Hi, My Name is iTunes and I am a Hoarder

I had to wait until after the epically over-hyped Beatles announcement was made to make sure that iTunes wasn’t suddenly dead – since iTunes remains I thought we should talk about why I think it is the biggest piece of crap software that Apple ships. More accurately iTunes is what I call ‘bloatware’ – a piece of software that has taken on the characteristics of a hoarder and a ball hog all at once, software that wants to be everything to everyone.

In the beginning iTunes was great, but that was back when all it did was allow you to deal with music only – now days it tries to be so much more. Certainly you can still handle music in iTunes, but iTunes feels lost to me – like it has forgotten its roots. For instance have you ever tried to manage duplicated songs in iTunes? Holy crap is that a pain in the ass. I recently merged my library with my Wife’s, and with our media center. I have over 4,800 duplicate tracks in iTunes and the only way to get rid of duplicates is to manually select which one I want. It is 2010 and I have to make over 2,400 clicks to get rid of duplicates? Give me a break.

We haven’t even gotten to the fact that iTunes is now: a video store, app store, bookstore, social network, syncing engine, and more. I am not saying that each of these should be their own apps, but certainly some of them should be. Ping should be browser based and stay out of iTunes aside from being integrated with the playlist so a user can ‘like’ something without leaving the app. Video can stay. Apps and books should be in their own app, I don’t know about you but when I think iTunes I don’t think: games.

Why was syncing ever made apart of iTunes – for the longest time Apple had been using iSync to handle this, but iPods slowly killed it off (though it is still alive on Macs). Interestingly it is where you control these options for MobileMe:

Screen shot 2010-11-16 at 3.41.02 PM.png

The whole thing makes no sense, my iPhone and iPad are not media devices they are computers, so why should I sync them with iTunes?

There is only one culprit to blame: Windows. 1

Think about it, Apple must ship iTunes to Windows users in order to keep iPod/iPhone/iPad customers happy. Apple needs to ship all the features and additives in iTunes to Windows users as well to support these devices. So what is easier for Apple? Creating separate apps for both Windows and Mac users for each of these services and then having to tie them together on Windows? Or just cramming all the crap they can into iTunes?

Obviously putting it all in iTunes is the most economical solution – but good God y’all it is the most un-Apple solution possible.

Think about it another way, if we take the iLife suite and iTunes-ify it you get one app that does: Video editing, photo editing and management, music studio creation software, web development, DVD authoring. Perhaps iWeb gets left out to be fair, but the rest would all be one app aptly named iLife and it would suck a lot. That is how I feel about iTunes.

Again you can do this with iWork: word processing, page layout, presentation, spreadsheets all in one app. Wouldn’t that be a real gem to use?

Nobody wants the iWork and iLife suite to become one app – not even Apple. We don’t want that to happen because we all know that it will just look and feel like iTunes, introducing a completely new level of suckage that would only rival Microsoft Office.

I am of course leaving out all the strange UI conventions that Apple uses in iTunes, but no where else. Never mind this for now.

Every time I spend more than a few minutes in iTunes I have to cringe – the way that it handles most everything is painful.

For example:

  • The iTunes store could not load slower – internet connections do not matter, that thing is slow.
  • App updates are a joke – seriously have you ever tried updating your apps in iTunes, then get the error, that the updates iTunes just listed are out of date and need to be refreshed? Then you go through the same cycle 15 times before you can download one update? Yeah happens every time.
  • When you add a new video file you can’t specify Movie or TV Show when you add it. So then you have to edit the metadata after you add it to get your TV Shows to appear in the TV Show section.
  • Additionally if you add a home video you will notice that there is no home video tabs – I mean really?
  • It’s 2010 2 and iTunes still doesn’t automatically remove the track numbers from titles that I import? Really? I mean that seems easy enough for software to do.
  • Ping makes me cry.
  • Why is their separate ‘Purchased’ lists for each of my devices, yes you can delete them, but why make them to begin with?
  • Why can’t genius work with every song?
  • Why does genius take two years to deliver me information?
  • Why waste so much space keeping all those backups from my iPhone and iPad?
  • Why are you still called iTunes?

I could keep going, but I started to get too depressed about the whole thing.

Dear Apple, you can do better and we both know it. Please do better.

  1. IMHO
  2. Pronounced Twenty-Ten get with it.
Originally posted for members on: November 18, 2010
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