5 Reasons I Hate iTunes

Just bought an 80GB Video iPod! Awesome gadget and a nice way to get into the whole podcast/vidcast mindset. Unfortunately, I have to deal with Apple’s iTunes software to manage it.

I’m currently on an IBM T42p laptop (waiting for Apple to wake up and upgrade the MacBook Pros to Core 2 Duo), so this applies to the Windows version of iTunes.

1. Photos? What Photos?

I downloaded iTunes (yes, it’s not included in the package), installed it and plugged in my new iPod. iTunes began looking for media on my computer and converting it to Apple’s format. A dialog box appeared telling me iTunes was “optimizing my photos,” whatever that means. Meanwhile, iTunes becomes unusable, locked by the weird dialog. And to make matters worse, although iTunes tells me it transferred a couple thousand photos to my iPod, I can’t see them or find them anywhere.

UPDATE: I went to the local Apple Store and requested help with this at the Genius Bar. Though very polite, the dudes at the Genius Bar were unable to solve my problem, claiming to be unfamiliar with the Windows version of iTunes and having never heard of a similar problem. They suggested I call Apple Support. I decided to reinstall iTunes from scratch, but the problem was still there. The Apple Support website shows no mention of this particular problem, even though a simple Google search shows this has been around since at least February of 2006, if not earlier. Further troubleshooting with my system yielded the following answer:

There was apparently a photo file that was giving iTunes/iPod trouble, so I looked at how many photos were transferring to the iPod and manually selected folders until the total shown was higher than the number of photos on the iPod. I then deselected that last folder (which turned out to be my Picasa Exported Pictures folder) and the problem went away. I’ll eventually look through that folder to see which picture in particular was causing the error, but for the time being I’m fine.

2. Movies? What Movies?

I downloaded some video podcasts from Revision3 which turned out to be in a format too large for the iPod too handle. iTunes shows the movies in the Movie section but fails to inform you that they will not play on the iPod. You can take a guess and right-click on a movie and select “Convert Selection for iPod” if you want (the option will show for both iPod compatible and non-compatible videos). While you’re converting a video (takes ages), you can’t click on another video and add it to the conversion queue.

UPDATE: Even some video podcasts downloaded directly from iTunes appear to be incompatible with my iPod.

3. Artwork? What Artwork?

iTunes is supposedly capable of downloading album covers to display while a song is playing. Good Luck. iTunes was unable to find any artwork for most of my records, even though they are available in the iTunes store. Microsoft’s Windows Media Player lets you select the album you’re looking for and also let’s you cut-and-paste artwork.

UPDATE: I found a hack for this: Go to Amazon.com, search for your album, right-click and copy the album artwork image, go back to iTunes, select all the album files, right-click and Get Info, click on the Artwork box and paste the image.

4. Library? What Library?

iTunes will not monitor a folder for newly added files. Instead, they must be added manually via Add Folder or Import. iTunes also can’t tell when it has already added a song, resulting in multiple copies of each file. Attempting to ctrl-click these files to select and delete them caused iTunes to become unresponsive around the third ctrl-click.

5. Speed? What Speed?

iTunes feels mostly sluggish (so does Windows Media Player) and everything takes a few more milliseconds that it should. It just feels like it’s on slow motion.

So, what do you think? Does iTunes run better on a Mac? Do you have any suggestions? Let me know via the comments.

  • micki

    If ipods are that bad as you say.

    How has apple managed to sell that many.(40 million plus?)

  • micki

    If ipods are that bad as you say.

    How has apple managed to sell that many.(40 million plus?)

  • micki, where did I say iPods are bad? I actually mention iPods are awesome – it’s the iTunes software I don’t like.

  • micki, where did I say iPods are bad? I actually mention iPods are awesome – it’s the iTunes software I don’t like.

  • RPP

    Must agree with the assessment of iTunes. Love the Pod, hate the Tunes.

    Among my frustrations:

    Songs seem to be fine, but any video is agonizingly slow to download. One 45-minute tv episode takes 7 to 8 hours to download on my broadband connection. Which is just stupid. I can download video from any other source MUCH faster.

    I can’t buy songs from foreign iTunes stores. In particular, I want to buy something from the iTunes Australia store, but am not allowed to do so unless I have a credit card with a billing address in Australia. I used to – but now I live in the US. I e-mailed. I called and talked with Apple Support. No response, no solution.

    In order to access the iTunes store, I have to turn off my McAfee virus protection entirely – sometimes… Without any predictability I either have to turn off my firewall or turn the program off all together. Sometimes it works with both on though. Running diagnostics is useless. It will simultaneously tell me that I am connected AND tell me that I cannot connect to the iTunes store.

    While the program is ungainly when it comes to organizing and adding music and makes it nearly impossible to share music, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the store – I hate the store and I hate iTunes. Still, I love my Pods. I just wish they made it easier to use the store. I can guarantee this – as soon as there is a rival out there, I’m going that way. I’ve wasted enough time on this dopey unintuitive system.

  • RPP

    Must agree with the assessment of iTunes. Love the Pod, hate the Tunes.

    Among my frustrations:

    Songs seem to be fine, but any video is agonizingly slow to download. One 45-minute tv episode takes 7 to 8 hours to download on my broadband connection. Which is just stupid. I can download video from any other source MUCH faster.

    I can’t buy songs from foreign iTunes stores. In particular, I want to buy something from the iTunes Australia store, but am not allowed to do so unless I have a credit card with a billing address in Australia. I used to – but now I live in the US. I e-mailed. I called and talked with Apple Support. No response, no solution.

    In order to access the iTunes store, I have to turn off my McAfee virus protection entirely – sometimes… Without any predictability I either have to turn off my firewall or turn the program off all together. Sometimes it works with both on though. Running diagnostics is useless. It will simultaneously tell me that I am connected AND tell me that I cannot connect to the iTunes store.

    While the program is ungainly when it comes to organizing and adding music and makes it nearly impossible to share music, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the store – I hate the store and I hate iTunes. Still, I love my Pods. I just wish they made it easier to use the store. I can guarantee this – as soon as there is a rival out there, I’m going that way. I’ve wasted enough time on this dopey unintuitive system.

  • Roger

    My daughter and I both got Ipods for Christmas. We can’t find a way to make Itunes separate the two. Every song she adds gets added to mine and vice versa. It’s confusing the hay out of me!

  • Roger

    My daughter and I both got Ipods for Christmas. We can’t find a way to make Itunes separate the two. Every song she adds gets added to mine and vice versa. It’s confusing the hay out of me!

  • Deck

    Completely agree on the iTunes thing.
    I think that the people at Apple should take a course of beginners programming, because the way they have programmed iTunes could a three year old monkey do better. I have used iTunes version 4.xx 5.xx, 6.xx and now 7.xx and it has only been getting more and more like bloatware. (I use foobar2000 to play music on my PC)
    Next time I’m going to install Rockbox software on the iPod instead. It’s still in beta, but it behaves like iTunes & Ipods should have, from the factory

  • Deck

    Completely agree on the iTunes thing.
    I think that the people at Apple should take a course of beginners programming, because the way they have programmed iTunes could a three year old monkey do better. I have used iTunes version 4.xx 5.xx, 6.xx and now 7.xx and it has only been getting more and more like bloatware. (I use foobar2000 to play music on my PC)
    Next time I’m going to install Rockbox software on the iPod instead. It’s still in beta, but it behaves like iTunes & Ipods should have, from the factory

  • kamalneet

    ipod rocks but itunes stink is as bad as rotten apples

  • getalifedick

    lol, are you retarded? cuz you must be, and everyone else who can't work this out….
    itunes is very simple to use… and your either a whining bitch because the play button doesn't have flashing lights around it or a total dumb shit who can't find the on button on their computer. Now i accept there are people like that but you don't have to diss out the software just cuz you don't know how to use the fucking thing. honestly.

    itunes artwork works perfectly, and copying and pasting artwork into the artwork box on a song or a selection of songs is not a hack you dick its the way the program was made to work if you were manually putting it in/ otherwise it automatically does it for you… and if you can't get it to your not doing it right, but really its very very simple…

    the speed depends on your computer if you have a shit computer its going to run like shit, if its clogged up with stuff then its also going to run like shit….. if you have no fucking idea what you are doing like yourself then according to you the software is also shit…. ipods are great, itunes is great, and you probably don't even know how to wipe your own ass.

    as for the movies and photo's don't even get me started, and itunes does a fine job of not creating duplcates…. and it organizes your library so effectively and i don't have trouble with duplicates or wasted space….. and i have 67GB of songs…. not one is duplicated… and i didnt have to delete any duplicates….

    so stop dissing out the software just cuz you have no fucking idea what you are doing…. learn to use it cuz its really simple…. ill even buy you a “itunes for dummies” book, the big yellow ones you can't miss….. for people like you….

    cya shitballs

  • many

    ipods are great some are better than other mp3s.
    but itunes is horrible.
    befor my ipod i had a creative mp3 and used windows media player. it was easy to add songs you wanted because i had songs that i didnt listen to. if i downladed a new song of lime wire i could easily put it to sync on my mp3. but with itunes i cant do it!! its hard and confusing. i just got some songs of limwire and i cant get to add them to the music library on itunes..its horrible!

  • many

    ipods are great some are better than other mp3s.
    but itunes is horrible.
    befor my ipod i had a creative mp3 and used windows media player. it was easy to add songs you wanted because i had songs that i didnt listen to. if i downladed a new song of lime wire i could easily put it to sync on my mp3. but with itunes i cant do it!! its hard and confusing. i just got some songs of limwire and i cant get to add them to the music library on itunes..its horrible!

  • many

    ipods are great some are better than other mp3s.
    but itunes is horrible.
    befor my ipod i had a creative mp3 and used windows media player. it was easy to add songs you wanted because i had songs that i didnt listen to. if i downladed a new song of lime wire i could easily put it to sync on my mp3. but with itunes i cant do it!! its hard and confusing. i just got some songs of limwire and i cant get to add them to the music library on itunes..its horrible!