iTunes: Also known as Apple-hatred generator

Now... I've never liked iTunes because I think it is a overrated, slow piece of shit.

It makes my 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 seem like a 286, and that's pretty impressive. Especially considering its task: playing music, something which should be done flawlessly and smooth on a 200MHz Pentium.

But I have to use iTunes to sync my new iPod (as opposed to just copying the damn files), so here I am, giving it a shot, just to get my damn music over to the iPod, so I can actually play it.

Step 1: Download and install iTunes

This is pretty simple. It says Version 7.1 right on the site, I click, I download, I run the installer. It insists on using the localized Norwegian version, even though I can't recall downloading that. Oh well. At least I get to chose that iTunes itself should use english once installed.

After the install is done, I need to reboot. Reboot. For installing a user-space music-player. Howdy ho ain't that nice!

Step 2: Starting up iTunes

So here we have the typical Apple interface, on a Windows machine, and it's clear that Apple has put the interface before anything else. Anything else. Because this thing is dog slow.

After clicking "I agree" on the installer, after clicking "I agree" starting iTunes, after clicking "I agree" when iTunes discovers my iPod, after clicking "I agree" updating the iTunes and some more random places, I actually have the piece of software ready for use.

First thing I do is point iTunes to my proper location of music, that is, on my network fileserver. And it does nothing. During install it offered to automaticly scan for music, but when I tell it where it is, it does nothing.

After some poking around, and asking a few fellow iPod owners how this is supposed to work, I get adviced to drag the folder onto iTunes. This seems to work.

Step 3: Completing the library

First thing iTunes does after scanning all my files is to download album-art. Now this is probably a nice feature, so why not? After getting impatient and trying to play some music in iTunes, I try to force download of album-art for a specific album. This fails because evidently only people who have left their creditcard number in iTunes Music Store can download album-art. What? So what the hell is it doing downloading it anyway?

Also, trying to play an album I have encoded myself, from a legally bought CD, I get a popup covering 50% of the player screen-estate telling me how I can buy this album. 2 words: Fuck. Off.

But nevermind that. Nevermind it being slow, inconsistent and directly misinforming me about what can and cannot be done. Nevermind having the iTunes Music Store plugged everywhere to be sure people don't forget that you can in fact buy your music several times in case once isn't enough to satisfy the consumer in you.

Step 4: Identifying a few bugs

I have far more amusing issues at hand. I have version 7 right here, so you would think this is somewhat mature software without too many bugs. Not so.

iTunes evidently reads ID3v1 tags, but not ID3v2 tags. Say hello to 60GBs of randomly correctly or incorrectly tagged music.

Also, iTunes' Unicode support seems to be somewhat dodgy, as not a single MP3 with unicode-tags gets presented as anything else than "?????????????". Great. Isn't this something that should have been fixed in version 1.1? I'm just asking.

Also it completely lacks support for FLAC and Ogg, so those files did not get added to the library, and I will have to hunt them down, re-encode them and then add them manually to iTunes afterwards.

So... To make the library thing even remotely useful, I will have to retag all my currently correctly tagged music. In iTunes, which is dog slow and has on average over 1 second response time per click or keystroke.

I am not kidding. This thing is inhumanly slow. It's like everything I do gets sent over to Apple HQ and has to be approved there by a monkey of some sort before iTunes responds.

So in short: I have to reencode lots of music I have in high quality formats, then add those manually to iTunes, then retag those, in iTunes, and...

Well. If this is what is considered to be user-friendly applications these days, and represent the hype that has people wetting their pants all over the place, I can see why people honestly hate computers. They do have a point.

Step 4: Syncing the iPod

I must admit I skipped the retagging and reencoding part in part3 just to see the damn player working. Other wise I wouldn't have a useful player until sometime next weekend, at best.

Anyway, Synching takes ages, but that is to be expected. In fact it goes pretty smoothly, apart from the iTunes UI hanging completely while the sync is in progress.

But I still have to ask. Why couldnt I just copy the damn files to the player, in Windows Explorer? This sowuld be simple, efficient, and would make me hate Apple a lot less than I do now.

And I haven't even started using any of their products yet. You know, that thing still synching, and giving me no ETA.

So if it turns out that the iPod is the best thing ever, and I just turn out to love it, I will let you know as soon as I actually am in a position to do so.



"I know how you feel".. Guess that's all i can say on my account.

As for the tagging-part; it's fucking weird that it doesn't seem to read the unicode tags properly - it does so perfectly fine right over here.. crappy weird stuff. And uh; syncing can take some time indeed. Gah.


hi their.

how bout downloading some programs for your ipod other than itunes? u'll find lots of it in the net. Just check its reviews and be sure its bug or virus free. itunes does the same for my pc.


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