Why I HATE iTunes
iTunes is a piece of shit. (I feel better having typed that.)
I love my Mac laptop, mostly because of the simplicity and speed of OSX. I'm using GarageBand, iPhoto and iMovie and they're all a joy. Why is this? I think, because they're simple where they need to be simple, they do a handful of things very, very well. This makes them extraordinarily powerful tools.
iTunes does a handful of things and, it seems, it's hard to de-couple those things. So it manages your music catalogue, plays media when you click on it, manages podcast subscriptions, it's a shop, a podcast directory, a directory of radio stations and your interface to your iPod. Added to that there's add-ons like Genius that can act as a recommendation service.
Some of these things, like Genius, you can easily de-activate. Some you can't - iTunes always sparks up when you plug you iPod in, even if you're only intending to top the battery up. HOw you disable this, I don't know.
Genius is an idiot. I guess if you've bought all your media files from the iTunes store it might be helpful. But I had around 200 albums in mp3 format before iTunes came along. Genius can't work out what these are. Sometimes because the songs don't exist in the iTunes store, sometimes because the metadata isn't that great, sometimes purely because Genius is an idiot. I get a lot of "Genius doesn't know anything about this artist, would you like to listen to some Coldplay?". No Genius, I would not. And not The Killers or MGMT or whatever mainstream act is your current default. I'm listening to Lawnmower Deth - get a grip.
Genius, thus, gives more credence to thew tracks that I've bought from the iTunes store. It's like the last 20 years of my musical taste are trumped by the last six months of impulse purchases.
I'm not sure Genius can handle my wonky tastes either. I like a smidge of heavy metal - some Iron Maiden, some Helloween, some Megadeth, but my depth of taste in the genre is realtively shallow. Genius doesn't recognise this. It doesn't recognise that these songs are all from a time 20 years ago and that I'm having a nostalgic listen. It just thinks I like ALL heavy metal. Genius. What about those tunes that I've listened to in the name of research? Or out of curiosity? People change Genius, we have whims and fads. We can change our mind (that's a basic human right). We grow and learn. And we become different people.
I have disabled Genius. I wish it an unhappy retirement.
And just to quickly re-visit the issue of my existing mp3 collection. iTunes thinks the best way tp handle those is to copy them to its own directories. And then forget about the original source file. Why would that be? I know I can easily disable this function, but I'm not sure why it would be set this way as a default. It seems like an unnecessary shift in the way you'd manage a digital music collection.
Yesterday I decided I wanted to upload a handful of images to my iPod Touch to use as wallpaper. This should be a simple thing. Except, you can't just upload a couple of images. You have to sync a folder. Or an entire iPhoto album. I had to switch to the folder app, copy the images I wanted to a folder, sync that folder and then delete it. That's the solution I came up with, it annoyed me, but then I've found it was a stupid thing to do - now every time I plug my iPod into the laptop I get a phantom (and entirely unnecessary folder on my desktop called 'iPod Photo Cache').
iTunes might be entirely sensible for some. I can imagine if:
- you bought an iPod and a Mac laptop on the same day
- never previously owned an mp3 player or mp3s
- if you only ever bought media from iTunes
- if you only bought best-selling tunes and movies
- if you'd never previously owned a digital camera and managed a digital photos on a previous computer
... in that case I imagine that iTunes would be like some kind of nirvana.
But who are these people? They don't sound like real people to me.
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