Apple iTunes Is Not “Easy”

I was just trying to sync something on my iPhone 4S when iTunes started being a pain in the backside, as usual. In frustration, I went and bought a domain name and setup a blog simply because had to vent. But this won’t be just some random and senseless venting, I’m rather sure you’ll be nodding with most of it.

Today’s topic: Apple iTunes

I know some people say this is my punishment for buying an iPhone. But put simply, I like my iPhone, I hate iTunes. If I had to describe iTunes I’d say, it’s an exaggerated piece of marketing bloatware that really needs to be put down like a sick animal. Yes, I’m serious.

Now I don’t want to leave an inch for an Apple fanboy n00b to come in and say “but it works fine on my Mac. ” Well that’s nice for you, but it needs to work for everyone, in every environment and in every situation – to a reasonable expectation, presently it does not. Yes, I know I have high standards, but they’re the richest company on the planet. Try harder! Google quickly “iTunes isn’t working” and then note the 85,300,000 results may suggest a “trend”. I’m a power user to say the least. Once could sit for a month before you reached the end of hearing every song in my library which equates to about 56GB. Finally I’ve been accumulating my collection for six years, when I bought my first iPod. Ah those were the days, it was “easy” and “simple”. But anyway, I’m nothing to write home about; many users have libraries significantly bigger than mine who are in a worse place.

This blog post has sprung up based on one word, accountability. And Apple should be held so. (Don’t get me started on Apple Maps either.)

I stumbled across an interesting article last night, Apple Just Can’t Keep iCloud In the Air, documenting the long history of iCloud and it’s numerous failings. Top work Gizmodo. Suggest a quick scan if you’re interested.

Back on topic though, I was getting to a point that I’m no n00b user when it comes to iTunes. I intentionality used it 6 years ago because it was one of the best pieces of software out there to manage the library of music. Windows Media Player? Ah, no? But iTunes has been tacked onto over the years until it’s reached this point, a precariously stacked pile of children’s building with a three year old’s foot bellowing towards it at rapid speeds. It’s then expected to live up to Apple trademark slogans like “simplicity is a beautiful thing” and “a whole new look” that is “perfectly in tune.” Bullshit!

Let’s jump onto the Apple iTunes webpage now and see what promises they’re making about the new iTunes 11 coming soon. Let’s stroll through some of it shall we?

Simplicity you say? But will it work? And f$&%!, “even more iCloud features” to bloat the software you say. But I shouldn’t be concerned, “because it is easy.”

Yes, it’s slow, gives errors regularly, crashes, seems to take ages to sync with devices, Photo Stream and wifi sync sometimes works after I reboot? But it’s easy.

That nice but again I have to ask, will it work? And unless it interfaces with an implant via a bodily orifice, I’m willing to wager it’s almost exactly like I’ve seen or used – before.

But at least it will look smart, like it never has before. Because that’s practical; practically useless if you want to listen to music or sync your iPhone with their software because they make it incredibly painful to do it any other way?

But wait? What’s this? Oh, it’s just MORE BLOAT! I don’t need you to decide what other music I should buy Apple! And on a side note, I really don’t need you to automatically subscribe me to your opt-out only system of artist updates either.

…. Oh no. A whole new look? But I just got used to the last new look. Who’s with me here? But at least. It will. Be in. Tune. Smoke and mirrors is all I’m seeing here, nothing useful, nothing new or original.

If Genius sending all your library and usage data three times a day to Apple isn’t enough evidence, here it is on their marketing page. Data mining, big time peoples. Apple is “there waiting for you” like a creepy stalker watching you from across the road in their car… to offer you the convenience of “Preview history.”

I’ll tell you what it is, it’s information you’ve willingly and unknowingly submitted to Apple that you can never undo or take back. It’s a mental fingerprint of all your listening and buying habits, even a list of all songs you’ve ever hit the skip button to. This information is stored, processed, assess and analysed; the basis of which is used in strategic and psychologically founded marketing directed at you and others. It’s also used to build profiles of their user base because they conveniently have stored your title (Mr, Mrs, etc.), your date of birth (for verifying age restricted content only of course), your state, country and even post code. Not to mention your entire purchase history including preferred purchasing times – think about it: hundreds of millions of computing cycles doing nothing but meshing information like… let’s say, the preferred music tastes of 35 year old males living in the Victoria Australia with the postcode of 3350 (Ballarat).

You don’t have to be afraid of it; but at least understand it, acknowledge it and know you’re a part of it. If it’s too much, then get out while you can.

I couldn’t resist one last Apple gem…

I’ll tell you what… this one is too laughably easy. You can insert your own comments on this one.

My wish list for iTunes 11

  1. Make it work.
  2. Cease making me click OK to 100 sync error messages generated over the course of the day while my iPhone is unplugged and I’m not at my PC. Why are you even trying to connect anyway?
  3. Make iCloud, in it’s entirety, work. “Like never before.”
  4. Fix wifi sync. No more sync will resume when “COMPUTER” becomes available. Failing that, release some useful information about diagnosing and fixing wireless sync in potentially “complicated” networks. By complicated, I mean anything but an Apple based wifi network.
  5. Don’t crash.
  6. Don’t hang.
  7. Get rid of the lag – I have a fresh Windows 8 installation with 16GB RAM and an SSD. When I click something it should instantly load like every other application on my PC.
  8. Improve the information displayed of the sync status to an iDevice. When I say cancel, that doesn’t mean finish what you’re doing.
  9. Don’t redesign anything or move anything around.
  10. Don’t data mine anymore of my data, I think you have enough.
  11. A special number 11 wish for version 11… Drop the cliché marketing bull and start supporting your existing feature set.

Thanks for reading folks. I’m off to bed to read a book…. no not an iBook. Have you not learned a thing?