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Wednesday, June 23

Why I Hate iTunes

Ok. A quick rant. I don't like iTunes. I don't mean that I hate the idea of downloading digitally protected software from an online store; that's actually perfectly reasonable, and iTunes.com does a reasonable job of selling stuff to me when I want it (though why they pander to AOL users is anyone's guess).

I'm not even going to bleat on too much about Apple's deliberately proprietry approach to what is a generic sort of a problem - the management of mp3's. The fact that the iTunes program is a portal for buying music and managing your iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPoo or whatever, is a fact of life and one which I am not going to get too hot under the collar about. Thinking about it differently, they also provide iTunes, the program, for free for several platforms for all people to manage any form of music collection for listening on the PC/Mac/Whatnot.

So why do I hate the iTunes software? because I do!

A quick list of reasons:
  • I don't want my PC to look like a Mac - why give me the Mac user interface on my PC, comply to the desktop standards I expect, like where to grab to resize a window, and what title bars look like!
  • It's sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow! - I mean really really slow, it can take forever to start playing when I click on something - ultimately, there's a little mp3 file to play, why the delay?
  • You can't configure it to connect to the internet properly - it'll pick up the system defaults and that's the best it can manage, so if those defaults are a bit dodgy, you're screwed
  • It is HARD TO USE - I know! It's a Mac application and it has usability issues. Why hard? Because you never quite know what mode you're in. What will actually play next? It's hard to switch around from one context to the other, because it's not clear.
  • It's all things to all men and nothing specific - the fact that it manages devices, playlists, libraries, a store and a whole bunch of other stuff - it means you don't really know what it's doing at any given moment
  • Did I mention it's slow?
  • It's not that flexible when it comes to managing a CD collection - things like consolidating multi-CD albums into a single virtual album are just not there
  • It's also slow.
What makes all of these things worse is the simple fact that there are millions of users of it out there. Reports vary between 10 and 200 million users. I'll go for 10 million as a start. That's 10 million victims of Apple's quirky obscure software engineering mistakes. A bad problem, made worse through "popularity".

Rant over.

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