A few months back, I wrote to Apple concerning some problems I had with their iTunes software. Only I and a few high-level Apple executives have seen this letter…UNTIL NOW:
I am writing because my impatience with your iTunes software has reached an all-time high. Know in advance that I’ve enjoyed your products very much in the past. I’ve worked with Macs for several years as well as owned three(and was working on a fourth) iPods. Apple has yet to disappoint me with a piece of hardware and that is commendable. But as Clint Eastwood said, “I’m not here about that.” I can’t cite where or when he said that, but I’m sure he has at least once in his life.
Back on topic, which is the Orwellian nightmare of a product that is iTunes. Granted, it is attractive, intuitive, and does almost everything you’d expect or want a media player/organizer to do. In fact, it does just about everything I could ask except allow me the option of using another media player when I don’t feel like dealing with its slow, bloated ass.
iTunes is not a flawless program. For one, it doesn’t support FLAC. How this hasn’t been addressed by now is absurd. More importantly, there are a ton of media organizers out there that do a much better job of handling large libraries much faster and using far less system resources. Here are a few:
Hell, even Windows Media Player and Winamp operate more smoothly than iTunes. Like, you’re kidding right? I’m trying to listen to music, not do post-production work for George Lucas. The resource footprint is ridiculous. So I always have another media player that I actually use for my general listening and organizing. This equates to less headaches for me, the consumer, and…something self-righteous about capitalism and “my hard-earned money” or something. And then I have iTunes because you guys insist on it.
To get more specific about my issue, I recently installed one of these very intuitive, very fast media organizers and rather liked it. I was joyed to learn that it even supported iPod synching. I even sync’d one of my iPods with it successfully(Burrrnnn!). Now, did I for a second plan on uninstalling or ceasing to use iTunes? Not at all. But if I did have the option of using a far faster, smoother media organizer to also access my iPod, then I, a consumer, would appreciate the option of doing so. I’d always have a use for iTunes whenever I wanted to purchase music, update my firmware, or click on a song and have it start playing 3 minutes later.
Such was not in the cards for me as iTunes kicked in like the Kool-Aid mascot, bloated bastard it is, and caused this other program to crash. Upon researching, I learned that this is precisely what Apple wanted it to do. Apparently, you guys have tightened the screws on all and any alternative media libraries. So congrats. I always wondered what it was like to live through Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and with the communist lack of choice that your company seems to have built itself on, I am now a step closer to that dream! Seriously, how you guys managed to become the go-to computer for people concerned with APPEARING artsy might be one of the greatest frauds in the history of capitalism. Your entire ad-campaign is built around this arrogant posturing of rebelliousness, when in reality, choice for your consumer is dead last on your agenda.
I’ve purchased your product. Why must I be forever bound to your software? I’m not sure how iPod users begrudgingly using a media software that gets incredibly slow and that’s not at all conducive to holding large libraries helps Apple. This is me trying to see things from the perspective of a monolithic multi-billion dollar corporation and a consumer. It’s not like any of these programs offer a music delivery/purchase system like iTunes. It’s not like they can properly install Apps to my iTouch or iPhone. This is something that really doesn’t affect your bottom line. Why you guys are so hell bent on dictating how I manage my music makes no sense.
If you can’t drop the authoritarian tactics towards eradicating any and all media libraries that do the same things that iTunes does, except better…would it kill you to at least improve your product? Each new version of iTunes seems to be a more bloated, slower version of the last, with a couple cool-for-five-minutes bells and whistles thrown on it. Is there any sort of management going on in your software division or do you have a bunch of guys in a basement drinking beer and giggling about how much more sluggish and fat Version 9.whatever is? That’s what iTunes is now. It’s your fat drinking buddy who’s constantly pulling his shirt up and slapping his stomach for yucks. Why not offer an iTunes-lite or something? So those of us who just want to organize our music can do that and those of us who want a monstrosity can have that. But I don’t wanna tell you guys how to run your business. With the help of Justin Long, you have managed to make millions think they’re rebelling against some archaic regime by buying pretty white computers that work very well within the minute latitude of choice that you afford them.
And what the hell is with the additional software you’re attaching to your iTunes downloads now? I tolerated the QuickTime thing(I never use it because I have an all-in-one video player that you guys haven’t found a way to destroy yet—BURRRNNNN again), but now there are like 40 additional garbage products you try to sneak into the download. Really? Why on Earth would I want any of that? I’d sooner invite you guys over and have you pour chocolate milk on my computer than take a risk on any more of your bloated programs that act like spoiled children that don’t get along with other children.
I would go put my iPods in the toilet, but I have too much invested in them. Instead, I’m going to go to a local consumer electronics store and rub chocolate on the display Apple products. If anyone looks curiously at it, I’m going to step in and tell them that your products leak poop and should be avoided. That should put us at about even for this.