"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

iTunes is a piece of shit

My brother in law gave me his old 3 year old iPod, so I installed iTunes to transfer my files and found that it was a piece of shit, especially for a mature program (iTunes 7.0.2.16):

- You can't stop files playing, only pause them (pausing a file takes up more resources than stopping it)
- If you hold down the shift button in the library view and select files in one direction, going in the other direction doesn't deselect the most recently selected files (as is the Windows convention) but instead selects more files above the current selection. So if I accidentally overshoot in selecting, I either have to unselect files manually or unselect everything and start again.
- It has a very CD-centric point of view, but for libraries that consist of material from everywhere, which I think many people have, it's not as good
- You can't sort files by path/filename, but only by title, artist, album etc
- Library management is hard if some of your files lack proper id3 tags: If you don't tag your files meticulously, I say good luck to you. If you don't tag your files at all, I say bye bye to you.
- If you drag a new file into the library, it automatically gets sorted instead of placed where you drag it in so you don't know if it got imported. This makes managing imported files ridiculously cumbersome if they are id3 tagged differently.
- After deleting a file, the focus goes to the last entry in the Library window - if you press up you go to the second last entry in the Library window instead of where you originally were when deleting the file.
- Quick search only searches the id3 fields of your files, but not the filename or path
- When you want to select the text in the Quick Search bar, clicking in it and pressing "Ctrl + Home" does not work - you have to press "Ctrl + Home" twice. Ditto for selecting text with the left mouse button.
- If there are emtpy id3v2 tags but the id3v1 tag is filled, it stupidly displays nothing instead of taking information from the id3v1 tag
- You can't dictate a specific playlist order, like with Jump to File extra
- It only supports MP3, AAC. WMAs can be imported but not read natively. When you add an unsupported file to the library, you don't see an error message when it doesn't get added.
- It's slow and takes up a lot of resources.
- The installer comes with Quicktime packaged and is a whopping 32 MB

All this was after only maybe 2 hours of using the damn thing. Luckily I've found an alternative in Yet another iPod manager (YamiPod). It may not solve all the problems and might add one or two more, but it's good enough for me and besides, supports submitting tracks to Last.fm (I couldn't get iSproggler, the iTunes version, to work).

Of course, I can imagine Mac whores giving various suggestions and rebuttals, but that's akin to answering a charge that Windows crashes a lot with the suggestion that one should save one's work often and read a book while waiting for the computer to restart, so crashing is not an issue.


I happened to complain to Ketsugi, and being someone who blogs spontaneously he came out with 10 Things I Like About iTunes. Unfortunately, none of his points apply to me since:

1. Aesthetics
I go for functionality over appearance.

2. Smart Playlists
I don't use these. But I can see how they might be useful.

3. Music management capabilities
I manage my music differently, so this doesn't affect me. Besides which, other music management programs offer similar features, AFAIK.

4. Party Shuffle
I don't use these. But I can see how it might be useful.

5. Get Album Artwork
I don't use this, and it's bloat.

6. Podcasts
7. iTunes Music Store

I don't use this.

8. Active Developers
Many alternatives exist, and if a project dies one can jump ship to another one. And even after so long it's still a piece of shit (see above), so so much for Active Developers.

9. iPod Integration
YamiPod works fine with the iPod.

10. Free, as in beer
Many music management programs are free.
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