my personal blog

October 2, 2005

iTunes uSuck

Filed under: business,music,rants,technology — Alfonso Surroca @ 12:30 pm

Today, I deleted iTunes from my system.

I've always been a die-hard PC user and thus fairly ambivalent to the Apple crowd, despite the fact that I'm usually in-line with other "hipster" brands (case in point, I drive a Volkswagen). Note, however, that I do not shop at Urban Outfitters.

See, hypocrisy irritates me. I use Urban Outfitters as an example because they're part of Big Business and they cater to the supposed counterculture crowd by feeding them a constant supply hipster trinkets and rags. In other words, they've realized that these kids aren't as intellectual and intelligent as they make themselves out to be. At their core, they're still consumeristic pigs like the folks they point the finger at. That they'll be "exploited" by big Business is in fact quite fitting since these people are hypocrites. They'll indulge themselves in self-righteous finger-pointing when in fact they are part of the problem. Urban Outfitters and other hipster companies like them, are part of this hypocrisey, but as I said, at least they're cashing in on fellow hipster hypocrites.

Apple, too, is one of these companies. Shit, they may well be the king of these companies. An apparently little-known fact that all Apple devotees will condem and refute endlessly: Apple is a huge corporation who cares about the bottom-line, just like Microsoft, Sony, and Wall-Mart, for chrissakes. Apple is The Man. In fact, Apple is like the Republican Party and Microsoft is like the Democratic Party. While Microsoft is legion, Apple gets all the street-cred. Microsoft users are splintered and have no unity, but Apple users all march under the same flag. Apple users stand behind their party line and defend it to the bitter end, even if they have to twist facts and make up outright fabrications. And Apple, like the Republican Party, preaches to love us as much as the "compassionate convservatives" do, while using every trick in the book to bleed its customers dry.

For example:

Let's go back to a few years ago, when Windows XP came out. Let's say that a little while later, Microsoft decided to tweak Windows XP by fixing bugs and security flaws, adding some new multimedia features, improving a few things here and there, and giving it a nicer interface. Then, instead of releasing it online for free as Service Pack 1, they deceided to call it Windows XP Silver and charged users $100 to upgrade. Then, a few years later, they decided to fix some more bugs, improve the file-system, streamline a few things, take away some of the software previously available in XP Silver and offer it as a separate $79 suite called "xpLife", overhaul the user interface, add in a color-by-numbers rip-off of programs like DesktopX and Konfabulator, call it XP Orange and once again charge users another upgrade fee instead of calling it Service Pack 2 and offering it online for free. Would people be miffed? Upset? Enraged? Would users be up in arms over having to shell out for an upgrade for tweaks and fixes that essentially should have been available from the beginning? Well, this is basically what Apple did with its various incarnations of Mac OSX, and instead of going nuts over having to shell out more money each time Apple decides to tweak their system, Apple fans are overjoyed over the latest shiny user interface.

Getting back to iTunes. There's a little secret about iTunes I think users have either not noticed or been to enamored with Apple to admit: iTunes is not that good.

There are more than a few "quirks" that have frustrated me to no end, and with the recent nearly-impossible-to-rollback upgrade to iTunes 5, I've had enough. The way iTunes stays on top of all windows and minimizes to the taskbar directly bothered me, but I kept using iTunes because of all the good press. When I loaded my gargantuan 11,000 song music library and iTunes started to buckle, I figured it was just because of my huge library. The first time my music library's XML file became corrupted and forced me to start over again (including manually having to add all my podcasts with Apple's awful podcast interface) I accepted it. When Apple replaced their quick-as-Google library search feature from iTunes 4.9 with the mess they use in iTunes 5, I begrudgingly accepted it because I found "downgrading" back to 4.9 wasn't especially do-able. Then, finally, it dawned on me: I don't have an iPod. I have a PDA phone running Windows Mobile which Windows recognizes, and allows me to sync with it as if it were an MP3 player without a hitch. Meanwhile, iTunes naturally only works with an iPod and runs iPodService.exe despite the fact that I don't have an iPod. Finally, when I checked iTunes and it was using over between 60 MB and 100 MB of my RAM (I have over 1 GB, but that's not the point) I became livid. Microsoft is notorious for making "memory hog" software. So, why on earth does iTunes use so much memory when Windows Media Player runs fine on a paltry 20 MB of my RAM with the same 11,000 song library? There is no exuse for that, and I can only assume that Apple programmers are flat out lazy.

So, I uninstalled iTunes and QuickTime. After taking a few moments to aquiant myself with the Windows Media Player 10 interface, I'm quite happy with it. I'm using the lightweight QuickTime Alternative instead of QuickTime. I'm using Odeo to keep track of my podcasts. And I'm not frustrated. I'm quite relieved.

I'm tired of corporations being subsidized by their brand. Apple made a major come-back when they realized they could not compete with the Win-tel empire (ironically, Intel is now in bed with Apple) and struck a chord by realizing that computers were to an extent fashion accessories. For that, I give them credit. The outrageous and frankly disgusting arrogance that defined the Apple of the Eighties (before Microsoft brought them to their knees) is back in full force.

I refuse to support a corporation as coniving as Apple, who pat themselves on the back while essentially getting blowjobs from their customers and watching the money roll in because their customers are either too stupid, too arrogant themselves, or too blind to see Apple for the crooks they are.

technorati tags: apple, business, itunes, rant, software


  1. What are you on about. Ipods work. Macs work. Good Products. Get over it. Its not a cult dude.

    Go back to your hole, and be a freak.

    Comment by Ithink Yourlooney — June 10, 2006 @ 5:19 am

  2. I wrote this rant ages back, and I’ve got to say, I don’t miss iTunes in the least, especially considering that my cellular phone does essentially the same thing as any iPod, sans the pretty design, and it syncs with WMP just fine.

    But, you illustrated my point quite well, btw.

    Comment by asurroca — June 10, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

  3. Thanks, somebody HAD to say that once.

    Last time I used Mac OS X, it crashed after 20 minutes when I pressed the “eject” button on the DVD drive…

    Comment by blabla — September 13, 2006 @ 4:18 am

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