk to the Apple brand. If it doesn't work well, or crashes due to the weird hardware/OS combinations that are all too prevalent in the Windows world, they will tarnish that hard won reputation for quaility and ease of use.

Secondly, they are giving up one of the drivers that pushes people to purchase that high margin Mac hardware - the superior software, that used to be available only on the Mac. There are people who bought Macs simply because of the media software that came bundled. Now, there is one less reason to get a Mac. Will Apple port more of these goodies to the PC? Is Steve Jobs crazy?

Like a fox. Note that Jobs has no plans to port OS X to commodity PC hardware, nor has he made any moves to port any of the other software in his suite of media productivity tools to the PC. The reason he ported iTunes is because it's the best way to access the iTunes Music Store. Apple makes money selling music on the iTunes music store. Probably not much money yet, but certainly they will make considerably more money if they don't restrict users to the Mac platform. With the advent of iTunes for Windows, the iTunes Music Store became the largest distributor of online music overnight.

Remember also that Steve jobs is in the process of re-conceptualizing the Mac as a media hub, de-emphasizing the computer itself, for media accessories. The iPod is an outgrowth of this process. With iTunes on my PC, guess what's now on my Christmas list? An iPod. I've played with other MP3 players and they software they use to manage MP3 libraries. They sucked - hard. iTunes shows me that it can be easy - it should be easy. In a single stroke Jobs has vastly increased the market for the iPod.

So what Jobs has done is managed to increase the market for two of his newest alternative revenue streams (iPod and iTMS) without singificantly compromising the revenue stream that's funding everything (Mac sales). Brilliant, and very pragmatic, so unlike Jobs.


Steve Jobs claims that iTunes is the best software ever written for Windows. It's certainly the best music player/Jukebox ever written for Windows. I don't know that any of the others can match it, feature for feature.

With iTunes and the iTunes Music Store, I honestly can't see myself returning to buying CDs. It's just so much more convenient, and significantly cheaper to download and burn - and I don't care about the minor quality differences or the lack of cover art. This is what I've been waiting for. YMMV of course, but it's definitely worth a try.

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FP for adi (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253160)

FP for stef itunes fp dis is da shit


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253234)

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All you have to do is copy this troll onto two to four of the discussion threads of your choice! That's right! Just copy this into a new message and click "post anonymously." That's all there is to it!

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So if you want to get the fruit basket and not get poked in the bread basket, just copy this troll onto two of the discussions threads of your choice. We could have this place blanketed by sundown!

Wouldn't you love to dance to some tunes with... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253164)

How can BSD [freebsd.org] be dying when it has a mascot [freebsd.org] like this?! Linux needs to get its act together if it's going to compete with the kind of hot chicks [hope-2000.org] and gorgeous babes [hope-2000.org] that BSD has to offer!

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Mmmm, shared....... (2, Insightful)

Teknobob (43181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253166)

I love the fact that the sharing under an OS X box can now be accesses without any other software on the host computer. iTunes for Macintosh Rocks & now with the advent of iTunes for windows, it rocks as well!

I love iTunes for Windows (1)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253333)

It's my default mp3 player now. I've uninstalled Music Match (or Match Music...I had this for years and STILL don't know what to call the thing, but don't go by that, I'm an idiot).

I like the way iTunes filters work, I like the way it looks, I like the way the buying works...and I've had zero problems in burning disks.

All around, I like this!


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253168)

of course apple has written software for windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253172)

QuickTime for Windows?

Need a firewall? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253173)

# --
# Slashdot Opensores Firewall Script
# --
# Distributed under the superior BSD license
# Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
# modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
# are met:
# 1.Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
# notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
# 2.Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above
# copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following
# disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided
# with the distribution.
# 3.The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote
# products derived from this software without specific prior
# written permission.
# -- Start Here

# Being gang raped by sinos is not fun
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_syncookies

${IPTABLES} -t filter -F INPUT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -F OUTPUT

# The rulz
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s male/16 --sport penis --dport mouth -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s male/16 --sport fist --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s male/16 --sport finger --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p protected -s male/16 --sport fist --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p protected -s male/16 --sport penis -j ACCEPT

# I know this may seem controversial but it feels good
${IPTABLES) -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s female/16 --sport fist --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES) -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s female/16 --sport finger --dport anus -j ACCEPT

${IPTABLES} -t filter -A OUTPUT -d female/16 -j DROP

# -- Finish

Just a note... (5, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253175)

"after all, Apple has never written any Windows software"

What about Quicktime?

Re:Just a note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253190)

And the iDisk utility for Windows.

Re:Just a note... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253211)

I'm not sure if Quicktime for Windows deserves the title "software". It's not quite as bad as RealPlayer, but ugh. Everytime I try to play a QT file now, it searches through my CD drive for something. If there's not a disc in there, it tells me there was an error reading the disc. Reinstalling didn't help at all. What on earth is it doing? Not much I can do about it, either, since a lot of things are released in QT format... (movie trailers especially)

I'd much rather have mpeg/avi. Hell, I'd even take asf.

I think it's a plot to get us to buy Apples.

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Re:Just a note... (1)

samrolken (246301) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253337)

I agree that Quicktime is terrible. Every time I install it, it blathers about wanting to know what kind of internet connection I have. Then, it goes and configures itself as the viewer for PNGs and JPEGs in my web browsers (even Opera!). My web browsers could view PNGs and JPEGs just fine without Quicktime. Then as I uninstall it, I just get a mess of broken mime-application associations. Blegh.

Try QuickTime Alternative (1)

tereshchenko (715289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253367)

Try QuickTime Alternative [betanews.com]. It is "customized" release of QuickTime Player. Very nice and fast (without GUI bulk). It also includes Media Player Classic - free player similar to Windows Media Player 6.4, but original one and sooooo fast - it's unbelievable. P.S. These guys also have RealPlayer Alternative. It even includes DirectShow filter, so you'll be able to play RealMedia shit using for example Microsoft's Media Player.

Re:Try QuickTime Alternative (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253371)

It even includes DirectShow filter, so you'll be able to play RealMedia shit using for example Microsoft's Media Player.

If the package includes MPC, why still bother with the bloated crap that's called WMP? :-) MPC also use DirectShow filters

Mac problems (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253176)

I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 MHz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:Mac problems (1)

Valthonis (607085) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253278)

Your first problem is that, with a PowerMac 8600/300, you're likely running OS 8.x or 9.x. These operating systems were, indeed, far inferior to WinNT in that they did not multitask well (yes, you could have multiple programs open at a time, but they wouldn't share CPU time) and had rather simplistic memory management. Mind you, Windows isn't much better in the memory management category, but it's no surprise that your PPro outran your PowerMac 8600 on similar tasks. If you were to run, say, Linux on the same CPU, it would likely keep pace or even outpace your PPro/WinNT setup. In addition, OS X (which your PowerMac will not likely run without a G3/4 daughtercard and quite a bit of non-Apple supported tinkering) supports preemptive multitasking like any other modern OS, and while I'm not exactly a Mac-head, I feel it's far superior to any other previos MacOS edition. You may want to stop by your local Apple Store or CompUSA (*shudder*) to try it out. Ya gotta think about these things before bashing any particular setup, pal.

Re:Mac problems (1)

kliment (627259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253295)

Hmm, that seems strange, are you sure it's not separate disks or separate partitions. On the same partition only the reference to the file would have to be changed, no actual data moved. Or is the mac fs done somehow stupidly. About netscape not working, I observed the same on my dad's XP laptop last time I visited to copy a movie from him. Copying the 700 meg movie from a cd to the HD took about 17 minutes at 100% cpu use and all the other programs ground to a screeching halt for the duration of the copy. Burning the same file to a cd took 7 minutes. Repeating the process when I got home on my linux box took about 4 minutes and used almost no cpu... strange...

Re:Mac problems (1)

claudebbg (547985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253298)

Seems you encounter some problems with a 6 years old Mac (from one the worst period of Apple, they don't always do the best;-) running on Os9.
May I recommend you to, well, upgrade to a new model (their are some at really reasonable prices on the AppleStore, less than $1000). They run on OsX (which is really fast, stable and improving with Panther)
I you can't/don't want, perhaps you could try some "autumn cleanup" on your machine. After 6 years, perhaps the disks are a bit full of fragmented files, the System Folder full of old unused preferences. There was/are some great tools to do that.
You can also check your system, because the latest version sometimes helps if you forgot to "auto-update".
If what you really need is fast-cheap-stable system comparable to actual PCs, I may recommend you some G5 (top level but not really useful if you don't need that much power), cheaper than equivalent brand-PCs. Or iBook/eMac if you need just that horse-power needed to surf and play music & videos and do some development.
I think a lot of people like me are out there and can help you avoid such strange problems and help you to see a Mac running fast.

Re:Mac problems (1)

cedmond (515813) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253308)

Dude, You are off topic and complaining about a machine that is like 8 years old (and running OS 9). I will be the first to admit that the Mac has some speed issues when compared to similar Wintel boxes, but come on. Sit in front of a Mac that was produced since the turn of the century before you trash the platform.

Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253177)

It just works. I fired up iTunes on the laptop, and the shared library, with all its playlist was immediately available in the Source pane. I'd suggest Microsoft take a page from this playbook. Anyone who has ever messed around with Microsoft's supposedly 'plug and play' home networking knows what I am talking about.

Not quite so quick. Know why it 'just works'? BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE A HOME NETWORK. You've already spent the time to setup your windows machine and mac machines on the network. You suggest plug & play isn't so easy, but have ended up getting networking working.

It's that effort you've used to get the 2 itunes setups working. Without having done that, the 2 iTunes would not have a clue each other exists

"It just works" because you've already put the effort into setting up your network, NOT because of some fad named "rendezvous"

Re:Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253201)

Anyone who has ever messed around with Microsoft's supposedly 'plug and play' home networking knows what I am talking about
Actually, Microsoft's plug and play is brilliant. All you need to do is get 2 network cards, plug them in to each computer, get some CAT5 crossover cable, run the network wizard, and you're set, and to get ICS working all you need to do is tick a box! Excellent.

Re:Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (2, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253218)

So easy to use, no wonder it's number one!

Err, sorry... I'm getting my corporate slogans mixed up.

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Re:Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (1)

Joel Carr (693662) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253240)

Then why is it you always spend the first 2 hours of any LAN party trying to get computers to talk to each other. In the end you always end up with at least one machine that can 'see' everyone, but no one else can see it. A user who can see everyone, but can't access anyone, but everyone can access them. Everyone running win9x can't access win2000 and winXP half the time, even if user access rights are set correctly and all. etc etc etc

So yes, windows doesn't tend to have to much trouble setting up the hardware on a single computer, but try networking them together and it all gets very frustrating...


Re:Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (1)

phre4k (627961) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253280)

just type the ip on the computer like: \\xx.xx.xx.xx and you are set. It takes some time before they all can "see" each other, but who cares you can connect to the computer even though they can't see each other. Regarding 2k vs. 98 you are right. That doesn't work out of the box, unless you enable the guest account on 2k.

Re:Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253286)

Actually... all Microsoft products that are alike seem to talk to each other brilliantly, for example I used to play Doom2 [doom2.com] on MS-DOS and had NO difficulties playing it, now I play Action Quake 2 (action.telefragged.com (can't get the link to work because of the action. at the start)) on Windows XP at LAN parties and have never had any problems, as everyone else coming to the party has not had a dodgy LAN card and has always ran the operating system the rest of us have run. Common sense really.

Re:Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253349)

Ofcourse this will leave you with a network full of security holes. Is that excellent?
I would never connect a windows network to the 'net without a good firewall running on a trustworthy system. And iTunes is only big fun if your network is connected to the 'net.

Is this a troll, or a karma-whoring post?

I don't think you understand Rendezvous (1)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253244)

Setting up macs on a home network is trivial with Rendezvous. I turn on the Mac for the first time, it tells me it see a DCHP server, and asks if I want to use it. I say yes. It also asks me what I want to call the computer. I give it a name, say Freddie. I'm done setting up the network.

I can now go to any other Mac computer in the house and say I want to mount Freddie's harddrive. A dialog appears and it automatically sees Freddie. I enter the name and password and its mounted.

If I have turned on the sharing music option for iTunes on Freddie, I can open iTunes on another computer and it will see Freddie's shared music.

It doesn't get any simplier than this.

Re:I don't think you understand Rendezvous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253253)

With windows it's entirely possible you won't have to do even that. If it sees DHCP, it'll use it. No asking.

You can usually just browse your neighborhood to see other computers or workgroups, normally this is "bad", but it is easy. Then just jump on the admin secret share, which everyone knows, and viola. Unless someone has taken a trivial amount of time to prevent you from doing this, which really they should have done.

Re:I don't think you understand Rendezvous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253254)

Yes it does get even "simplier". In fact, Rendezvous doesn't even need a DHCP server. It can use self-assigned addresses. Therefore, you can use a true ad-hoc network, just use an ethernet cable to connect two computers and they will get their own 169. IP numbers and notify each other of their existence using ZeroConf.

Re:I don't think you understand Rendezvous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253272)

isn't APIPA a MS convention? :) Those theiving apple harlots....

Re:Rendezvous is a false sense of plug & play (2, Informative)

Cska Sofia (705257) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253248)

Yeah, and driving to work "just works" because of all the effort the road builders put in, not because of some fad called "a car".

Perhaps you don't understand. Rendezvous is a service discovery technology. It automatically finds machines on a network offering a service. Without Rendezvous, you'd have to find out the IP address yourself.

It really IS plug and play, in that as soon as I plug my iBook into a network, I show up on everyone's iChat Rendezvous list. Pretty smart, and much more than a 'fad' in my view.

Think you've got it bad? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253183)

This has nothing to do with anything remotely Slashdot related, but I need to do something before my head explodes...

As I type this, my roomate and my best friend/recent lover are fucking in the next room over. WHAT THE FUCK. After 10 years of friendship and built-up sexual tension, we finally hooked up and now less than a week later she's banging my roomate. I am so fucking incensed right now I can't think straight. I wouldn't mind if they went to a hotel or otherwise didn't make it known, but she just FUCKING WALKED PAST MY ROOM TOPLESS AND SHUT THE DOOR IN MY FUCKING FACE. How fucking insensitive can you be?!

This sucks. It's 4AM and I'm telling strangers (GEEK strangers, no less) about my personal problems. I am a big pussy and will most likely not say anything to either one of them so I expect this to go on for a while. Fuck.

Feeling low? There's someone else out there that's having a worse day than you. Trust me.

Re:Think you've got it bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253188)

Next time she walks past your room topless, please take a pic and post it please so that we can better participate in your sorrow. TIA.

Re:Think you've got it bad? (0, Offtopic)

kliment (627259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253273)

Worst thing is that you'll be having to live with that guy around you for a considerable while afterwards and hate him. I have a roommate who is female so I don't fear her fucking my girlfriend... It seems to be a working solution, some of our friends don't get how we can be roommates... weird people... I'd suggest bitch to her, bitch to him, and move into another place... They're not worth it.

Re:Think you've got it bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253302)

Something remarkably similar happened to this A.C. just recently too. I sympathize.

She's not worth it.

Here's a solution (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253332)

I am a big pussy and will most likely not say anything to either one of them so I expect this to go on for a while.
There's no need to say anything to any of them about the actual incident. That would probably lead to an uncomfortable confrontation, and who needs that? Instead, I suggest the following.

Over the next week, start giving indications that your junk either hurts or itches. Itching can be easier to simulate, just reach down and scratch yourself every now and then. Make sure your roommate sees it, but don't make it obvious. Gradually increase the frequency. You may also want to buy a bottle of Gold Bond powder.

For bonus points, pretend to be using the phone (or actually call somebody up) and mention within earshot of your roommate that you've got a doctor's appointment in a week. If you've gone for "hurt" instead of "itch," wait until you and the roomie are sitting around watching TV some night and you have to take a leak. Get up, go into the bathroom, start leaking, and immediately pinch off the flow giving an audible, painful noise. Finish your leak in noticeable spurts.

Your roommate will eventually put 2 and 2 together. Your genitals itch/hurt and you've got a doctor's appointment, he's sleeping with the girl you slept with a week ago, and your symptoms started just after you hooked up with her...

Guaranteed mental agony for both of them. It's like being the BOFH, but better!

Why use iTunes (0, Troll)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253185)

When there is KaZaA and Bittorrent? Unless the RIAA bucks up I don't feel like purchasing legal music, online or not.

Re:Why use iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253339)

on a roll today, aren't we.

Old Ike (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253192)

When I think of dirty old men, I think of Ike Thomas and when I think about Ike I get a hard on that won't quit.

Sixty years ago,I worked in what was once my Grandfather's Greenhouses. Gramps had died a year earlier and Grandma, now in her seventies had been forced to sell to the competition. I got a job with the new owners and mostly worked the range by myself. That summer, they hired a man to help me get the benches ready for the fall planting.

Ike always looked like he was three days from a shave and his whiskers were dirty white under the brim of his battered felt fedora.

He did nott chew tobacco but the corners of his mouth turned down in a way that, at any moment, I expected a trickle of thin, brown juice to creep down his chin. His bushy, brown eyebrows shaded pale, gray eyes.

Old Ike, he extended his hand, lifted his leg like a dog about to mark a bush and let go the loudest fart I ever heard. The old man winked at me. OIke Thomas is the name and playing pecker's my game.

I thought he said, "Checkers." I was nineteen, green as grass. I said, "I was never much good at that game."

"Now me," said Ike, "I just love jumping men. . ."

"I'll bet you do."

". . . and grabbing on to their peckers," said Ike.

"I though we were talking about. . ."

"You like jumping old men's peckers?"

I shook my head.

"I reckon we'll have to remedy that." Ike lifted his right leg and let go another tremendous fart. "He said, "We best be getting to work."

That summer of1941 was a more innocent time. I learned most of the sex I knew from those little eight pager cartoon booklets of comic-page characters going at it. Young men read them in the privacy of an outside john, played with themselves, by themselves and didn't brag about it. Sometimes, we got off with a trusted friend and helped each other out.

Under the greenhouse glass, the temperature some times climbed over the hundred degree mark. I had worked stripped to the waist since April and was as browwn as a berry. On only his second day on the job and in the middle of August, Ike wore old fashioned overalls. Those and socks in his hightop work shoes was every stitch he wore. When he bent forward, the bib front billowed out and I could see the white curly hairs on his chest and belly.

"Me? I just love to eat pussy!" Ike licked his lips from corner to corner then stuck it out far enough that the tip could touch the tip of his nose. He said, A man's not a man till he knows first hand, the flavor of a lady's pussy."

"People do that?"

He winked. "Of course the taste of a hard cock ain't to be sneezed at neither. Now you answer me, yes or no. Does a man's cock taste salty or not?"

"I never. . ."

"Well, old Ike's willing to let you find out."

"No way."

"Just teasing," said Ike. "But don't give me no sass or I'll show you my ass." He winked. Might show it to you anyway, if you was to ask."

"Why would I do that?"

"Curiousity, maybe. I'm guessing you never had a good piece of man ass."

"I'm no queer."

"Now don't be getting judgemental. Enjoying what's at hand ain't beiing queer. It's taking pleasure where you find it with anybody willing." Ike slipped a handside the side slit of his overalls and I could tell he was fondling and straightening out his cock. Now I admit I got me a hole that satisfied a few guys."

I swallowed, hard.

Ike winked. "Care to be asshole buddies?"


We worked steadily until noon. Ike drew a worn pocket watch from the bib pocket of his loose overalls and croaked, "Bean time. But first its time to reel out our limber hoses and make with the golden arches before lunch."

I followed I ke to the end of the greenhouse where he stopped at the outside wall of the potting shed. He opened his fly, fished inside, and finger-hooked a soft white penis with a pouting foreskin puckered half an inch past the hidden head.

"Yes sir," breathed Ike, "this old peter needs some draining." He exhaled a sigh as a strong, yellow stream splattered against the boards and ran down to soak into the earthen floor.

He caught me looking down at him. He winked. "Like what you're viewing, Boy?"

I looked away.

"You taking a serious interest in old Ike's pecker?"

I shook my head.

"Well you just haul out yourn and let old Ike return the compliment."

Feeling trapped and really having to go, I fumbled at my fly, turned away slightly, withdrew my penis and strained to start.

"Take your time boy. Let it all hang out. Old Ike's the first to admit that he likes looking at another man's pecker." He flicked away the last drop of urine and shook his limp penis vigorously.

I tried not to look interested.

"Yer sir, this old peepee feels so good out, I just might leave it out." He turned to give me a better view.

"What if somebody walks in?"

Ike shrugged. He looked at my strong yellow stream beating against the boards and moved a step closer. "You got a nice one,boy."

I glanccd over at him. His cock was definitely larger and beginning to stick straight out. I nodded toward his crotch. "Don't you think you should put that away?"

"I got me strictly a parlor prick," said Ike. "Barely measures six inches." He grinned. "Of course it's big enough around to make a mouthful." He ran a thumb and forefinger along its length and drawing his foreskin back enough to expose the tip of the pink head. "Yersiree." He grinned, revealing nicotine stained teeth. "I t sure feels good, letting the old boy breathe."

I knew I should button up and move away. I watched his fingers moving up and down the thickening column.

"You like checking out this old man's cock?"

I nodded. In spite of myself, my cock began to swell.

"Maybe we should have ourselves a little pecker pulling party." I ke slid his fingers back and forth on his expandingshaft and winked. "I may be old but I'm not against doing some little pud pulling with a friend."

I shook my head.

"Maybe I Oll give my balls some air. Would you like a viewing of old Ike's hairy balls?"

I swallowed hard and moistened my dry lips.

He opened another button on his fly and pulled out his scrotum. "Good God, It feels good to set Oem free. Now let's see yours."


"Just to show you're neighborly," said Ike.

"I don't think so." I buttoned up and moved into the potting shed.

Ike followed, his cock and balls protruding from the front of his overalls. "Overlook my informality." Ike grinned. "As you can see I ain't bashful."

I nodded and took my sandwich from the brown paper bag.

"Yessir," said Ike. "I just might have to have myself an old fashioned peter pulling all by my lonesome. He unhooked a shoulder strap and let his overalls drop around his ankles.

I took a bite of my sandwich but my eyes remained on Ike.

"Yessiree," said Ike, "I got a good one if I do say so myself. Gets nearly as hard as when I was eighteen. You know why?"

I shook my head.

"Cause I keep excerising him. When I was younger I was pulling on it three time a day. Still like to do him every day I can."

"Some sayyou'll go blind if you do that too much."

"Bull-loney!" Don't you believe that shit. I been puling my pud for close to fifty years and I didn't start till I was fifteen."

I laughed.

"You laughing at my little peter, boy?"

"Your hat." I pointed to the soiled, brown fedora cocked on his head. That and his overalls draped about his ankles were his only items of apparel. In between was a chest full of gray curly hair, two hairy legs. Smack between them stood an erect, pale white cock with a tip of foreskin still hiding the head.

"I am one hairy S.O.B.," said Ike.

"I laughed at you wearing nothing but a hat."

"Covers up my bald spot," said Ike. "I got more hair on my ass than I got on my head. Want to see?"

"Your head?"

"No, Boy, my hairy ass and around my tight, brown asshole." He turned, reached back with both hands and parted his ass cheeks to reveal the small, puckered opening. "There it is, Boy, the entrance lots of good feelings. Tell me, Boy, how would you like to put it up old Ike's ass?"

"I don't think so."

"That'd be the best damned piece you ever got."

"We shouldn't be talking like this."

"C'mon now, confess, don't this make your cock perk up a little bit?"

"I reckon," I confessed.

"You ever seen an old man's hard cock before," asked Ike.

"My grandpa's when I was twelve or thirteen."

"How'd that come about?"

He was out in the barn and didn't know I was around. He dropped his pants. It was real big he did things to it. He saw me and he turned around real fast but I saw it."

"What did your grandpa do?"

"He said I shouldn't be watching him doing that. He said something like grandma Owouldn't give him some,' that morning and that I should get out of there and leave a poor man in peace to do what he had to do."

"Did you want to join him."

"I might have if he'd asked. He didn't."

"I like showing off my cock," said Ike. "A hard-on is somethng I always been proud of. A hard-on proves a man's a man. Makes me feel like a man that can do things." He looked up at me and winked. "You getting a hard-on fromall this talk, son?"

I nodded and looked away.

"Then maybe you should pull it out and show old Ike what you got."

"We shouldn't."

"Hey. A man's not a man till he jacked off with a buddy."

I wanted to but I was as nervous as hell.

Ike grinned and fingered his pecker. "C'mon, Boy, between friends, a little cock showing is perfectly fine. Lets see what you got in the cock and balls department."

In spite of my reluctance, I felt the stirring in my crotch. I had curiositythat needed satisfying. It had been a long, long time since I had walked in on my grandfather .

"C'mon let's see it all."

I shook my head.

"You can join the party anytime, said Ike. "Just drop your pants and pump away."

I had the urge. There was a tingling in my crotch. My cock was definitely willing and I had a terrible need to ajust myself down there. But my timidity and the strangeness of it all held me back.

Hope you don't mind if I play out this hand." I ke grinned. "It feels like I got a winner."

I stared at his gnarled hand sliding up and down that pale, white column and I could not look away. I wet my lips and shook my head.

Old Ike's about to spout a geyser." Ike breathed harder as he winked. "Now if I just had a long finger up my ass. You interested, boy?"

I shook my head.

The first, translucent, white glob crested the top of his cock and and arced to the dirt floor. Ike held his cock at the base with thumb and forefinger and tightened noticably with each throb of ejaculation until he was finished.

I could not believe any man could do what he had done in front of another human being.

Ike sighed with pleasure and licked his fingers. "A man ain't a man till he's tasted his own juices."

He squatted, turned on the faucet and picked up the connected hose. He directed the water between his legs and on to his still dripping prick and milked the few remaing drops of white, sticky stuff into the puddle foming at his feet. "Cool water sure feels good on a cock that just shot its wad," said Ike.


"Cock-tale telling time," said Old Ike. It was the next day and he rubbed the front of his dirty,worn overalls where his bulge made the fly expand as his fingers smoothed the denim around the outline of his expanding cock.

I wasn't sure what he had in mind but I knew it wasn't something my straight-laced Grandma would approve of.

"Don't you like taking your cock out and jacking it?" Ike licked his lips.

I shook my head in denial.

"Sure you do. A young man in his prime has got to be pulling his pud."

I stared at his caloused hand moving over the growing bulge at his crotch.

"Like I said," continued Ike, "I got me barely six inches when he's standing up." He winked at me. "How much you got, son?"

"Almost seven inches. . ." I stuttered. "Last time I measured."

"And I'm betting it feels real good with your fist wrapped around it."

"I don't do. . ."

"Everybody does it." He scratched his balls and said,"I'll show you mine if you show me yours." Then, looking me in the eye, he lifted his leg like a dog at a tree and let out a long, noisy fart.

Denying that I jacked off, I said, "I saw yours yesterday."

"A man has got to take out his pecker every once in a while." He winked and his fingers played with a button on his fly. Care to join me today?"

"I don't think so."

"What's the matter, boy? You ashamed of what's hanging Otween your skinny legs?"

"It's not for showing off."

"That would be so with a crowd of strangers but with a friend, in a friendly showdown, where's the harm?

"It shouldn't be shown to other people. My Grandma said that a long time ago when I went to the bathroom against a tree whan I was seven.

"There's nothing like a joint pulling among friends to seal a friendship," said Ike.

I don't think so." I felt very much, ill at ease.

"Then what the fuck is it for," demanded the old man. "A good man shares his cock with his friends. How old are you boy?"

"Nineteen almost twenty."

You ever fucked a woman?"


"Ever fucked a man?"

"Of course not.

"Son, you ain't never lived till you've fired your load up a man's tight ass. "I didn't know men did that to each other."

"Men shove it up men's asses men all the time. They just don't talk about it like they do pussy."

"You've done that?"

"I admit this old pecker's been up a few manholes. More than a fewhard cocks have shagged this old ass over the years." He shook his head, wistfully, "I still have a hankering for a hard one up the old dirt chute."

"I think that would hurt."

"First time, it usually does," agreed I ke. He took a bite from his sandwich.

I looked at my watch. Ten minutes of our lunch hour had already passed.

"We got time for a quickie," said Ike. "There's no one around to say, stop, if were enjoying ourselves."

He unhooked the slide off the button of one shoulder-strap, pushed the bib of his overalls down to let them fall to his feet.

"Showtime," said Ike. Between his legs, white and hairy, his semi-hard cock emerged from a tangled mass of brown and graypubic hair. The foreskin, still puckered beyond the head of the cock, extended downward forty-five degrees from the horizontal but was definitely on the rise.

I could only stare at the man. Until the day before, I had never seen an older man with an erection besides my grandpa.

Ike moved his fingers along the stalk of his manhood until the head partially emerged, purplish and broad. He removed his hand for a moment and it bobbled obscenely in the subdued light of the potting shed. Ike leaned back against a bin of clay pots like a model on display. "Like I said, boy, it gets the job done."

I found it difficult not to watch. "You shouldn't. . ."

"C'mon, boy. Show Ike your peckeer. I'm betting it's nice and hard."

I grasped my belt and tugged on the open end. I slipped the waistband button and two more before pushing down my blue jeans and shorts down in one move. My cock bounced and slapped my belly as I straightened."

"That's a beaut." Ike stroked his pale, white cock with the purplish-pink head shining. "I'm betting it'll grow some more if you stroke it."

"We really shouldn't. . ."

"Now don't tell me you never stroked your hard peter with a buddy."

"I've done that," I finally admitted,. "But he was the same age as me and it was a long time ago." I though back to the last time Chuck and me jerked each other off in the loft of our old barn. Chuck wanted more as a going away present and we had sucked each other's dicks a little bit.

"Jackin's always better when you do it with somebody," said Ike. "Then you can lend each other a helping hand."

"I don't know about that," I said.

Ike's hand continued moving on his old cock as he leaned over to inspect mine. "God Damn! Boy. That cock looks good enough to eat." Ike licked his lips. "You ever had that baby sucked?"

I shook my head as I watched the old man stroke his hard, pale cock.

"Well boy, I'd sayyou're packing a real mouthful for some lucky gal or guy." He grinned. "Well c'mon. Let's see you get down to some serious jacking. Old Ike's way ahead of you."

I wrapped my fist around my stiff cock and moved the foreskin up and over the head on the up stroke. On the down stroke the expanded corona of the angry, purple head stared obscenely at the naked old man.

Ike toyed with his modest six inches. "What do you think of this old man's cock?" His fist rode down to his balls and a cockhead smaller than the barrel stared back at mine.

"I guess I'm thinking this is like doing it with my grandpa."

"You ever wish you could a done this with your grandpa?"

"I thought about it a lot."

"Ever see him with a hard-on."

"I told you about that!"

"Ever think about him doing your grandma?"

"I can't imagine her ever doing anything with a man.

"Take my word for it, sonny, we know she did it or you wouldn't be here." Begrudgingly I nodded in agreement.

"Everybody fucks," said old Ike. "They fuck or they jack off."

"If you say so."

"Say sonny, your cocks getting real juicy with slickum. Want old I ke to lick some of it away?"

"You wouldn't."

Ike licked his lips as he kept his hand pistoning up and down his hard cock. "You might be surprised what old Ike might do if he was in the mood for a taste of what comes out of a hard cock."

And that is what he proceded to do. He sucked me dry.

Then he erupted in half-a-dozen spurts shooting out and onto the dirt floor of the potting shed. He gave his cock a flip and shucked t back into his overalls. He unwrapped a sandwich from its wax paper and procede to eat without washing his hands. He took a bite and chewed. "Nothing like it boy, a good jacking clears the cobwebs from your crotch and gives a man an appetite."


The following day, We skipped the peliminaries. We dropped our pants. Ike got down on his knees and sucked me until I was hard and good and wet before he stood and turned.

"C'mon boy, Shove that pretty cock up old Ike's tight, brown hole and massage old Ike's prostate.

Ike bent forward and gripped the edge of the potting bench. The lean, white cheeked buttocks parted slightly and exposed the dark brown, crinkly, puckered star of his asshole "Now you go slow and ease it along until you've got it all the way in," he cautioned. "This old ass craves your young cock but it don't want too much too soon. You've got to let this old hole stretch to accomodate you."

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Easy boy, easy," he cautioned. "You feel a lot bigger than you look. Put a little more spit in your cock."

"It's awfully tight. I don't know if it's going to go or not."

""It'll go," said Ike. "There's been bigger boys than you up the old shit chute."

I slipped in the the last few inches.. "It's all in."

"I can tell," said Ike. "Your cock hairs are tickling my ass."

"Are you ready," I asked.

"How are you liking old Ike's hairy asshole so far?"

"It's real tight."

"Tighter than your fist?"

"Might be."

"Ready to throw a fuck into a man that reminds you of your grandpa."

"I reckon."

"I want you should do old Ike one more favor."


While you're pumpin my ass, would you reach around and play with my dick like you would your own? Would you do that for an old man?"

I reached around and took hold of his hard cock sticking out straight in front of him. I pilled the skin back amd then pulled it up and over the expaded glans. I felt my own cock expand inside him as I manipulated his staff in my fingers. I imagined that my cock extended through him and I was playing with what came out the other side of him.

"C'mon, boy, ram that big cock up the old shitter and make me know it. God Damn! tickle that old prostate and make old Ike come!"

I came. And I came. Ike's tightened up on my cock and I throbbed Roman Candle bursts into that brown hole as I pressed into him. His hairy, scrawny ass flattened against my crotch and we were joined as tightly as two humans can be.

"A man's not a man till he's cum in another man." said old Ike. "You made it, boy. But still, a man's not a man till he's had a hard cock poked up his ass at least once."

Every time I think of that scene, I get another hard-on. Then I remember the next day when old Ike returned the favor.

I never have managed to come that hard again. If only Ike were here.

Thank You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253243)

I sure was missing Old Ike.

My review. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253194)

I downloaded it on to my 800Mhz Sony VAIO laptop, it took about 10 minutes to install and needed a reboot (Don't remember Linux making me do that). After installing it loaded it up. First of all its dectection of music files is not that great, as it listed many mpeg and avi files as "music". It also installed QuickSlime on my computer which explained some of the bloat. It used the ugly brushed metal interface instead of Aqua and it didn't look right at all. Its nothing like the Mac version of itunes (I tried it on a G5 at pc world, it the Mac version rocks). Not only that, but the lack of support for .wma, .wav, .ogg. and .gcx files made it useless for my needs. I tried the Music store, but since I live in the UK, I could only listen to shitty bit rate 10 second previews of the songs. The visualisation sucked too, especially compared to the goom visualiser on Linux!

In conclusion, Slow, Ugly, Dosen't support my music. If you have a Mac and Live in the USA, then its probably right for you, but for everyone else its Windows Media Player or Rhythmbox [rhythmbox.org] for Linux/BSD users


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253207)

If you need Ogg, just add it (5, Informative)

AllenChristopher (679129) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253310)

Because iTunes uses QuickTime, and Quicktime is pretty extensible, you can add Ogg in an twinkling.

Just go to the QuickTime Components Project. [sourceforge.net]

It's not as elegant as having Ogg support out of the box, and the open-source component is beta right now, but it works. I just tested it.

And hell, Windows Media Player? Clearly, you're either a troll or you haven't begun to look at the tag editing functionality of iTunes. I'd delete this post if the information about Ogg weren't useful.

Unfortunately (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253195)

I can confirm that hell has not in fact frozen over because Natalie Portman is still refusing to date me.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253222)

"...Reportedly, threats from a Natalie Portman stalker (a crazed, deluded "Star Wars" fan: What are the odds of that?) have caused the gifted 18-year-old to attend when she's done filming "Where the Heart is." The Long Island Lolita Lite has been accepted to Yale, but might now consider Stanford, possibly because the Secret Service agents assigned to Chelsea Clinton are already on the nutcase surveillance job. Apparently, Portman's people freaked when eBay started auctioning a H.S. yearbook with her long-guarded real name..."

(the quote is from Austin American-Statesman)

Re:Unfortunately (1)

n__0 (605442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253260)

surely thats because she hasn't got around to you yet, you're not the only one asking her

10-burn restriction? Please... (4, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253200)

You can also burn CDs with the music you've purchases, provided you don't burn the same playlist more than 10 times.

I wonder if they included this restriction just to please the music studios. This is quite possibly the easiest thing to get around - burn the CD once and then just copy that CD instead of burning the files again. Unlimited copies!

It doesn't even seem like it would be worth coding that in there unless the studios required it...

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Re:10-burn restriction? Please... (1)

hoggy (10971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253209)

It doesn't even seem like it would be worth coding that in there unless the studios required it...

I think you can safely assume that all the restrictions are there at the demand of the studios. The 10 burn thing is pretty moronic, but there you go...

Re:10-burn restriction? Please... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253231)

Of course it is. The fact is, once you have burned it to CD, you can do whatever you like with it. That incluse ripping it to mp3/ogg and sharing it on your favourite file sharing network

Re:10-burn restriction? Please... (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253354)

burn the CD once and then just copy that CD instead of burning the files again. Unlimited copies!

Shhh you fool! Don't tell the moro.. er.. RIAA things like that - they will start asking questions!

A few quick comments (from a Mac user) (5, Informative)

hoggy (10971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253202)

The previews are 30 seconds for a song, 90 seconds for an audio book. If you have one-click ordering on, then all the "Add Song"/"Add Album" buttons become "Buy Song"/"Buy Album". Apple have licensed Amazon's patents for one-click and "people who bought this also bought..." etc. (I believe they are the only other online store owner who have.)

Apple claim that the DVD burning works on Windows. As a Mac user I can say that iPod synching is effortless - I would assume that the Windows software operates the same (the iPod supports Firewire and USB 2). Apple have admitted that the iTMS makes no money at the moment and mainly exists to sell iPods.

The 5 computers thing is a restriction on the number of machines you can authorize to play DRMed music. You can share your own rips with as many on the local network as you like. You can also authorize a machine at work and copy your music there to play, but that's one less machine at home obviously. Rendezvous is very cool - it's basically plug-n-play IP (using wacky multicast DNS).

Various people have found ways to share a library between different users on Mac OS X, I would assume that similar hacks can be used with the Windows version - Google may turn up something helpful.

Re:A few quick comments (from a Mac user) (1)

jgalun (8930) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253266)

The 5 computers thing is a restriction on the number of machines you can authorize to play DRMed music. You can share your own rips with as many on the local network as you like. You can also authorize a machine at work and copy your music there to play, but that's one less machine at home obviously.

I feel stupid, but could someone explains to me how this works? I've been interested in trying out the iTMS, but I want to understand it better first.

Ok, let's say I buy Radiohead's Creep off the iTMS. I download it initially on my home PC, and then copy it to my work PC.

How does iTunes know that it's on 2 machines? Does iTunes talk to Apple via the Internet the first time you play any AAC file you haven't played before on that machine? What if, at some point in the future, I've now gone to my third home PC and my third job. Does that mean I can never play that music on the third work PC? Is there a way I can tell Apple that I no longer need to listen to the music on the old machines, but need new machines authorized instead?

Also, is it true that no other players will play AAC? I am worried about this lock-in Ars Technica is talking about. Maybe I should wait til standards get set...

Thanks for any responses!

Re:A few quick comments (from a Mac user) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253296)

Yes, you can deauthorize a machine you don't need. If you de-authorize one, you can re-authorize it later.

If you think it through, this really means you can play you music files on an unlimited amount of systems, as long as you only play it on three at a time.

How many ears do you have?

Re:A few quick comments (from a Mac user) (2, Informative)

Bwanazulia (126541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253319)

Each computer has to be "authorized" which means that you have hooked up (through iTMS) to Apple and given a username and password. This "authorizes" your computer (one of three) to play iTMS songs under that account.

When you want to move from your work PC, to another PC at home, or another at work, you de-authorize one computer and authorize the other.

Been using this since April 24th and it all works very well.


Re:A few quick comments (from a Mac user) (2, Informative)

hoggy (10971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253323)

I feel stupid, but could someone explains to me how this works? I've been interested in trying out the iTMS, but I want to understand it better first.

I'm a little wooly on the mechanics of it myself to be honest. But as I understand it, all the music you buy is encrypted with something unique to your account. When you authorize a computer you download a key that will decrypt your music (and only your music) on that machine. The keys must be locked to the computer somehow (a la activation) and Apple will only issue you 5. If you want to move your music from one machine to a new one and don't have a spare key, then you need to de-authorize one computer freeing the key so that you can authorize the new one.

The downside of this is that catastrophic system failure (or theft) will lose one of your keys. Or if you authorize a computer and then re-format the drive to do a clean re-install without having de-authorized first, then again you lose the key.

Also, is it true that no other players will play AAC? I am worried about this lock-in Ars Technica is talking about. Maybe I should wait til standards get set...

I've successfully played Apple AAC music on other players before. Apple's .m4a files are just MPEG4 containers with a single audio stream. The problem is the .m4p files which are encrypted first. The encryption format is proprietary and obviously the keys are secret even if you knew the file format...

I guess whether Apple ever license their DRM tech to competing players depends on whether Apple can ever make iTMS turn a profit.

Re:A few quick comments (from a Mac user) (1)

Echnin (607099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253327)

Winamp plays AAC/MP4 with this plugin. [sourceforge.net]

I've only tested it with files ripped with Nero, but it works.

Hummmmm.... (1)

tommy_teardrop (228273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253203)

"Hell has frozen over" proclaims the front page of Apple.com.

Maybe they mean: "I'll pay for music when I can download it for free, when....."

You can share your playlists to the Internet, too (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253210)

iTunes 4.0 could originally share with anyone on the Internet (I still have this version on my Macs, am sharing radio shows recordings this way, legally).

Soon came the 4.01 update, which would just block sharing to non-local (routable) IPs. And quickly after that came iCommune / 401ok [sourceforge.net], an utility that diverts the sharing service from port 3689 to port 4689, effectively making it accessible from routable IP addresses.

Apple *have* done Windows software (1)

damieng (230610) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253212)

From the review;

"...after all, Apple has never written any Windows software, let alone had to deal with the vagries of the Windows installation process..."

Erm, QuickTime?

Re:Apple *have* done Windows software (1)

hoggy (10971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253270)

Erm, QuickTime? ... AppleWorks, FileMaker Pro. Going back into the mists of time we have the OpenDoc framework which was meant to be cross-platform, and other horrible genetic experiments like Taligent/Pink.

It hasn't frozen over yet (1)

capedgirardeau (531367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253214)

I don't know where Steve gets the idea it would take hell freezing over before iTune$ would run on windows, that seemed obvious.

What will take hell freezing over is when OS X runs on intel (officially), not just one app.

Warning! (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253215)

iTunes will install quicktime without asking.

Nothing bugs me more than that silly Q sitting in my taskbar doing nothing but wasting memory. Yes, I know I can turn it off, but why should it do this in the first place?

What, exactly, does quicktime have to do with playing music? Am I wrong in thinking it's mainly meant to play movies?

iTunes won't work without it (1)

Cska Sofia (705257) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253271)

Quicktime is Apple's multimedia framework. It's what iTunes uses to en/decode MP3 and AAC.

Re:iTunes won't work without it (1)

anakin357 (69114) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253351)

You are mistaken.

I disabled "qttask.exe -atboottime" immediately after installing, and I have absolutely no problems running iTunes without it. "Qttask" is not listed in running processes list either.

I really wish Apple would not push this icon on us. I didn't ask for it. There is no option to disable it.

Just as a test, I zipped up the entire quicktime directory, and deleted the originals. iTunes still works.

Re:Warning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253277)

It plays music, converts/shows pictures, plays movies. Its a framework Apple has linked iTunes against.

Re:Warning! (1)

AllenChristopher (679129) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253279)

Absolutely wrong. QuickTime is a full set of codecs and media-encapsulation technologies. They installed Quicktime because it was the easiest way to port the product, since it depends on QuickTime calls on the Mac.

If they hadn't included it, the product would have had to be rewritten to use Windows codecs, and of course many Windows computers are still missing important codecs, like the AAC codec.

Anyway, the Q doesn't have anything to do with anything. So you turn it off. Would you really take a stand and refuse to download Quicktime for playing movies on the net because it adds a status bar icon? It's a hell of a lot less intrusive than Real, which installs a message component that pops up to tell me when NFL games are scheduled.

Apple on the upswing (1)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253217)

With the right mix of cooperation with Windows and competition, Apple could be on a major comeback trajectory. I just downloaded and tried the itunes store for Windows and it's great! Now, all Apple has to do is come out with a kickass line of sub-$1000 systems with big hard drives, Superdrives and the Panther OS, and they have a chance at swiping some Windows mindspace as Microsoft dawdles away with their ever-shifting release of Longhorn.

Re:Apple on the upswing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253236)

...Or they could end up canabalizing their own sales of professional machines. Sure would love to see cheaper Macs, but its probably not the best for apple.

Re:Apple on the upswing (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253363)

By releasing iTunes for Windows, Apple have just increased their customer base for iTunes by approximately 100 MILLION (country specific licensing aside).

I think they stand to do very nicely out of this. Good luck to them.

Anyone care to explain this one to me? (-1, Troll)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253225)

...Why is so much attention being lavished on what amounts to a grossly overpriced, grossly over-hyped MP3 player? Is this some sort of attempt to make the purchaser feel better about the fact they just dropped $350 on a device who's equivalent can be bought at Wal-Mart for $80?

It's an MP3 player, for christ's sake. And an unexpandable one at that. I'd even argue that it's simply ugly.

Re:Anyone care to explain this one to me? (5, Informative)

mj_1903 (570130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253359)

Sure. Shall we start from the top?

Forget the easy to use interface, its tiny footprint, the effortlessness in syncing it, its notes, calendars, games, contacts, etc. Lets focus on the big things.

Apple have designed it from the ground up based on the user rather than the techonology. Take the front panel buttons, they do not have moving parts. This is because a normal use will use it in environments that have dirt and other irritants.

The scroll wheel makes moving through menus so eas y it is not funny. It makes second nature in minutes and no other device, not a PC, nor a Mac nor even a microwave oven has anything like it in terms of perfect interfacing.

The sound outlet is put on the top...not the side. Most players I know have it wherever they feel like. The iPod is placed where you need it when it sits in your pocket (again, unlike most mp3 players).

This is a big deal to me...the scroll wheel when playing songs functions to skip through it, change the volume and change the rating. Everything so nicely placed and so perfectly executed.

Anyways, I am going to go to bed listening to these 5 new songs I downloaded and synced without a button click. Go grab your Wal-Mart mp3 player, but enjoy setting it up, and using it day to day. As for me, I will continue to buy and recommend the iPod to everyone I know. 7 other friends agree with me.

Re:Anyone care to explain this one to me? (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253361)

Which $80 Wal-Mart device, exactly, is the equivalent of an iPod?

I don't have one, I don't want one. But the advantages are clear. You can fit as much music as you could ever want to listen to in your jeans pocket. You can listen to the tracks you want all day without recharging or refilling the player. You never have to ask, "What do I want to listen to tomorrow?" because the thing contains your entire collection.

More innovation from Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253226)


Rumors came to an end today. In a press conference, Steve Jobs announced the new Apple user input/output device. The device, called COCK(R), is a radical shift in human interaction devices. COCK(R)'s enhanced as it also contains feedback support.

Basically COCK(R) looks like a shaft with two balls at the end. A user places the shaft into their mouth and keeps the balls pointed towards the monitor. There are sensors on the balls that track the motion of the COCK(R) in relation to the monitor. The user must look at the area on the screen to move the mouse. Thrusting of the shaft results in click actions. Additional functions may be provided by mapping licking and coddling the balls.

Since the device is used by one's mouth, bio-metric security can easily be used on OS X. COCK(R) has a built sampling device which can match saliva to specific users on the computer. As such, the user will have access based on their spit.

Feedback exists in several forms. First the shaft may increase in size to better fit the user's mouth. This usually takes a couple of minutes. There is also the ability to give the user a slight shock given error conditions on the computer. Additionally, in severe error states, a milky substance will be emitted from the COCK(R) to signify an error condition to the user.

Questions at the press release signified mixed opinions on COCK(R). There seems to be resistance to using such a device in the non-Macintosh community. Steve Jobs acknowledged this problem. As such, the current mice will still be available when purchasing Macintoshes. Currently Apple is marketing towards current users of their platform. "Product testing showed us that long-term Mac users were most willing to use COCK," Jobs stated.

Despite resistance, Apple does not feel it will hurt their sales, only increase them. Jobs said "We at Apple hope that COCK will be as important as our switch to G3 based computers. As such, our marketing staff are fully committed to convincing every one that COCK is the best."

Now that Steve Jobs released COCK(R) onto the world, he hopes sales will increase steadily. One mac fan stated "COCK is the best IO device in the world. Even the milky error substance tastes great!" Apple's stock has not significantly dropped or risen. However, Apple's online store estimates that sales of COCK(R) will rise in the next two weeks.

Off topic (1)

fldvm (466714) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253227)

Has anyone else noticed that there are a lot less +5 comments recently? Did the powers that be change the amount of moderation points that they hand out or is the quality of comments going down?

Re:Off topic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253294)

Check Taco's journal [slashdot.org]

There's something wrong with the box that assigns moderation points.

Personally, I suspect that they are starting to push MySQL farther that anyone has before, and it is starting to fall apart.

Re:Off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253345)

Hell, there are three dirty offtopic posts up above, one of them ridiculously long, and they're just staying there. It's disconcerting to see them escaping unpunished.

Trolls of the world, this is your time. Arise and take advantage.

I wonder how gracefully the crowd will deal with actually being on the short end of the "now that people know about the hole it should be fixed, but can't be fast enough" problem.

Apple Corp Ltd (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253233)

whats gonna happen when Apple computers lose the lawsuit ? "but they wont lose" you say, seeing as AAPL have lost every single time for the last 25years they have been sued by ACL i very much doubt they will win, so then what ?
"buy ACL off" you say, do you really think Paul Mcartney needs the cash ? he is already one of the richest people on the planet and if that was the case where they would be bought off they would of done it years ago.

i cant help feeling the world is gonna come crashing down round AAPL's ears in the next couple of years which is rather a risk to take seeing as the odds are stacked way against them, irresponsible comes to mind not that jobs cares he can walk away a billionaire regardless

Maybe if they had chosen an original name 25years ago they wouldnt have the shit they are just about to jump into

Oversight (5, Interesting)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253235)

The main oversight I've noticed in reviews of iTunes is performance/efficiency, and it just so happens that performance is my major gripe with iTunes, and actually the main reason why I don't plan to use it.

iTunes uses around 40 MB of RAM on my WinXP SP1 machine, with no music files in my library and nothing playing. Add in the iPod driver and the iTunesHelper app that it runs in the background, and you've probably got around ~60MB of RAM usage on average. Winamp uses 8-10 megs in comparison.

Resizing the iTunes window is insanely slow - 100% CPU usage, and it takes a quarter to half second just for the screen to update while resizing the window. Oh yes, and if the Music Store is open? It takes, I kid you not, more than a second for the screen to update while resizing. The resizing performance seems to increase a little when the window gets small, which implies that the entire iTunes window is being buffered offscreen (which probably explains some of the RAM usage too.) I also noticed that dragging the volume slider would peg my CPU at 100%. I don't have a low-end machine, and I can only imagine how horribly slow iTunes must be on older machines. On one hand, though, iTunes didn't seem to lag when playing music and things like that. Switching playlists/views on the Source sidebar usually took between a half second and two seconds. Playing a 96KBPS MP3 radio stream used an average of ~8-12% CPU usage, which while not terrible is a lot more than Winamp uses to do the equivalent on my system. The iTunes visualizer averages a decent framerate of around 30FPS, so it looks smooth, but it obviously pegs the CPU.

iTunes's setup is also around 20 megs, which is a bit hefty for a music player. But since you get CD burning, iPod support, and online music purchasing in the deal, it's not too bad, but it probably is a little painful for modem users.

The iTunes executable is nearly 8 megabytes. I can't imagine that this does anything to help the ~6 second load times for iTunes that I experienced on my system (which has 768MB of DDR233 RAM, and an Athlon XP 1800+, FYI.) In comparison, Winamp loads in under a second. It seems to me almost that every single library and component iTunes uses is static-linked in, which is a bit bizarre.

Just to weigh in on the rest of iTunes:

The GUI is, overall, acceptable. I've never cared much for the Apple 'steel/silver/whatever' look, and while it's not bad, I can't say that it looks terribly attractive. One peculiar thing is that the titlebar looks very strange and is neither the titlebar that you see in OS X, or the standard Windows one - I can't say I understand their choice to roll their own titlebar, as the iTunes one lacks a few usability features of the Windows titlebar that I've come to rely on (context menu, icon, etc).

In comparison, the iTunes preferences dialogs are very well designed and use Windows XP themes when available, so they look mostly pleasing to the eye and are easy to navigate for someone who is comfortable with Windows.

iTunes adds a simple but useful system tray icon that lets you change tracks and turn shuffle/repeat on and off. Good feature, I'm glad they didn't leave it out.

One strange GUI quirk is that there are two options for Exit on the iTunes File menu - Exit, and Close Window. One would assume that Close Window would just close the window and leave iTunes running, like on the Mac, but no such luck - it exits, with no confirmation dialog. Strange.

You can't resize the iTunes window unless you grab the bottom-left corner. I've never liked this aspect of Mac GUIs at all, but I'm sure there are some people who do like it.

The music store is very polished and easy to navigate, and my guess is that it uses a subset of Safari for rendering (but of course, I could be wrong.) The front page presents lots of content in a very organized manner, and it's easy to navigate back to wherever you came from while looking around. I didn't get around to buying any songs, so I can't say how well that works - didn't really see any songs listed that struck my interest, and I'm not a huge music guy.

iTunes' radio stream selector is simple but effective, and streaming playback quality was quite acceptable. There is a pretty decent selection of streams there in their default catalog, though I'm not sure if there's any way to extend it with more stations.

I can't comment on CD ripping as I didn't have any CDs handy to rip with and I am already set on using CDex for my ripping. Sorry.

Don't own an iPod, either, so can't comment on how well it works with that.

Overall, iTunes is a pretty decent software release for Apple, and much better than their QuickTime players. The best windows program ever? Not nearly, but it's good enough for syncing with an iPod, I'll wager, and you can't beat the price.

Re:Oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253285)

Cd burning is built into XP, all it has to do is access the Api's.

Re:Oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253322)

Why don't you just be honest and say you don't
ever plan to use it because you're a cheap
fat-assed nerd who steals all the softwate
he uses?

The G5 adventure : Part 2 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253239)

After 12 years, the Linux zealot's ancient 386 machine gives up up the ghost! The machine went through alot, going through DOS 5.0, 6.0, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98 and Debian gnu/Linux. It even had a Geforce 4 on it using a AGP to ISA conveter.

But now the machine was dead. So the Linux zealot decided to go to the local PC world to get a new machine.

He decided to get a Athlon 3500+ Packard Bell, when all of a sudden he heard a giant DUNNNNNNNNNN! And behind him, was the largest cheese greater in the world! Behind him was this fat bearded geek with an Apple logo on his chest. He was an Apple zealot. Suddenly Linux zealot had a weired feeling as a Giant Titatainum X appeared on a huge LCD display.

[ to be continued ]

Re:The G5 adventure : Part 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253258)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your serial.

Another nice jukebox app (1)

resprung (410576) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253256)

eJukebox (audiosoft.net) is a pretty sweet Win jukebox. It trumps iTunes in at least one area: Imported album cover art is built into a large, browsable visual CD collection. This has helped me pick tunes and break the constricted habit one often gets when choosing from an alphabetized list. And it's great for parties... The app offers a 'kiosk' or 'party' fullscreen mode, where the rest of your machine is locked away under a password. The app is still rough (In terms of interface consistency, Bill Gates will love it, because it is a mess.) The user community is strong, the programmers responsive and positive, and the app is being bettered day by day.

The things the author didn't mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253261)

In my laptop itunes messes with my volume, somehow it tries to control it superficially, because my controls that normally work don't work anymore. For example, volume adjustment buttons, mute button, etc... Also if they do change, itunes doesn't react accordingly. For example, if the volume is not mute, I have to close itunes and reopen it to listen the music.

Also you can adjust the ripping speed from the options. It normally matches to the maximum.

Overall, it is a good software, but certainly it is not the best software for Windows. It doesn't conform to the UI guidelines of windows. Also scrollbars are a little weird to use. For example, on windows when you press on a scrollbar the scrollbar changes its color to reflect the fact that you pressed and that you can drag it. On itunes this is not the case, which feels awkard. Also resizing the window is extremely slow compared to other windows apps. Since itunes use aqua interface for some components and windows interface for some others (mostly menus), it is not a nice mixture. For example, although combobox (list) look like aqua, when you press it, a popup menu opens.

Also buying from the music store is way too easy. The default setting is 1-click, which I changed it to shopping cart. I also wish that there was a wish list type of list which I can review the songs for purchase later . You can't buy some of the songs in the shopping cart and leave the rest there. You have the buy them all at the same time.

Visualizations is significantly better than windows media player, which is my default player for music. Although windows media player is not a direct competitor to itunes, I think Microsoft could do much better with a simpler to use interface. itunes is intelligently designed. Smart playlists, pure playlists, all of them are great.

You will not stop buying CDs though, because not all songs are available on the music store, although Apple and the reviewer doesn't tell you. Some albums are partial, which means it doesn't include all the songs. I wasn't able to find some of the songs which I was dying for.

Overall itunes is a good software. Forget about the music store, even the software itself is good enough to consider usage. Music store is a plus but you don't have to buy from Apple, there are other services, which you may like better. But buying from itunes music store is a superior experience. One problem with music store is that, you can not select text and copy it. You can type it, but not being able to select text is not good.

AppleWorks for Windows (0, Redundant)

robbieduncan (87240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253264)

Obviously no-one remembers AppleWorks for Windows. Whilst you can contend that Apple did not write AppleWorks it did (maybe even does) exist for Windows.

In fact there is an update available for the windows version as mentioned here [apple.com]

iTunes crash bug (1)

pangu (322010) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253292)

iTunes consistently crashes for me when I try to import songs with cyrillic language titles/id3 tags. Winamp handles these without issue. That being said I'm still switching to iTunes.

Longest... review... evar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253300)

Cover Art is Available with Purchased Tracks (5, Informative)

PghFox (453313) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253301)

> I don't care about the...lack of cover art.

Errrr. Two steps:

1 - Toggle 'iTunes > Edit > Show Artwork' on.
2 - Select a purchased track.


1 - Select a purchased track.
2 - Visit 'File > Get Info > Artwork'.

My experiences (1)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253312)

I've been looking for a new media player, as I've been growing dissatisfied with my primary player, Winamp 2.x. I've tried a few others which I wasn't happy with, so I eagerly downloaded iTunes. With all the hype around the Mac version, my expectations were high.

To cut to the case, I was pretty dissapointed. Yes, it's a good media player, but that's all it is IMHO, not a *great* media player.

Things I liked:
Easy to use
Scanned my collection quickly and fairly accurately

Things I didn't like:
The installer was very slow and made my machine unusable for the duration (1.3GHz Pentium M)
A non standard windows UI. It's a windows program, so why break the windows UI standards? Let me maximise it!!
No support for WMA, some of my media collection is WMA, so that's a big problem.

Nice program, but I'm still looking.

Try it out....Just ignore the Mac idiot encounters (2, Interesting)

optisonic (202402) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253320)

I have used the Windows version of iTunes and wanted to compare the experience to the Mac method. I went to a handful of Mac sites that have user forums with comments about Quicktime/iTunes vs WMP and it really seems that objectivity has gone out the window for most of these folks. Specifically when users make comments like "windows media format is inferior to AAC and MP3", in order to rally the fellow lemmings to cry out against the terrible M$ product. Makes me not want to buy anything Mac platform tho I know better. No, not all Mac users are idiots. It's just that the ones that are seem to be extra annoying.

Fact is that with digital technology, if you don't have the ability to integrate your various softwares and devices because people are trying to force usage of only their product, everyone loses except for a minority of users.

Seeing as I can digitally play any file and capture it to disk in any format I like, there is nothing that can be done to prevent this. NOTHING. Their business model is for the interim as is most of the corporate world. Always has to change because they cant continually cash in for long periods of time without constant adjustments.

iTunes for Windows has a handful of great interface elements and functions. It satisfies most users desires who are looking to purchase music online for whatever reason (I personally don't buy anything that I can't inspect if I haven't heard it before, and no I dont want just snippets because people have a knack for making potentially great songs suck). I personally think it is great and good progress for the online community is being made by enabling normal common people to easily interact in a way that most can relate to. If I didn't have a completely digital sound system and multiple audio busses to let me do nearly anything I want (minus native program functions that do it for me), I might feel limited but probably it is more a state of mind than a state of being.

I highly recommend that if you are frequently online with a high speed connect, want easy to access media on your Windows or Mac system (to save in .ogg format on your Linux box of course), try out iTunes and see why it is the trendy thing to do. You won't find a great variety of competitors to choose from if you don't want to go the iTunes route. Until there are significant AND popular alternatives, it's likely to be an enjoyable experience for the majority of users.

(Disclaimer: Poster just woke up from a late party night hence the long format and is not in flame proof mode.)

iTunes + Music on SMB = _TERRIBLE_ performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253326)

I have all my music stored on a Linux server running samba. This is convenient since I can easily access music from my other client (windows) computers.

BUT... running iTunes with mp3's on a networked drive is intolerable slow!

Sync'ing my ipod with a library of networked files takes ~30 minutes while it takes just a few minutes with a library of local files. (sync'ing the same amount of data of course..)

I don't expect network performance to rival local performance but iTunes network performance is somehow crippled.

Anyone else have had this experience?

Re:iTunes + Music on SMB = _TERRIBLE_ performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7253347)

That's what happens when you depend on open sores software. Tell your sysadmin to take a bath, leave the commune, and give up gay sex. Fire his ass and install Windows Server 2003.

Buggy? (1)

Hackie_Chan (678203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253330)

I don't understand why people say that iTunes is buggy and problematic because it's Apple's software. Please... I installed it on 30+ Windows computers this Friday and not a single one of them had any problems what so ever till this day.

I didn't even restart them after the installation, which proves that I like to live my life on the edge!

Unlimited copying to iPods (5, Interesting)

UnrefinedLayman (185512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253343)

One of the features touted by Apple is that when you buy from iTMS, you can copy that file to an unlimited number of iPods and unlimited number of times and it will always play on those iPods no matter what.

How exactly are the iPods getting around the DRM and what's to stop someone from making any of the iTMS files think they're actually being played on an iPod and not on a computer?

Problems with iTunes for Windows (4, Interesting)

Otto (17870) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253366)

First, let me state that I own an iPod, which is why I like iTunes to some degree. It works incredibly well with the iPod.

However, it's not without it's faults, both major and minor. Most of them are because they shoved it out the door too early, I grant you. The next release may fix most of the problems.

Minor ones:

- Speed. It's slow. Not excessively so, but Apple made a massively huge mistake in porting large chunks of the iTunes interface to Windows using some kind of emulation trick. Resizing a column width isn't fluid and smooth like it should be. Even moving the window around is clunky because of all the custom interface code. Memorywise I have no complaints, unlike many others, but it's slow because it's trying to use nonstandard interfaces. Quicktime suffers the same problems. Hey guys, this is Windows. Use the freakin' Windows standard interfaces already. You're only pissing off Windows users. Ease of use? Ease of use always boils down to what you're used to, and that's it. I'm not used to using a Mac. If I actually had a mac, then maybe I'd be used to it. This is piss poor design and sloppy coding. If you're really determined to stick with the mac like interface, then actually rewrite the damn thing instead of slapping a slow emulation layer underneath it and shoving it out the door.

- Interface is totally wacky. There's no way to maximize the thing to get the most out of the screen real estate. NONE WHATSOEVER. You can drag the thing larger, but you absolutely, positively, cannot fill the screen. This is damn annoying. The maximize button even makes the damn thing go into compact mode. Talk about unintuitive. Again, USE THE STANDARD INTERFACES.

-It has a real problem playing one playlist while I do things to other songs. I start playing something in a list, then go elsewhere in the interface to edit tags or something, and when that song stops, the damn thing stops playing because I'm no longer on the playlist that I was on when I started playing. WTF? Why can't I have it continue to play songs in the background while I'm doing other shit in the foreground? This is clumsy and stupid. When I start the thing playing a list of songs, it should play until I tell it to stop, no matter what the heck I do. Unless I go in and remove songs from that list, don't freakin' stop. I hate having to go back to the list to start the next song every 4 minutes. It's so annoying that I've started using Winamp in the background to actually play songs while I'm modifying tags and adding album art and such.

- Oh, when I manually add album art to a file, if I do it more than once, it adds multiple pictures to that file (in the ID3 tag). This shouldn't happen, it should remove the old one first or overwrite it or something.

-Quicktime installation without asking. Make the initial install more clear that quicktime is going to be installed, and then install it in such a way that it doesn't: a) leave an icon in the taskbar by default, b) leave an icon in the Quick Launch bar by default, c) leave an icon on the desktop by default. In fact, why not detect if QT is installed, and if so, upgrade and then use it, but if it's not installed, just install the minimum crap needed to use iTunes, like DLL's and code and such. Maybe I don't want the damn QT player, but I still want to use iTunes... Forcing customers to have to clean up the shit you're spewing everywhere is not a way to make friends.

Major things:

- I cannot believe that an advanced media player program has no capability to retrieve tags and cover art and such for random files using available information. This is totally unacceptable in a modern music organizer program. Hell, even WMP9, as crappy as it does it, can do that. Why am I entering tags and cover art and such shit manually? WTF?

- Support other devices. Not massive support, you don't need to do smart playlists on them and such, but if you want to use iTunes as an interface to the store, then you need to be able to support devices other than the iPod. I know piracy may be an issue, but it's perfectly acceptable to not transcode if you really want to stick to your m4p protected AAC format. A crack for it will be along in a couple weeks anyway, now that Windows users can easily access it and hack the thing open. It's like DRM-lite anyway, so what did you expect?

Things iTunes does right:

-Full and correct ID3 tag support for MP3 files. When I change properties of an MP3 file, iTunes correctly changes the ID3 info in that file. I have been unable to find any flaw, except for cover art sometimes not showing up in the file properly or multiples showing up. But that's minor. WMP9 frequently doesn't adjust the ID3 tag at all, not to mention all the wacky custom frames it adds (6 or 7 of them, usually)

-Speed in terms of database access. iTunes database take no time to load, unlike WMP9's which starts to go totally psychotic at about 2000 files.

-XML! The database is based in XML, making it easy for other programs to access it. Very, very, VERY nice move there boys.

-Automatic file organization - This isn't substantially different from the way WMP9 organizes files automatically (if you turn that feature on), so I'm going to put it as a plus for making it semi-compatible with WMP9 in that respect. Despite users complaining about it, the only complaint that really exists is that the option that says "would you like iTunes to search and organize your files" at the first run of the program is a bit unclear. Do it like WMP9 does, and don't ask to do it at all, just leave it disabled unless someone specifically enables it in the options/preferences. Then do it. Either that or make the dialog more clear, because people are saying okay and getting pissed about their files getting moved. I thought it was pretty clear myself, but then I've used WMP9's organization features before and knew the kind of thing that would occur.

Tough to believe... (1)

pocopoco (624442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253370)

Wow, it's not buggy, limited, nagware like the QuickTime player on Windows? Maybe I'll give it a try. As others have said this is not the first bit of software Apple has released for Windows and they are going to have to work hard to get over the impression dealing with QT has given me.

Why no Win98? (1)

Decaffeinated Jedi (648571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7253372)

Now, I realize that it's my own darn fault for running an OS from the last century, but why is iTunes only available for Win2000 and WinXP? It seems odd to me that something as simple as a media player/music store portal wouldn't be backwards compatible to Windows 98.
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