Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why I Still Hate iTunes

I admit it. I drank the Kool-Aid™. I didn't just sip it, either. I took huge gulps. I have more products in my house that start with an i than I ever thought I would. The only one I really don't like, though, is the piece that, in the darkness, binds them: iTunes™.

iTunes is up to version 10 point something and it still, in many ways, sucks. I realize they give it away but Microsoft gives away the Zune software, too, and it puts iTunes to shame. It's put iTunes to shame from day one. So, what is it about iTunes that's so horrible? Let me count the ways...
  1. It's a resource hog. At least it is on the PC. For as much as Steve Jobs complains about the resource usage of Flash™, iTunes is pretty bad in this department. The only difference is that it sucks resources only while its running. It doesn't slow down the PC just because.
  2. It doesn't track folders. If I add music to my collection I have to manually add the track(s) or rescan the folder(s) to get them to show up in my collection. What's up with that? How hard would it be for me to tell iTunes which folders to keep an eye on and have it automatically add new content? It can't be too hard. Microsoft figured it out. (I should note that I do not let iTunes manage my collection. I'm picky about my naming scheme and "01 title.mp3" isn't it.)
  3. It changes the title in the catalog from "title" to "artist - title" and creates a duplicate entry. Why? Why doesn't it just read the ID3 tag and leave it at that? Where is it getting that information to combine it, anyway?
  4. It's extremely easy to duplicate tracks on your device and unnecessarily take up space. If you've ever browsed your iDevice you'll notice that the audio tracks are not named in any way you can recognize. iTunes and iOS, apparently, work some sort of file name voodoo and your tracks end up in an indecipherable code. The way around this, from what I've read, is to manage your device through playlists. I got news, it's still easy to duplicate tracks.
For all its iterations and all its bells and whistles, iTunes can still be very cumbersome to use. Hey, Apple. Why don't you study the Zune software and alternative music management software like MediaMonkey and put some of the conveniences of those products into iTunes. This may be a gilded cage I voluntarily climbed into but it could still use a little polish here and there.

UPDATE: I've just added #5 - "iTunes has stopped updating this podcast because you haven't listened to any episodes recently..." What the hell? Why don't you let ME decide when you should stop updating the podcast, you dictatorial bastard.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

I don't own and if I can help it will never own anything that begins with an "i".